Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

503.1 (A) Works of Authorship Distinguished from the Constituent Elements of the Work

503.1 (A) Works of Authorship Distinguished from the Constituent Elements of the Work


The U.S. Copyright Office registers claims to copyright in works of authorship. As a general rule, the Office will issue one registration for each work that is submitted for registration.


The Office may examine the constituent elements or individual components of a work to determine if the work contains a sufficient amount of creative expression to warrant registration. But as a general rule, the Office will not issue separate registrations for the constituent elements or individual components of a work of authorship. Likewise, the Office will not issue separate registrations to each author who contributed copyrightable expression to a work of authorship (except as contributions to a collective work or derivative works).

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