Copyright Compendium

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721.9 (I) Unclear Terminology for an Application to Register a Computer Program

721.9 (I) Unclear Terminology for an Application to Register a Computer Program


The authorship that the applicant intends to register should be clearly identified in the application, and the claim to copyright in that authorship should be clearly stated. If the claim to copyright is unclear, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse registration. Examples of unclear terms include the following or any combination of the following:


• Adaptation (if it appears that the program was merely adapted to run on different hardware)


• Automation


• Cells


• Commands


• Compilation


• Computerized


• Debugging


• Editing


• Enhancements


• Entire program code


• Entire text


• Entire work


• Error corrections


• Features


• Macro(s)


• New programming text


• Patching


• Program text


• Programmer


• Programming text


• Search engine


• Text


• Text of computer program


• Text of computer game


If the applicant combines an acceptable authorship term with the term “text,” such as “computer program and text” or “text and program code,” the registration specialist will examine the deposit copy(ies) to determine if the work contains copyrightable text that is not part of the computer program. If the work does not appear to contain copyrightable text apart from the text of the computer program, the specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse to register that aspect of the claim.