Copyright Compendium

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620.10 (D) (2) (B) Individual Named as Author and Unincorporated Organization Named as Claimant

 

620.10 (D) (2) (B) Individual Named as Author and Unincorporated Organization Named as Claimant

 

If an individual is named as the author and an unincorporated organization is named as the claimant, the application may be accepted without a transfer statement if it is clear that the individual and the organization are the same legal entity or that the organization is merely a trade name or other assumed name for the individual.

 

As a general rule, the registration specialist may conclude that an individual and an unincorporated organization are the same legal entity if the applicant clearly states that the individual is “trading as,” “doing business as,” or “also known as” the organization or that the unincorporated organization is “solely owned by” the individual. Likewise, the specialist may register a claim without a transfer statement if there is a clear relationship between the name of the individual and the name of the unincorporated organization.

 

By contrast, if the individual and the organization appear to be separate legal entities or if the organization appears to be a corporation, the specialist will communicate with the applicant.

 

Examples:

 

• An application is submitted naming William Smith and Edward Brown as the co-authors of a cookbook. The claimant is named as Smith-Brown Company. A transfer statement has not been provided. The registration specialist may register the claim because the company appears to be an unincorporated business, and because there is a clear relationship between the name of the company and the names of the authors.

 

• An application is submitted for a fabric design. Margaret O’Connor is named as the author and Sassy Lass Haute Couture is named as the copyright claimant. A transfer statement has not been provided. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant, because the relationship between the author and the claimant is unclear. In a telephone conversation, Margaret confirms that she does business under the name Sassy Lass Haute Couture. The specialist will add this information to the registration record and will register the claim.

 

• An application for a multimedia work is submitted naming Lark Bradshaw as the author and Lark Bradshaw (Bradshaw Desktop Publishing, Inc.) as the claimant. The transfer statement reads, “Author is sole owner of Bradshaw Desktop.” Because Bradshaw Desktop Publishing Inc. is a corporation, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine whether the claimant is Lark or the corporation. If the corporation is the copyright claimant, the specialist will ask the applicant to provide an appropriate transfer statement.