Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

612.7 (A) Claim in a Published Work Contradicted by Information Provided Elsewhere in the Registration Materials

612.7 (A) Claim in a Published Work Contradicted by Information Provided Elsewhere in the Registration Materials


As a general rule, if the applicant asserts that the work has been published, the work will be registered as a published work, unless the registration specialist discovers evidence to the contrary elsewhere in the registration materials.


The specialist may communicate with the applicant if the deposit copy(ies) or other information in the registration materials suggests that the work is unpublished or if it appears that the applicant provided a date and nation of first publication by mistake. For instance, the specialist may question whether publication has in fact occurred in cases such as the following:


• The applicant gives a publication date on her application and states that she “recited this poem at a poetry slam,” or “played this song at church,” or “performed this dance on cable access television,” or otherwise indicates that the work was “performed” or “broadcast.” In such cases, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant, and explain that a public performance of a work, in and of itself, does not constitute publication under U.S. copyright law.


• The applicant states that a painting or sculpture was “exhibited in a gallery,” “shown in a museum,” or otherwise indicates that the work was publicly displayed. The registration specialist may communicate with the applicant and explain that a public display, in and of itself, does not constitute publication under U.S. copyright law.

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