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

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807.2 (D) Audiovisual Works Distinguished from Literary Works

807.2 (D) Audiovisual Works Distinguished from Literary Works

Audiovisual works may include text and a screen display comprised solely of text may constitute an “image” within an audiovisual work. The statutory definition of a literary work specifically states that this category does not include audiovisual works. See 17

U.S.C. § 101 (defining “literary works” as “works, other than audiovisual works”). Thus, continuous text, such as the text of a book, magazine, journal, or other literary work appearing on the screen of a device such as a tablet or karaoke machine would not be considered an audiovisual work.

For information regarding the copyrightability and registrability of literary works see Chapter 700.

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