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

Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Chapter 100
Chapter 200
Chapter 300
Chapter 400
Chapter 500
Chapter 600
Chapter 700
Chapter 800
Chapter 900
Chapter 1000
Chapter 1100
Chapter 1200
Chapter 1300
Chapter 1400
Chapter 1500
Chapter 1600
Chapter 1700
Chapter 1800
Chapter 1900
Chapter 2000
Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

706 Copyrightable Authorship in Literary Works

706 Copyrightable Authorship in Literary Works

A literary work may be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office if it contains a certain minimum amount of literary expression that originated with the author of that work.

When a registration specialist examines a literary work, he or she determines whether the work contains a sufficient amount of original authorship “expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia.” 17 U.S.C. § 101 (definition of “literary works”). In making this determination, specialists apply the legal standards set forth in the Copyright Act, the Office’s regulations, the Compendium, and the relevant caselaw. However, specialists do not look for any particular style of literary authorship, and they do not judge the “literary merit or qualitative value” of the work. H.R. REP. NO. 94-1476, at 54 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 5667; S. REP. NO. 94-473, at 53


For a general discussion of these legal standards, see Chapter 300, Sections 302 through 308.

[convertkit form=2550354]