Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

620.5 Joint Works

620.5 Joint Works


If the work submitted for registration is a joint work, then as discussed in Section 613.5, the applicant should provide the name of each author who contributed copyrightable authorship to that work. In addition, the applicant should provide the name of the person who owns or co-owns the copyright in that work.


If the applicant names all the joint authors as co-claimants, there is no need to provide a transfer statement.


Example:


• An online application is submitted for a sound recording that appears to be a joint work. Maria Irantzu, Maria Ines, and Maria Imelda are named as co-authors and co-claimants of the performance embodied in this recording. The registration specialist may register the claim without communicating with the applicant.


Likewise, no transfer statement is required if all the joint authors are named as co- authors of the work, and if one or more – ” but less than all – ” of those joint authors are named as the claimant.


Example:


• An online application is submitted for a children’s book that appears to be a joint work. Lucinda and Vanessa Perez are named as co-authors of this work. Lucinda is named as the sole copyright claimant, but no transfer statement has been provided. The registration specialist may register the claim without communicating with the applicant.


By contrast, if the applicant names a third party as the claimant for a joint work, the applicant should provide a transfer statement that explains how that party acquired the copyright in that work. If the claimant obtained the copyright from two or more joint authors using a different means for each transfer, the applicant should provide an appropriate transfer statement for each author.


Example:


• An online application is submitted for a technical drawing, naming Leon Katz and Wolfgang Fritz as co-authors of this work. Rumpelstiltskin LLC is named as the copyright claimant. In the Note to Copyright Office field the applicant explains that Katz assigned the copyright in this work to Rumpelstiltskin LLC through a bill of sale; Fritz assigned the copyright in this work to Rumpelstiltskin LLC through a trust agreement. The transfer statement reads “by written agreement.” The registration specialist will register the claim; the transfer statement adequately explains how the claimant obtained the copyright from each author.


For a general discussion of joint works, see Chapter 500, Section 505.

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