Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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619.13(P) Future and Contingent Interests

619.13(P) Future and Contingent Interests

An individual or legal entity that owns a future interest in the copyright cannot be named as a copyright claimant. Likewise, an individual or legal entity who may obtain all of the rights under the copyright based upon a future contingency cannot be named as a copyright claimant. In the following examples, the registration specialist would accept an application that names “John Doe” or “John Doe Company” as the copyright claimant, but would ask for permission to remove the name of the party with only a future interest from the Name of Claimant field/space.


• “John Doe, or upon his death, Mary Doe.”

• “John Doe, and by will, Mary Doe.”

• “John Doe, and after ten years, Sam Doe.”

• “John Doe, or if she survives, Mary Doe.”

• “John Doe Company or, should its corporate headquarters move to Iowa, Howard Doe Company.”

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