Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

512.1 Unpublished Versions of the Same Work

512.1 Unpublished Versions of the Same Work


If the work is unpublished, there is generally no need to register each version of that work. In most cases, the applicant may submit the most recent or the most complete version.


For example, if the author prepared multiple drafts for an unpublished screenplay, a registration for the most recent version will cover all of the copyrightable material that appears in the deposit copy, including any unpublished expression that has been incorporated from prior versions of the same work. Likewise, if the applicant intends to register an unpublished website that has been updated, modified, or revised from time to time, the registration will cover all of the copyrightable material that is submitted for registration, including any unpublished text, photographs, or other content that has been incorporated from prior iterations of the same website.


If the deposit copy contains copyrightable material that appeared in previous versions of the same work there is generally no need to exclude that preexisting material from the application unless that material has been previously published or previously registered or unless that material is in the public domain or is owned by a third party.

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