Copyright Compendium

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612.7(L) Nation of First Publication Unknown

 

612.7(L) Nation of First Publication Unknown

If the nation of first publication is unknown, the applicant may select “not known” from the drop down menu of the online application. When completing a paper application, the applicant may leave space 3 (B) blank or may state “not known.”

 

If the applicant fails to identify the nation of first publication, the application may be accepted if that information is provided elsewhere in the registration materials or if the registration specialist determines that the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. copyright law based on the author’s citizenship or domicile. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (B).

 

If there appears to be no other basis for establishing eligibility for copyright protection, the specialist will communicate with the applicant. If the nation of first publication is the only basis for establishing that the work is eligible for copyright protection, registration may be refused.

 

Examples:

 

• The applicant states that the nation of first publication is “not known,” but states that the author is a citizen of France. The application will be accepted.

 

• The applicant states that the nation of first publication is “not known” and states that the author is a citizen of Eritrea and a domiciliary of Ethiopia. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant, because it is unclear whether the work is eligible for copyright protection in the United States based on the information provided.

 

• The U.S. Copyright Office receives an online application which states that both the nation of first publication and the author’s citizenship and domicile are “not known.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant, because it is not clear whether the work is eligible for copyright protection in the United States based on the information provided.