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

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620.10 (D) (1) (B) Partnerships


620.10 (D) (1) (B) Partnerships


The U.S. Copyright Office may accept an application if it is clear that the copyright was transferred to an unincorporated partnership by operation of law, even if the applicant does not provide a transfer statement. Typically, a partnership is an unincorporated business that is owned by two or more individuals. A partnership necessarily requires a written agreement stipulating that the partners are co-owners of any property held by the partnership, and works created by one of the partners are often considered the property of the partnership as a whole. Therefore, if the applicant names an unincorporated partnership as the claimant, and it is clear that one or more of the authors is a member of the partnership, the application may be accepted even if the applicant fails to provide a transfer statement.




• Jerry Bennett submits an online application for a children’s book. Jerry is named as the author of the text and Richard Bennett is named as the author of the artwork. The claimant is named as “Jerry & Richard Bennett, a partnership.” The registration specialist may register the claim, even though no transfer statement has been provided.


• Mary Joseph and Josephine Mansfield are named as co-authors of a musical work. The claimant is identified as “Two for the Road, a Partnership.” A statement on the phonorecord reads “Mary and Josephine Are Two for the Road.” The registration specialist may register the claim, even if a transfer statement is not provided. The statement that appears on the phonorecord may be added to the registration record with an annotation, such as: “Regarding copyright claimant: Statement on the deposit copy reads ‘Mary and Josephine Are Two for the Road.'”


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