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

708 Joint Works

708 Joint Works

A “joint work” is a work “prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” 17 U.S.C. § 101. A joint work may be registered as a nondramatic literary work if it contains a sufficient amount of literary expression. Examples of works that may satisfy this requirement include essays, articles, textbooks, reference works, children’s books, graphic novels, or any other work that may be jointly prepared by two or more authors.

Ordinarily, each author owns the copyright in the authorship that he or she contributed to the work. In the case of a joint work, all of the authors jointly own the copyright in each other’s contributions and each author owns an undivided interest in the copyright for the work as a whole. See 17 U.S.C. § 201 (A).

When asserting a claim in a joint work, the applicant should provide the name of each author who contributed copyrightable authorship to the work and should provide specific authorship statements for each author. When completing an online application, the authorship information should be provided in the Author Created field, and if applicable, also in the New Material Included field. When completing a paper application on Form TX, this information should be provided in space 2, and if applicable, also in space 6 (B). For guidance on completing these portions of the application, see Chapter 600, Sections 618 and 621. In addition, the applicant should provide the name of the claimant who owns the copyright in that material. For guidance on completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 619.

For a general discussion of joint works, see Chapter 500, Section 505.

[convertkit form=2550354]