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

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609.2 Paper Applications

609.2 Paper Applications

Identifying the type of work that will be submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office is the first step in completing a paper application. The Office has prescribed five basic classes of works that may be registered with a paper application, and each of these classes has its own paper form. The applicant should select the form that is most appropriate for the work that the applicant intends to register and the authorship that appears in the work.

• Use Form TX if the work is a nondramatic literary work, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a textbook, a reference work, a directory, a catalog, advertising copy, a compilation of information, a computer program, a textual work made available online, or a database. This form may be used to register an individual article or other textual contribution to a serial publication, or an entire issue of a serial that has not been published before.

• Use Form VA if the work is a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, including a two- dimensional or three-dimensional work of fine, graphic, or applied art, a photograph, a print or art reproduction, a map, or a technical drawing.

NOTE: A paper application may not be used to register an architectural work. To register this type of work, applicants must use the online application.

• Use Form PA if the work is a musical work (either with or without lyrics), a dramatic work (such as a screenplay, play or other script), a pantomime, a choreographic work, or an audiovisual work (such as a feature film, documentary film, animated film, television show, video, or videogame).

• Use Form SR if the applicant intends to register sound recording authorship (even if the work contains additional types of authorship, such as music or lyrics). If the applicant does not intend to register a sound recording, Form SR should not be used (even if the work contains one or more sound recordings). Likewise, Form SR is inappropriate if the applicant intends to register the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.

• Use Form SE if the applicant intends to register a single issue of a serial publication (e.g., a magazine, journal, etc.). For a definition of the term “serial” and representative examples of such works, see Section 609.1.

NOTE: Form SE may only be used to register an issue that qualifies as a collective work, and it may only be used to register an issue that has been published. To register an issue that does not satisfy these requirements, the applicant should use Form TX.

Form SE may be used to register the issue as a whole. It also may be used to register the individual contributions, provided that (I) the claimant owns the copyright in the individual contributions and the issue as a whole, and (ii) if the contributions have not been previously published or previously registered. In no case may the claimant register a contribution that is in the public domain.

To register an article, photograph, or other contribution that is not owned by the claimant for the issue as a whole, or to register a contribution that was previously published in another medium, the applicant should prepare a separate application for each contribution using the appropriate form for that type of work. For example, if the contribution is an article, the applicant should use Form TX; if the contribution is an illustration, the applicant should use Form VA.

NOTE: It is also possible to register a group of serials or a group of contributions to a periodical with one application, one filing fee, and deposit copy(ies). For a discussion of these group registration options, see Chapter 1100, Sections 1107 and 1110.

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