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

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511 One Work Per Registration


511 One Work Per Registration

As a general rule, a registration covers one individual work, and an applicant should prepare a separate application, filing fee, and deposit for each work that is submitted for registration. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 408 (A), 409 (authorizing the U.S. Copyright Office to register a single “work”).


Although the Office generally allows only one work per application, there are some limited exceptions to this rule. In the following cases, it may be possible to register multiple works with one application, one filing fee, and one set of deposit copy(ies):


• A collective work may be registered together with the separate and independent works contained therein (I) if the copyright in the collective work and the component works are owned by the same claimant, and (ii) if the component works have not been previously published, previously registered, and are not in the public domain. This option is discussed in Section 509.1 and Chapter 600, Sections 610.4, 613.8, 618.7, 620.8, and 621.8 (D).


• A number of published works may be registered using the unit of publication option, which is discussed in Chapter 1100, Section 1103.


• A sound recording may be registered together with a literary work, musical work, or dramatic work, provided that (I) the sound recording and the recorded literary work, musical work, or dramatic work are embodied in the same phonorecord, (ii) the claimant for both works is the same person or organization, (iii) the applicant selects Sound Recording from the Type of Work field when completing an online application or uses Form SR when completing a paper application, and (iv) the applicant submits a phonorecord that contains both the sound recording and the recorded literary work, musical work, or dramatic work.


• A group of related works may be registered using a group registration option. The Office currently offers group registration options for the following types of works:


• Unpublished works.


• Serials


• Newspapers


• Newsletters


• Short online literary works


• Contributions to periodicals


• Published photographs


• Unpublished photographs


• Database updates


• Questions, answers, and other test items that have been prepared for use in a secure test.


For information concerning these group registration options, see Chapter 1100, Sections 1105 through 1114.


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