Copyright Compendium

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First and Second Editions of the Compendium

 

First and Second Editions of the Compendium

 

The first edition of the Compendium (commonly referred to as “Compendium I”) governed the Office’s general practices for registration, recordation, and other matters arising under the Copyright Act of 1909. Largely an internal manual, it was directed to the Office’s examining staff. Compendium I was made available to the public for the first time in 1967 and it was last revised in 1973. See U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE, Introduction to COMPENDIUM OF U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE PRACTICES (1st ed. 1973); Inspection and Copying of Records and Other Documents, 32 Fed. Reg. 9314 (June 30, 1967).

 

The second edition of the Compendium (commonly referred to as “Compendium II”) was also designed for internal use. Compendium II reflects the Copyright Office’s general practices for registration, recordation, and other matters arising under the Copyright Act of 1976, prior to the adoption of the Third Edition. It was first published in 1984 and revised in part in 1988 and 1998. In 1988 the Office added Chapter 600 (Registration Procedures) and Chapter 1900 (Records, Indexes and Deposits). In 1995 the Office amended Chapter 600, § 606.04, which discussed the procedure for requesting reconsideration of a refusal to register. In 1998 the Office revised Chapter 1600 (Recordation of Transfers) and Chapter 1900 (Records, Indexes, and Deposits). See generally Change in Procedure for Recording Certain Multiple Title Documents, 63 Fed. Reg. 23,475 (Apr. 29, 1998); Modification of Appeal Procedure, 60 Fed. Reg. 21,983 (May 4, 1995); Compendium of Copyright Office Practices, 53 Fed. Reg. 20,392 (June 3, 1988); Compendium of Copyright Office Practices, 49 Fed. Reg. 23,125 (June 4, 1984).

 

Although the Copyright Act of 1909 was repealed effective January 1, 1978, Compendium II did not supersede Compendium I. The preface to Compendium II expressly stated that Compendium I continued “to apply to Copyright Office actions, in situations . . . where the provisions of the Copyright Act of 1909, as amended, are dispositive.” U.S. Copyright Office, Preface to Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices (2d ed. 1984). In other words, Compendium I remained the governing administrative manual for all registrations, renewals, and recordations issued by the Office prior to January 1, 1978. It also set forth the registration requirements for works published before January 1, 1978 where the applicant subsequently sought to register the work for the original copyright term (i.e., the first twenty-eight years of the copyright), including issues involving copyright notice and the manufacturing clause.

 

Compendiums I and II are available on the Office’s website. They are also available for inspection and copying in the Records, Research and Certification Section. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.2 (B) (7).