Copyright Compendium

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409 Authorized Agents

409 Authorized Agents


An author, a copyright owner who owns all of the rights in the work, or an owner of one or more of the exclusive right(s) may use a duly authorized agent to submit an application on their behalf. Examples of such agents include, but are not limited to, legal guardians, business managers, literary agents, and attorneys.


In most cases, the correspondent is a duly authorized agent of one or more of the parties listed above, and as a general rule, the U.S. Copyright Office will direct all communications concerning the application to that person. See Section 403.


The Office imposes no special qualifications or tests for authorized agents (including attorneys) before they may file applications or otherwise conduct business with the Office. Nor does the Office require applications to be prepared or submitted by an attorney. In certain special cases the Office may suggest that the claimant consider seeking legal advice, but the Office does not furnish the names of copyright attorneys, publishers, agents, or other similar information. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.2 (A) (2).


As a general rule, the Office will accept the statement on the application certifying that the person who signs the application is an authorized agent of the author or an owner of the exclusive rights in the work. In some circumstances, the Office may ask an alleged agent to submit documentation showing that he or she is in fact authorized to act for one or more of those parties.

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