Copyright Compendium

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313.3 Works That Do Not Constitute Copyrightable Subject Matter

313.3 Works That Do Not Constitute Copyrightable Subject Matter


As discussed in Section 307 above, a work of authorship may be registered, provided that it falls within one or more of the categories of works set forth in Section 102 (A) of the Copyright Act. In other words, a work may be eligible for copyright protection if it qualifies as a literary work; a musical work; a dramatic work; a pantomime; a choreographic work; a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work; a motion picture or other audiovisual work; a sound recording; or an architectural work. Works that do not fall within the existing categories of copyrightable subject matter are not copyrightable and cannot be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. See Registration of Claims to Copyright, 77 Fed. Reg. 37,605, 37,607 (June 22, 2012) (“Congress did not delegate authority to the courts [or the Copyright Office] to create new categories of authorship. Congress reserved this option for itself.”).

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