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

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807.7 (A) (2) One Videogame, Multiple Platforms


807.7 (A) (2) One Videogame, Multiple Platforms


Videogames are commonly released on several different platforms. Applicants often attempt to register each platform separately. Generally, when the same work is published in different versions, the Office will issue separate registrations for each version only if they contain separable copyrightable material. See Chapter 500, Section 512.


If there are copyrightable differences in the audiovisual material (or the computer program) for each platform, the Office may issue a separate registration for each version. In this situation, the deposit material for each version should show some of the differences. In addition, the applicant should confirm, either in the Note to Copyright Office field or in a cover letter, that the audiovisual material (or computer program) differs between versions. If the applicant does not provide such a statement, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine whether the versions contain copyrightable differences.


If the differences do not appear in the audiovisual content, but instead appear solely in the computer programming that is used to achieve compatibility with the hardware and/or software for a particular device, console, platform, or operating system, the applicant should register only one version of the audiovisual work. This version will cover the copyrightable content in the other versions. For guidance in registering multiple versions of a computer program that generates a videogame, see Chapter 700, Section 721.8.


NOTE: If the audiovisual material is the same for each platform and the versions are published on separate dates, the applicant must register the version which was published first.


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