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618.8 (A) (2) Game

618.8 (A) (2) Game


As a general rule, “text” should be used to describe the copyrightable authorship in a literary work, and “2-D artwork” or “sculpture” should be used to describe the copyrightable authorship in a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. To describe the copyrightable authorship in a videogame, the applicant should use the term “audiovisual material” or “computer program” depending upon what is being registered. For information concerning the practices and procedures for registering videogames and board games, see Chapter 800, Section 807.7 (A) and Chapter 900, Section 910.


The term “game” should not be used in the Author Created field or the Nature of Authorship space, because it is not a form of copyrightable authorship. It also suggests that the applicant may be asserting a claim in the idea for a game or the method or procedures for playing a game.


Example:


• An application is submitted for a card game titled The Cow Jumped Over the Moon. Victor Fuentes is named as the author of “text” and “artwork.” The deck of cards contains copyrightable artwork, as well as the instruction for playing the game. The registration specialist will register the claim.


If the applicant uses the term “game” to describe an audiovisual work, the registration specialist will ask the applicant to provide a more specific authorship statement, such as “audiovisual material.”


If the applicant uses the term “game” to describe a literary work and/or a pictorial or graphic work, the registration specialist may register the claim if the work contains a sufficient amount of copyrightable authorship to warrant registration. In this situation, the specialist may add an annotation indicating that the registration does not cover the uncopyrightable elements of the game.


Examples:


• An application is submitted for a work titled Geometry Puzzle, naming MB & Company as the author of a “board game.” The deposit copy contains copyrightable artwork. The registration specialist may register the claim with an annotation, such as: “Regarding authorship information: Idea for, and procedure or method of operation used in, game not copyrightable. 17 USC 102 (B). Registration extends to artwork deposited.”


• An application is submitted for a work titled Word Search, naming Jill and Michael Thomas as co-authors of a “spelling game and instructional text.” The deposit copy contains copyrightable text on flash cards. The registration specialist may register the claim with an annotation, such as: “Regarding authorship information: Registration does not extend to uncopyrightable elements or aspects of game (idea for, and procedure or method of operation used in, game). 17 USC 102 (B).”


• An application is submitted for a videogame naming KuraSonix as the author of a “game.” The registration specialist will ask the applicant to provide a more specific description of the author’s contribution to this work, such as “audiovisual material” (if the applicant intends to register the audiovisual elements of the work) or “computer program” (if the applicant intends to register the source code that generates the videogame).


• An application is submitted for a work naming MindStretch as the author of “game.” The deposit copy consists of a single Sudoku puzzle. The registration specialist will refuse to register the claim because a single Sudoku puzzle contains no copyrightable expression.

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