Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

808.10 (A) (3) (B) Clarifying Joint Authorship

808.10 (A) (3) (B) Clarifying Joint Authorship


In some cases the applicant names two or more authors, but the motion picture does not appear to be a joint work. If so, the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant to determine whether the motion picture satisfies the statutory definition of a joint work.


Examples:


• An applicant names two authors/claimants: one created the motion picture, and the other composed the theme music. If the work does not appear to be “made for hire,” the registration specialist may communicate with the applicant to determine whether the music and motion picture are separately owned and should be registered separately, particularly if the contributions are unequal and if it seems unlikely that the composer is a co-owner of the rights in the motion picture.


• A music video is submitted for registration naming the songwriter and director/producer as co-authors. The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine whether the song and video are owned separately by their respective authors.

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