Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 200
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Chapter 800
Chapter 900
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Chapter 1500
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Chapter 2200
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Chapter 2400

802.5 (A) Independent Creation

802.5 Copyrightable Authorship in Musical Works 802.5 (A) Independent Creation


A musical work must originate from the author of that work to be protected by copyright. A musical work that is merely copied from another source is not copyrightable. For instance, a musical work consisting entirely of common property material would not constitute original authorship. Some examples of common property musical material include:


• Diatonic or chromatic scales.


• Arpeggios.


• Chord symbols based on standard chord progressions.


See 37 C.F.R. § 202.1 (D); see also Chapter 300, Section 313.4 (D).