Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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621.8 (B) Identifying Unclaimable Material That Should Be Excluded from the Claim

621.8 (B) Identifying Unclaimable Material That Should Be Excluded from the Claim

If the applicant intends to register a work that contains an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, the applicant should exclude that material from the claim.

When completing an online application the applicant should identify the unclaimable material by checking one or more of the boxes that appear on the Limitation of Claim screen in the field marked Material Excluded that accurately describe the previously published material, previously registered material, public domain material, or separately owned material that appears in the work. The options for each type of work are listed below:

Literary Works

• Text

• Artwork

• Photograph(s)

• Computer program

Works of the Visual Arts

• 2-D artwork

• Photograph

• Jewelry design

• Architectural work

• Sculpture

• Technical drawing

• Map

Works of the Performing Arts

• Lyrics

• Music

• Musical arrangement

• Text

Sound Recordings

• Sound recording

Motion Pictures and Audiovisual Works

• Script/Screenplay

• Preexisting music

• Preexisting footage

• Preexisting photograph(s)

Single Issue of a Serial Publication

• Text

• Artwork

• Translation

• Compilation

• Photograph(s)

For a definition and discussion of these terms, see Section 618.4 (C).

If the terms provided in the checkboxes do not fully describe the unclaimable material that appears in the work, the applicant should provide a more specific description in the space marked Material Excluded/Other. Currently, the total amount of text that may be provided in both the Material Excluded and the New Material Included fields is limited to 1800 characters.

NOTE: If you complete the Material Excluded field, you also must the complete the New Material Included field (and vice versa). If you fail to complete both portions of the Limitation of Claim screen, the application will not be accepted by the electronic registration system. For guidance in completing the New Material Included field, see Section 621.8 (C).

When completing a paper application, the applicant should provide a brief statement on space 6 (A) of the application under the heading Preexisting Material that accurately describes the unclaimable material that should be excluded from the claim.

If the work does not contain an appreciable amount of unclaimable material, the Material Excluded field of the online application or space 6 (A) of the paper application may be left blank.

For representative examples that demonstrate how to complete this portion of the application, see Section 621.8 (E).

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