Copyright Compendium

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619.9 A Party That Owns One or More – but Less than All – of the Exclusive Rights May File an Application to Register a Copyright Claim, but Cannot Be Named as the Copyright Claimant

619.9 A Party That Owns One or More – but Less than All – of the Exclusive Rights May File an Application to Register a Copyright Claim, but Cannot Be Named as the Copyright Claimant


A party that owns one or more – but less than all – of the rights that initially belonged to the author cannot register the copyright in that party’s own name (i.e., naming itself as the claimant). However, that party may certify and submit an application to register the copyright in the author’s name. In this situation, the author is considered the claimant, and the party that owns one or more of the exclusive rights is considered the applicant. See Registration of Copyright: Definition of Claimant, 77 Fed. Reg. at 29,258. Although that party cannot be named as the copyright claimant, it may identify itself in the public record by recording the transfer or other document pertaining to copyright that transferred the exclusive rights from the author or the author’s successor(s) in interest to that party. Id. at n.1.