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

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806.6 (B) Capacity for Uniform Performance

806.6 (B) Capacity for Uniform Performance

As discussed in Section 806.3, a pantomime may be embodied in a visually perceptible form, provided that the deposit copy(ies) identifies the precise movements, gestures, and facial expressions of the performer and provided that it is sufficiently detailed to serve as directions for the performance of the work.

If the deposit copy(ies) is not sufficiently specific or if it is so general and lacking in detail that the pantomime could not be performed therefrom, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant or may refuse to register the work as a pantomime. In some cases, it may be possible to register a textual description as a literary work if the application asserts a claim in “text” and it may be possible to register a photograph or drawing as a work of the visual arts if the applicant asserts a claim in “artwork.” In both cases, the registration would extend to the description, depiction, or illustration of the movements, but the movements themselves would not be registered as a pantomime. See Registration of Claims to Copyright, 77 Fed. Reg. at 37607.

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