312.3 The Originality Requirement for Collective Works
A collective work “is a species of ‘compilation'” that “by its nature, must involve the selection, assembly, and arrangement of ‘a number of contributions.'” H.R. REP. NO. 94- 1476, at 122 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 5737 (discussing 17 U.S.C. § 101’s definitions of “compilation” and “collective work”).
Because a collective work is a type of compilation, the U.S. Copyright Office will apply the criteria set forth in Section 312.2 to determine whether the author’s selection, coordination, and/or arrangement satisfies the originality requirement. When examining a particular contribution that appears within a collective work, the Office will apply the criteria set forth in Section 309.