Copyright Compendium

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620.8 Collective Works

620.8 Collective Works


A collective work and the separate and independent works that appear in the collective work may be registered with the same application, provided that the claimant owns the copyright in the individual contributions and the copyright in the collective work as a whole. If the claimant is not the author of the contributions or is not the author of the collective work as a whole, the applicant should provide a transfer statement explaining how the claimant obtained the copyright in that aspect of the work.


Examples:


• An online application is submitted for a book that contains letters written by veterans of the Iraq War. John Roberts is named as the author of the “introduction and the selection, coordination, and arrangement of letters,” and ten individuals are named as the authors of the letters that appear in the book. John is named as the copyright claimant, and the transfer statement states that he obtained the copyright in each letter “by written agreement.” The registration specialist will register the claim.


• An application is submitted for a cookbook titled Backyard Grilling which contains dozens of articles, recipes, photographs, and illustrations. The Brickyard Press is named as the author and copyright claimant; no transfer statement is provided. The registration specialist will register the claim. There is no need to provide a transfer statement, because the Brickyard Press appears to be the author of both the individual contributions and the collective work as a whole.