Prints include a wide variety of pictorial and graphic works, such as greeting cards, postcards, posters, decals, stationery, illustrations, and other abstract and representational designs. This category also includes advertisements, billboards, brochures, and other two-dimensional works “intended for use in advertising and commerce.” H.R. REP. NO. 94-1476, at 54 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N at 5667.
The U.S. Copyright Office may register a print if it contains at least a minimum amount of original pictorial or graphic authorship. In making this determination, the registration specialist will not consider the artistic merit, aesthetic value, or intrinsic quality of the print. See id. Nor will the Office consider the commercial purpose or intended use of the work. Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co., 188 U.S. 239, 251 (1903) (“A picture is none the less a picture and none the less a subject of copyright that it is used for an advertisement.”).
A copyright claim cannot be based solely on mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring. 37 C.F.R. § 202.1 (A). Likewise, the mere arrangement of type on a page or website cannot support a copyright claim, unless the overall arrangement produces an original pictorial or graphic design, such as a visual representation of a person or product.