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

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804.9 (B) Joint Authors

804.9 (B) Joint Authors

If the dramatic work is a joint work, the applicant should name all of the joint authors and describe the contributions of each author, but should name only the authors who contributed copyrightable, tangible expression to the work. For instance, if one person contributed the story idea and a second person contributed the script, the applicant should name only the author of the script.


• The work is a screenplay which states “screenplay by Tom Lamb and Susan French.” The applicant should name both individuals as the authors of this work.

• The work is a script which states “story idea by Tina Black, script by Eric Wright.” The applicant should name Eric as the author of the script, but should not name Tina in the application unless she contributed copyrightable expression to the script.

For additional guidance in completing this portion of the application, see Chapter 600, Section 613.

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