Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Chapter 100
Chapter 200
Chapter 300
Chapter 400
Chapter 500
Chapter 600
Chapter 700
Chapter 800
Chapter 900
Chapter 1000
Chapter 1100
Chapter 1200
Chapter 1300
Chapter 1400
Chapter 1500
Chapter 1600
Chapter 1700
Chapter 1800
Chapter 1900
Chapter 2000
Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

310.5 The Author’s Inspiration and Intent

310.5 The Author’s Inspiration and Intent

When examining a work for original authorship, the U.S. Copyright Office will not

consider the author’s inspiration for the work, creative intent, or intended meaning. Instead, the Office will focus solely on the appearance or sound of the work that has been submitted for registration to determine whether it is original and creative within the meaning of the statute and the relevant case law.

Evaluating the author’s inspiration or intent would require the Office “to consider evidence of the creator’s design methods, purposes, and reasons.” Star Athletica, 137 S. Ct. at 1015. The Supreme Court has made it clear that copyrightability should be based on how a work is perceived, not how or why it was designed. See id.

Likewise, the fact that creative thought may take place in the mind of the person who created a work (or a person viewing or listening to the work) has no bearing on the issue of originality unless the work objectively demonstrates original authorship.

[convertkit form=2550354]