Copyright Compendium

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625.1 Minimum Requirements for an Acceptable Application

 

625.1 Minimum Requirements for an Acceptable Application

 

To establish an effective date of registration, the U.S. Copyright Office must receive an appropriate application that includes the information required by that particular form. 37 C.F.R. § 202.3 (C) (2).

 

If it appears that the applicant submitted the wrong form, completed the form incorrectly, or attempted to register multiple works with the same form, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse registration.

 

If the applicant made a reasonable, good faith effort to complete the relevant fields/spaces in the application and if the claim is approved, the effective date of registration will be the date that the Office received the application, provided that the applicant satisfied the minimum requirements for an acceptable, complete deposit copy, and paid the applicable filing fee as of that date, and provided there have been no material changes in the facts stated in the application since that date.

 

Examples:

 

• On January 1, 2005 the Office receives an online application for an unpublished manuscript along with the requisite deposit copy and filing fee. The application states that the title of the work is Sunny Days. On February 1, 2005, the applicant notifies the Office that the title of the work should be changed to Sunny Daze. The work will be registered with an effective date of registration of January 1, 2005.

 

• On June 10, 2012, the Office receives an online application for a sound recording, along with the proper deposit copy and filing fee. The application states that the author is a citizen of Iran and that the work was first published in Iraq. On December 10, 2012, the registration specialist notifies the applicant that the work does not appear to be eligible for copyright protection in the United States, because the United States has not signed any copyright treaties with Iran or Iraq. On January 10, 2013 the applicant informs the specialist that the author created this sound recording at a recording studio in Syria. The specialist will add an annotation to the registration record, such as: “Regarding publication: Applicant states the work was first fixed in Syria.” The work will be registered with an effective date of registration of June 10, 2012.

 

• On June 1, 2007 the Office receives a paper application for a product logo naming Light & Lithe as the author, together with the proper deposit copies and filing fee. The claimant space has been left blank but transfer statement “by contract” is given in the Transfer space. On October 1, 2007 the registration specialist notifies the applicant that the name of the claimant does not appear in the application or elsewhere in the registration materials. The applicant provides the claimant’s name, No More Weight, Ltd., to the specialist in a telephone conversation on October 10, 2007, and confirms that the claimant owned all of the rights in this work on June 1, 2007. The specialist will add the claimant’s name to the registration record and will make a note in the correspondence record identifying the source of this information. The work will be registered with an effective date of registration of June 1, 2007.

 

• On August 31, 2007 the Office receives an online application for a musical composition, along with the proper deposit copies and filing fee. The application names Mimi Cameron as the author, and Moonshine LLC as the sole claimant. In a letter dated September 30, 2007 the applicant informs the Office that the copyright actually belongs to Moonbounce LLC, which is a subsidiary of Moonshine LLC.

 

If Moonbounce owned all of the rights in this work as of August 31st, the applicant may remove Moonshine’s name from the application and replace it with “Moonbounce LLC.” Alternatively, the applicant may remove Moonshine’s name from the application and name “Mimi Cameron” as the claimant. In both cases, the work would be registered with an effective date of registration of August 31, 2007.

 

If Moonbounce acquired all of the rights in this work after August 31, 2007, the applicant may remove Moonshine’s name from the application and replace it with “Moonbounce LLC.” In this situation, the effective date of registration would be based on the date that Moonbounce acquired ownership of the work.

 

• On April 15, 2010, Pierce Testing Service submits an application to register five workbooks, along with an appropriate copy of each work and the proper filing fee. The registration specialist will notify the applicant that the workbooks cannot be registered with one application and one filing fee. The specialist may allow the applicant to register one workbook with an effective date of registration of April 15, 2010 and exclude the rest from the claim. Alternatively, the specialist may refuse to register the entire claim and instruct the applicant to submit a separate application, deposit, and filing fee for each workbook. If the applicant subsequently submits the other workbooks in proper form, the effective date of registration for each claim will be based on the date that these materials are received.