404 Who Is the Claimant?
The only parties who are eligible to be the copyright claimant are (I) the author of the work, or (ii) a copyright owner who owns all of the exclusive rights in the work. 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (A) (3). A person or entity who owns one or more – but less than all – of the exclusive rights in a work is not eligible to be a claimant. See Part 202 – Registration of Claims to Copyright, 43 Fed. Reg. 965, 965 (Jan. 5, 1978); Registration of Copyright: Definition of Claimant, 77 Fed. Reg. 29,257, 29,258 (May 17, 2012).
Although the author or the copyright owner who owns all of the rights are the only parties who are entitled to claim ownership of the copyright, an application to register that claim may be certified and submitted by any of the parties listed in Section 402. In some cases, the applicant and the claimant may be the same party, while in other cases they may be different.