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617.7 (A) Citizenship and Domicile Unclear

617.7 (A) Citizenship and Domicile Unclear


As a general rule, the registration specialist will accept a statement concerning the author’s citizenship or domicile, unless it is clearly inconsistent with the facts set forth in the registration materials or other information known to the U.S. Copyright Office.


Examples:


• The application states that the author John Germaine is a U.S. citizen and that the work has been published, but fails to provide a nation of first publication. In the Note to Copyright Office field the applicant explains that the author has applied for citizenship, but has not been naturalized. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine if there is a basis for establishing that the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law.


• An application for a work by a prominent European politician states that the author is domiciled in the United States. The application also states that the work has been published, but fails to identify the nation of first publication. Because the author does not appear to be domiciled in the United States, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine if there is a basis for establishing that the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law.


If the applicant provides the name of a city, state, and country in the Citizenship or Domicile field/space, the registration specialist may include the name of the state and/or country but will remove the name of the city from the registration record.


If the applicant provides the name of a city, state, territory, or other political subdivision rather than the name of a country, the application will be accepted if the author’s nation of citizenship or domicile is obvious or if there is another basis for establishing that the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. copyright law. For example, if the applicant states that the author is a citizen of “Puerto Rico” or “Scotland,” the specialist will accept the application, although “United States” or the “United Kingdom” would be preferable.

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