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

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804.8 (D) Publication Issues


804.8 (D) Publication Issues


If the applicant provides a date of publication in the application, but states that the date refers to a performance of the work, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant, because a performance, in and of itself, does not constitute a publication.


Publication of a motion picture or other audiovisual work publishes all of the components of that work. Once a dramatic work has been published as part of a motion picture or television show, the dramatic work may not be registered as an unpublished work. See Maljack Productions Inc. v. UAV Corp., 964 F. Supp. 1416, 1421 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (finding that publication of the 1963 film McLintock! published all underlying works embodied in the film, including screenplays).


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