Relationship Between the First, Second, and Third Editions of the Compendium
This version of the Third Edition governs registrations and recordations issued by the
U.S. Copyright Office on or after January 28, 2021. Registrations and recordations issued between December 22, 2014 and January 27, 2021 are generally governed by the prior versions of the Third Edition, except in cases where those versions have been superseded by an amendment to the regulations, intervening case law, or previously announced changes in practice.
To the extent there is a conflict between the Third Edition and Compendiums I or II, the current version shall control. That said, the Third Edition does not comprehensively cover all of the Office’s practices under the prior copyright law. To the extent that issues arise that are not addressed by the Third Edition, Compendiums I and II remain in effect and continue to be the governing administrative manuals for practices involving those issues.
In particular, the Third Edition generally does not address practices under the Copyright Act of 1909. Compendium I continues to be the controlling manual for registrations, renewals, and recordations issued by the Office prior to January 1, 1978, and for the registration requirements for works published before January 1, 1978 that were never registered for the original copyright term. For ease of reference, however, Chapter 2100 of the Third Edition summarizes most of the relevant practices from Compendium I concerning the registration and renewal of such works.
Similarly, the Third Edition does not address all practices involving provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976 that have been amended or repealed since 1978. As a general rule, Compendium II continues to be the relevant administrative manual for registrations, renewals, and recordations issued by the Office between January 1, 1978 and December 22, 2014. In particular, Chapter 1200 of Compendium II continues to be the governing manual concerning the manufacturing clause, although that Chapter only applies to works published before June 30, 1986, which is the date that the manufacturing clause expired.