309.1 Prior Works and Prior Registrations
As a general rule, the registration specialist will not search the U.S. Copyright Office’s records to determine if the work has been registered before, unless there is conflicting information in the registration materials or other sources of information that are known by the Office or the general public. For purposes of determining copyrightability, the specialist will not compare the deposit copy(ies) with other works that have been previously registered with the Office. Likewise, the specialist generally will not compare the deposit copy(ies) with other works to determine whether the applicant is attempting to register a work that is substantially similar to another work of authorship, unless the applicant appears to be asserting a claim in a work that is unusually similar to another work of authorship that is known to the specialist.