619.7 The Author May Be Named as Claimant Even if the Author Has Transferred the Copyright to Another Party
The author may always be named as the copyright claimant, even if the author has transferred the copyright or one or more of the exclusive rights to another party, or even if the author does not own any of the rights under copyright when the application is filed. This is due to the fact that the author always retains a legal or equitable interest in the copyright, even if the copyright has been licensed or assigned to a third party. See generally Registration of Copyright: Definition of Claimant, 77 Fed. Reg. 29,257, 29,258 (May 17, 2012); Applications for Registration of Claim to Copyright Under Revised Copyright Act, 42 Fed. Reg. 48,944, 48,945 (Sept. 26, 1977).
If the author transferred rights to another party, an application to register the copyright in the author’s name may be certified and submitted by any of the following parties:
• The author.
• An owner of all the rights under copyright that initially belonged to the author.
• An owner of one or more – but less than all – of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to the author.
• A duly authorized agent of any of the foregoing parties.
In this situation, the author is considered the claimant, and the party who certified and submitted the application is considered the applicant.