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503.5 (C) Unclaimable Material: Public Domain Material

503.5 (C) Unclaimable Material: Public Domain Material


The following chart provides a representative example of a work that contains public domain material.


Work of Authorship

Excluded Material

New Authorship

Musical based on The Confidence Man

by Herman Melville

The Confidence Man by Herman Melville

Music, lyrics, script


In this example, the musical is based on Herman Melville’s novel The Confidence Man, which is in the public domain. The applicant may register the music, lyrics, and script that the author contributed to the musical. The applicant should exclude the story, characters, and other expression that the author borrowed from the novel using the procedure described in Chapter 600, Section 621.8.

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