808.10 (A) (3) (A) Identifying the Authors of a Joint Work
Generally, when a motion picture is a “joint work,” the applicant should name all of the authors of that work, although the Office will accept an application that names only the major author(s). The major authors of a motion picture are usually the director or producer. For certain types of works, the camera operator, animator, or performer also may be considered major authors.
• The applicant names the director as the sole author of a motion picture. The work is not a major commercial production. The credits name the director, as well as the producer and camera operator of the work. The registration specialist will register the claim.
• The applicant submits a “how to” video. The camera focuses mainly on an individual who delivers a lecture and performs a demonstration. The applicant names the lecturer as the sole author of the work. The registration specialist will register the claim.
• The applicant submits an application to register an episode of a television series, and names the editor as the sole author of the work. “Editing” is not a sufficient basis for asserting a claim in an entire motion picture. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to clarify the facts of the authorship.