618.8 (A) (9) Research
As a general rule, the applicant should use one or more of the terms set forth in Section 618.4 (C) to describe the authorship that the applicant intends to register.
The term “research” should not be used in the Author Created field or the Nature of Authorship space, because it does not specify copyrightable authorship. It also suggests that the applicant may be asserting a claim in the facts that appear in the work or the effort involved in collecting that information, rather than the expression that the author used to communicate facts or information.
• An application for a research paper on the Civil War is submitted naming Dr. Len Pittenger as the author of “text.” The paper is based on the author’s extensive research at the Library of Congress. The registration specialist will register the claim.
If the applicant asserts a claim in “research” together with another form of copyrightable authorship, such as “text,” the registration specialist may register the claim with an annotation indicating that “research” is not copyrightable.
If the applicant mentions only “research” in the Author Created field or the Nature of Authorship space, the specialist may register the claim if it is clear from the deposit copy(ies) that the author contributed copyrightable authorship to the work. In this situation, the specialist will add an annotation stating that research is not copyrightable and identifying the copyrightable material that appears in the work.
• An application is submitted for a scientific paper. The applicant names Dr. Anthony Schleicher and Dr. Ron Ayotte as the authors of “research.” A statement on the deposit copy reads “by Drs. Schleicher and Ayotte.” If the work contains a sufficient amount of copyrightable text, the claim may be registered with an annotation such as: “Regarding authorship information: Research itself not copyrightable. Compendium 707.2. Registration extends to text deposited.”
If the applicant uses the term “research” in the application, and if the applicant appears to be asserting a claim in the facts that appear in the work or the effort involved in collecting those facts, the specialist (I) may communicate with the applicant, (ii) may add an annotation stating that “research” (i.e., the underlying facts, concepts, and ideas) is not copyrightable and identifying the copyrightable material that appears in the work, or (iii) may refuse to register the claim.
• An application is submitted for a genealogy containing text and a list of various names and dates. The applicant states that the author “researched old courthouse records.” It appears that the applicant may be asserting a claim in facts or the effort involved in locating those facts, rather than the text and compilation of information that appear in the work. The registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may register the claim with an annotation such as: “Regarding authorship information: Research itself not copyrightable. Compendium 707.2. Registration extends to text deposited.”
• An application is submitted for a website containing old photographs with text explaining the significance of each image. The applicant states that Betsy Liu “researched photos and wrote explanation” and that Linda Chan “researched photos and provided information.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant. Betsy apparently selected the photographs and wrote the text, but it is unclear whether Linda contributed any copyrightable authorship. The specialist will ask the applicant for permission to replace Betsy’s authorship statement with a more appropriate term, such as “text and compilation of photographs.” If Linda contributed only facts or research, the specialist will ask for permission to remove all of Linda’s information from the registration record.