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

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617.1 What Is the Author’s Citizenship and Domicile?

617.1 What Is the Author’s Citizenship and Domicile?

The application should identify the citizenship and/or domicile of the author, regardless of whether the work described in the application is an anonymous work or a pseudonymous work, or whether the work was created by a natural person or a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, or a similar legal entity. 17 U.S.C. § 409 (2), (3). This information may be used to determine whether the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. copyright law.

Unpublished works are eligible for copyright protection in the United States, but published works may not be eligible if they are first published in, or by authors of, countries that have not entered into a copyright treaty with the United States. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (A), (B). For information concerning these eligibility requirements, see Chapter 2000, Section 2003.

The terms “citizenship” and “nationality” mean the same thing. Specifically, they mean that the author is a citizen of a particular country, or that the author owes permanent allegiance to a particular country, even though he or she is not a citizen of that nation.

The author’s domicile is the country where the author has a fixed and permanent residence, where the author intends to maintain his or her residence for an unlimited time, and whenever absent, where the author intends to return. Mere residence is not the equivalent of domicile and does not provide a basis for establishing eligibility.

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