Copyright Compendium

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621.7 Copyrightable Material That Is Owned by an Individual or Entity Other Than the Claimant

621.7 Copyrightable Material That Is Owned by an Individual or Entity Other Than the Claimant


If the applicant intends to register a work that contains an appreciable amount of copyrightable material that is not owned by the claimant named in the application, that material should be excluded from the claim using the procedure described in Section 621.8 (B).


The applicant should make this determination on the date that the work is submitted to the Office. In other words, if the work being registered includes an appreciable amount of material that is not owned by the copyright claimant as of the date that the application is filed, the applicant should exclude that material from the claim, and the application should be limited to the material that is owned by the claimant.


The date of creation and the date of publication for the work that the applicant intends to register are irrelevant to this determination. In other words, material that is owned by another party should be disclaimed, regardless of whether that material was created before or simultaneously with the work that the applicant intends to register. Likewise, it should be disclaimed regardless of whether a third party acquired the copyright in that material before or after the date of creation or the date of publication for the work that the applicant intends to register.


Example:


• Francis Toldvey wrote a book about Leonard Bernstein that contains extensive passages from the composer’s letters, diaries, and memoirs. Francis disclaims this material by stating “passages by Leonard Bernstein” in the Material Excluded field of the online application, and he limits the claim to the new authorship that appears in the rest of the book by stating “all remaining text” in the New Material Included field. The registration specialist will register the claim.

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