Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
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Chapter 2400

310.6 The Author’s Skill, Experience, and Artistic Judgment

 

310.6 The Author’s Skill, Experience, and Artistic Judgment

 

When evaluating a work for copyrightable authorship, the U.S. Copyright Office will not consider the author’s skill, experience, or artistic judgment. The author’s personal or professional history is irrelevant to the determination of copyrightability. See Star Athletica, 137 S. Ct. at 1015 (declining to consider “the designer’s artistic judgment,” because it is not “grounded in the text of the statute”). Instead, the Office will focus solely on the appearance or sound of the work that has been submitted for registration to determine whether it satisfies the originality requirement. See L. Batlin & Son, 536 F.2d at 491 (finding that “the requirement of originality [cannot] be satisfied simply by the demonstration of ‘physical skill’ or ‘special training'”).