619.1 Who Is Eligible to Be a Copyright Claimant?
An application for registration must identify the name and address of the copyright claimant. 17 U.S.C. § 409 (1). For purposes of copyright registration, the “claimant” is either the author of the work that has been submitted for registration, or a person or organization that owns all the rights under copyright that initially belonged to the author of that work. 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (A) (3).
A person or entity that owns one or more – but less than all – of the exclusive rights in a work is not eligible to claim ownership of the entire copyright in the records maintained by the U.S. Copyright Office. The Office will not knowingly allow a party that owns less than all the exclusive rights in a work to register the copyright in his or her own name, because this would create a misleading and inaccurate public record and it would subvert the purpose of the registration system. Registration of Claims to Copyright, 43 Fed. Reg. 965, 965 (Jan. 5, 1978).