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

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807.7 (D) Banner Advertisements


807.7 (D) Banner Advertisements


Some banner advertisements are comprised of images and words that flash or scroll (using Java- or flash-based script) across a small window. Banner advertisements also may be comprised simply of images, text, and a link. The Office will consider the work as a whole to determine whether it contains sufficient copyrightable expression.


When registering a banner advertisement with an online application the applicant should state “audiovisual material” in the Author Created/Other field, and if applicable, in the New Material Included/Other field.


As a general rule, applicants should not select the box marked “entire motion picture.” If the advertisement contains a copyrightable series of images, but does not impart an impression of motion, or if the work lacks sufficient authorship as a “motion picture,” the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant and request that the authorship be described as “audiovisual material” rather than “entire motion picture.”




• Michael Williams submits an application to register his claim in a banner advertisement that he created for a local activist organization. The authorship is described as “audiovisual material.” The deposit consists of short, textual phrases that alternate and zoom in and out with a mouse click. Michael’s original song plays in the background. The claim to copyright in this work will be accepted because the work, as a whole, contains a sufficient amount of copyrightable authorship.


• Mika Roberts submits an application to register her claim in a banner advertisement that she created for a local religious organization. The ad consists of a line of scrolling continuous text that is a long quote from the Bible. In the background, a public domain religious hymn plays. The registration specialist will refuse to register this claim. Although there is a series of images, the work contains an insufficient amount of original material to support a copyright claim.


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