Copyright Compendium

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624.4 (A) Signature Requirements

 

624.4 (A) Signature Requirements

 

As a general rule, the registration specialist will assume that the certification was signed by an authorized individual, unless there is evidence to the contrary in the registration materials.

 

When completing an online application, the individual who certifies the application should provide his or her first and last name.

 

When completing a paper application, the individual who certifies the application should provide a handwritten, printed, or typed signature containing his or her first and last name. The U.S. Copyright Office will accept a photocopy of a handwritten signature, a stamped signature, or a signature provided on a preprinted label. Likewise, the Office will accept a handwritten signature consisting solely of initials or a monogram if it is accompanied by the typed or printed name of the person who certified the application.

 

If the work described in the application is a pseudonymous work, the author may sign the application using his or her pseudonym, provided that the name is clearly identified as a pseudonym in the registration materials. For a detailed discussion of pseudonymous works, see Section 615.2.

 

The application must be certified by an individual. A certification that merely recites the name of a business, company, partnership, or other legal entity is unacceptable. The registration specialist will accept a certification that includes the name of the individual who certified the application, along with the name of that person’s employer or the business or organization that he or she represents.

 

Examples:

 

• An online application is submitted for a product catalog naming Viscous Liquids, LLC as the author and copyright claimant. The certification reads, “Mark Arnett, for Viscous Liquids, LLC.” The claim will be registered.

 

• An online application is submitted for a technical drawing naming Nobel Gas, Inc. as the author and copyright claimant. The certification reads “Executive Vice President and General Counsel.” The registration specialist will ask the applicant to provide the first and last name of the person who certified the application. The specialist will add this name to the registration record, and will add a note indicating that there is correspondence in the file.

 

• An online application is submitted for a prospectus naming Precious Metals Corporation as the author and copyright claimant. The certification reads “Precious Metals.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant and explain that the application must be certified by an individual and that the applicant should provide the first and last name of the certifying individual. The specialist will add this name to the registration record, and will add a note indicating that there is correspondence in the file.