Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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504.2 Authorship Contained in the Deposit Copy(ies)

504.2 Authorship Contained in the Deposit Copy(ies)

Ordinarily, a registration for a work of authorship only covers the material that is included in the deposit copy(ies). It does not cover authorship that does not appear in the deposit copy(ies), even if the applicant expressly claims that authorship in the application.

There are two limited exceptions to this rule:

• In some cases, an applicant may register a work of authorship by submitting identifying portions of the work. For example, an applicant may register a computer program by submitting a portion of the source code for that work, rather than a complete copy of the entire program.

• In exceptional cases, the U.S. Copyright Office may grant special relief from the deposit requirements for a particular work.

A work of authorship that is registered with identifying material or based on a grant of special relief may cover the entire copyrightable content of the work, notwithstanding the fact that the applicant did not submit a copy of the entire work. For a discussion of special relief and examples of other works that may be registered with identifying material, see Chapter 1500, Sections 1506 and 1508.8.

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