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807.7 (A) (1) Videogames Distinguished from Computer Programs

807.7 (A) (1) Videogames Distinguished from Computer Programs


Generally, a videogame contains two major components: the audiovisual material and the computer program that runs the game. If the copyright in the audiovisual material and the computer program are both owned by the same entity, they should be registered together on one application. By contrast, if the copyright in the program and the audiovisual material are owned by different parties, separate applications will be required.


An application to register a videogame should clearly state whether the claim extends to the computer program, the audiovisual material, or both components. If the authorship is described simply as “videogame,” the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant if the scope of the claim is unclear from the deposit material. For example, if the deposit material does not include source code for the computer program, the claim will extend only to the audiovisual material.

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