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

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504.3 Multiple Versions of the Same Work

504.3 Multiple Versions of the Same Work

A registration only covers the specific version of the work that is submitted for registration. The U.S. Copyright Office does not offer so-called “blanket registrations” that cover prior versions or derivative versions of the same work. For example, a registration for a published website covers the text, photographs, or other copyrightable content that appeared on that website on the date(s) claimed in the application and specified in the deposit copy(ies), but it does not cover any future version of that website. Similarly, a registration for version 1.30 of a computer program does not cover version 1.20 or any previously published or previously registered content that appears in the later version of that program. For the same reason, a registration for a comic book that depicts or describes a particular character covers the expression set forth in that issue, but it does not cover the character per se or any other issue or other work that features the same character.

For additional guidance in registering multiple versions of the same work, see Section 512.

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