Copyright Compendium

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618.8 (A) (3) Packaging

 

618.8 (A) (3) Packaging

 

As a general rule, “text,” “2-D artwork,” and/or “photograph(s)” should be used to describe the copyrightable authorship that appears on product packaging.

 

The term “packaging” should not be used in the Author Created field or the Nature of Authorship space, because the packaging for a work – in and of itself – does not constitute copyrightable subject matter.

 

Example:

 

• An application is submitted for a CD and asserts a claim in “music, lyrics, text of liner notes, and photographs.” The CD insert contains publicity photographs and a short biography for each member of the band. The registration specialist will register the claim.

 

If the applicant uses the term “packaging” alone, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to request a more appropriate authorship statement. If the copyrightable authorship on the packaging is stated in terms such as “text and artwork on packaging,” the specialist will register the claim. However, if the work does not contain a sufficient amount of copyrightable authorship to warrant registration, the specialist will refuse to register the claim.

 

Examples:

 

• An application is submitted to register the “packaging” for a toaster. The packaging contains a photograph and a brief description of the product. The registration specialist will ask for permission to remove the term “packaging” and replace it with a more appropriate authorship statement, such as “text, photograph.”

 

• An application is submitted for a CD. The claim is stated as “sound recording and packaging.” The CD insert contains the title of each track and a list of credits, but no artwork or text.

 

The registration specialist will ask for permission to remove the term “packaging,” because the CD insert does not contain artwork or text to support a copyright claim.

 

• An application is submitted to register the “packaging” for a candy bar. The packaging contains the name of the product and a list of the product’s ingredients, but no artwork or text. The registration specialist will refuse to register the claim.