17 USC 408
Copyright registration in general
This document contains one section of the U.S. Copyright Act (found in Title 17 of the United States Code). This page was last updated in October 2005. All of the sections of the Copyright Act are listed on the Index page.
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(a)Registration permissive. At any time during the subsistence of the first term of copyright in any published or unpublished work in which the copyright was secured before January 1, 1978, and during the subsistence of any copyright secured on or after that date, the owner of copyright or of any exclusive right in the work may obtain registration of the copyright claim by delivering to the Copyright Office the deposit specified by this section, together with the application and fee specified by sections 409 and 708 [17 USC § §409 and 708]. Such registration is not a condition of copyright protection.
(b)Deposit for copyright registration. Except as provided by subsection (c), the material deposited for registration shall include--
(1)in the case of an unpublished work, one complete copy or phonorecord;
(2)in the case of a published work, two complete copies or phonorecords of the best edition;
(3)in the case of a work first published outside the United States, one complete copy or phonorecord as so published;
(4)in the case of a contribution to a collective work, one complete copy or phonorecord of the best edition of the collective work.
Copies or phonorecords deposited for the Library of Congress under section 407 [17 USC 407] may be used to satisfy the deposit provisions of this section, if they are accompanied by the prescribed application and fee, and by any additional identifying material that the Register may, by regulation, require. The Register shall also prescribe regulations establishing requirements under which copies or phonorecords acquired for the Library of Congress under subsection (e) of section 407 [17 USC 407], otherwise than by deposit, may be used to satisfy the deposit provisions of this section.
(c)Administrative classification and optional deposit.
(1)The Register of Copyrights is authorized to specify by regulation the administrative classes into which works are to be placed for purposes of deposit and registration, and the nature of the copies or phonorecords to be deposited in the various classes specified. The regulations may require or permit, for particular classes, the deposit of identifying material instead of copies or phonorecords, the deposit of only one copy or phonorecord where two would normally be required, or a single registration for a group of related works. This administrative classification of works has no significance with respect to the subject matter of copyright or the exclusive rights provided by this title.
(2)Without prejudice to the general authority provided under clause (1), the Register of Copyrights shall establish regulations specifically permitting a single registration for a group of works by the same individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, including newspapers, within a twelve-month period, on the basis of a single deposit, application, and registration fee, under the following conditions:
(A)if the deposit consists of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published; and
(B)if the application identifies each work separately, including the periodical containing it and its date of first publication.
(3)As an alternative to separate renewal registrations under subsection (a) of section 304 [17 USC 304], a single renewal registration may be made for a group of works by the same individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, including newspapers, upon the filing of a single application and fee, under all of the following conditions:
(A)the renewal claimant or claimants, and the basis of claim or claims under section 304(a) [17 USC 304(a)], is the same for each of the works; and
(B)the works were all copyrighted upon their first publication, either through separate copyright notice and registration or by virtue of a general copyright notice in the periodical issue as a whole; and
(C)the renewal application and fee are received not more than twenty-eight or less than twenty-seven years after the thirty-first day of December of the calendar year in which all of the works were first published; and
(D)the renewal application identifies each work separately, including the periodical containing it and its date of first publication.
(d)Corrections and amplifications. The Register may also establish, by regulation, formal procedures for the filing of an application for supplementary registration, to correct an error in a copyright registration or to amplify the information given in a registration. Such application shall be accompanied by the fee provided by section 708 [17 USC 708], and shall clearly identify the registration to be corrected or amplified. The information contained in a supplementary registration augments but does not supersede that contained in the earlier registration.
(e)Published edition of previously registered work. Registration for the first published edition of a work previously registered in unpublished form may be made even though the work as published is substantially the same as the unpublished version.
(f)Preregistration of works being prepared for commercial distribution.
(1)Rulemaking. Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection [enacted April 27, 2005], the Register of Copyrights shall issue regulations to establish procedures for preregistration of a work that is being prepared for commercial distribution and has not been published.
(2)Class of works. The regulations established under paragraph (1) shall permit preregistration for any work that is in a class of works that the Register determines has had a history of infringement prior to authorized commercial distribution.
(3)Application for registration. Not later than 3 months after the first publication of a work preregistered under this subsection, the applicant shall submit to the Copyright Office--
(4)Effect of untimely application. An action under this chapter [17 USC § §401 et seq.] for infringement of a work preregistered under this subsection, in a case in which the infringement commenced no later than 2 months after the first publication of the work, shall be dismissed if the items described in paragraph (3) are not submitted to the Copyright Office in proper form within the earlier of--