Copyright Compendium

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620.4 (B) The Author and the Copyright Claimant Are Different

620.4 (B) The Author and the Copyright Claimant Are Different


If an individual or organization other than the author(s) is named as a claimant or co- claimant, the applicant should provide a brief statement that explains how that party obtained ownership of the copyright. Specifically, the applicant should explain how the claimant acquired all of the rights that initially belonged to the author of that work. 17

U.S.C. § 409 (5).


Examples:


• An online application is submitted for a literary work. Akira Yamato is named as the author; Koi Publishing Inc. is named as the sole copyright claimant. To explain how Koi Publishing Inc. obtained the copyright in this work, the applicant provides a transfer statement that reads “by written agreement.” The registration specialist will register the claim.


• An online application is submitted for an audiovisual work. Pradeep Patel and Faiyaz Ahmed are named as co-authors; Pradeep Patel and Desi Studios LLC are named as co-claimants, but a transfer statement has not been provided. There is no need to provide a transfer statement for Pradeep, because he is one of the authors of the work. However, the registration specialist will ask the applicant to provide a transfer statement that explains how Desi Studios LLC obtained ownership of the copyright in this work.


• An online application is submitted for a graphic work. Franz Gruber is named as the author; Mark Gilbert is named as the sole copyright claimant. The work made for hire box is blank and no transfer statement has been provided. Because Gilbert is not the author of this work, the registration specialist will ask the applicant to provide a transfer statement explaining how he obtained ownership of the copyright.


For instructions on how to provide a transfer statement in an online application or a paper application, see Section 620.9 below.

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