618.2 Limiting the Claim to Copyright
A registration only covers the new material that the author contributed to the work. As explained in Section 621, a registration does not extend to any unclaimable material that may appear in the work, namely:
• Previously published material.
• Previously registered material (including material that has been submitted for registration but has not been registered yet).
• Material that is in the public domain.
• Copyrightable material that is owned by another party (i.e., an individual or entity other than the copyright claimant).
If the work contains an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, the applicant must exclude that material from the claim and limit the application to the new copyrightable material that the author contributed to the work. When completing an online application the applicant should provide this information on the Limitation of Claim screen; when completing a paper application, the applicant should provide this information in spaces 5 and/or 6 (A) and 6 (B) of the application.
For a discussion of the U.S. Copyright Office’s practices and procedures for limiting a
claim to copyright, see Section 621.