Copyright Compendium

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617.7 (D) Citizenship and Domicile Unknown

 

617.7 (D) Citizenship and Domicile Unknown

 

If the applicant states that the author’s citizenship or domicile is “not known” or fails to complete this portion of the application, 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 otherwise eligible for copyright protection under U.S. copyright law.

 

Examples:

 

• An application is submitted on Form PA for a musical work titled “Do You See What I See?” The application states that the work has been published in New Zealand, states that Beth McFarlane is the author of the work, and states that the author’s citizenship and domicile is “not known.” The registration specialist will register the claim without communicating with the applicant. Although the applicant failed to specify the author’s nation of citizenship or domicile, the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law because it was published in a country that has entered into a copyright treaty with the United States. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (B) (2).

 

• An application is submitted on Form VA for an unpublished work titled “I See You.” The application names Stu Millbrook as the author and claimant, but no information is given for the author’s domicile and citizenship. The registration specialist will register the claim without communicating with the applicant. Although the applicant failed to specify the author’s citizenship or domicile, the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law because the work is unpublished. 17 U.S.C. § 104 (A).

 

If there appears to be no basis for establishing eligibility, the specialist will communicate with the applicant. If the applicant is unable to identify the author’s citizenship and domicile, registration may be refused if that is the only basis for establishing that the work is eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law.

 

Examples:

 

• The applicant fails to identify the author’s citizenship or domicile, but states that the work was first published in Afghanistan. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant, because a work first published in that country may be ineligible for copyright protection in the United States.

 

• The application states that the author’s citizenship and domicile and the nation of first publication are “not known.” 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.