37 CFR 202.17
This document contains one section of Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This page was last updated in November, 2005. You may return to the main 37 CFR Index, or to the index for one of the follow parts:
part 1 (patents);
part 2 (trademarks);
part 3 (assignments);
part 10 (representation); or
part 200+ (copyrights).
(a)General. This section prescribes rules pertaining to the application for renewal copyright under section 304(a) of title 17 of the United States Code, as amended by Public Law 102-307 and Pub. L. 105-298.
(b)Definition. For purposes of this section, the term posthumous work means a work that was unpublished on the date of the death of the author and with respect to which no copyright assignment or other contract for exploitation of the work occurred during the author's lifetime.
(c)Renewal registration optional. For works originally copyrighted between January 1, 1964 and December 31, 1977 renewal registration is optional and not a condition for securing copyright for the new and extended sixty-seven year second term. As provided in Public Law 102-307, 106 Stat. 264 (Act of June 26, 1992), however, renewal of copyright by registration during the last year of the original term and renewal registration during the sixty-seven year extended term, of a copyright renewed without registration by operation of Public Law 102-307 differ in legal effect. Among other effects, renewal of copyright by registration during the last year of the original term vests the renewal copyright in the statutory renewal claimant(s) living on the date of registration.
(d)Original term registration. (1) Registration of a claim to copyright in the original twenty-eight year term is not a pre-condition for making a renewal registration, provided the renewal application is accompanied by an Addendum to Form RE and the deposit copy, phonorecord, or identifying material specified in paragraph (h) of this section.
(2)Original term registration can only be made before the expiration of the original term of copyright in the work.
(e)Renewal time limits. (1) For works originally copyrighted between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, claims to renewal copyright may be registered within the last year of the original term, which begins on December 31 of the 27th year of the copyright, and runs through December 31 of the 28th year of the copyright, or at anytime during the extended sixty-seven year second term, if the second term is renewed by operation of Public Law 102-307, 106 Stat. 264. The original copyright term for a published work is computed from the date of first publication; the term for a work originally registered in unpublished form is computed from the date of registration in the Copyright Office. To vest the renewal copyright by registration, the required renewal application, fee, and, if original term registration has not been made, the Addendum specified in paragraph (h) of this section must be received in the Copyright Office during the prescribed period before the first term of copyright expires. The Copyright Office has no discretion to extend the renewal time limits for vesting of the renewal copyright by registration.
(2)The provisions of paragraph (e)(1) of this section are subject to the following qualification: In order to vest the renewal copyright by registration in any case where the year date in the notice on copies distributed by authority of the copyright owner is earlier than the year of first publication, claims to renewal copyright must be registered within the last year of the original copyright term, which begins on December 31 of the 27th year from the year contained in the notice, and runs through December 31 of the 28th year from the year contained in the notice.
(3)Whenever a renewal applicant has cause to believe that a formal application for renewal, which is intended to vest the renewal copyright by registration, and any accompanying Addendum relating to subsistence of first-term copyright, if sent to the Copyright Office by mail, might not be received in the Copyright Office before expiration of the time limits provided by 17 U.S.C. 304(a) for vesting of the renewal copyright by registration, he or she may apply for renewal registration by telegraphic, telefacsimile, or similar written communication. An application made by this method will be accepted only if:
(i)The message is received in the Copyright Office within the specified time limits for vesting by registration;
(ii)The applicant adequately identifies the work involved, the date of first publication or original registration, the name and address of the renewal claimant, and the statutory basis of the renewal claim;
(iii)The fee for renewal registration, if not already on deposit, is received in the Copyright Office before the time for renewal registration has expired; and
(iv)A formal application for renewal (Form RE) (or a fax copy) and in the case of works under paragraph (h) of this section, an accompanying Addendum relating to the subsistence of first-term copyright are also received in the Copyright Office before April 1 of the following year.
(f)Renewal claimants. (1) Except as otherwise provided by paragraphs (f)(2) and (3) of this section, renewal claims may be registered only in the name(s) of the eligible person(s) falling within one of the following classes of renewal claimants specified in section 304(a) of the copyright law. If the work was a new version of a previous work, renewal may be claimed only in the new matter. If the renewal claim is submitted during the last year of the original term of copyright, the renewal must be made in the name(s) of the statutory claimant(s) entitled to claim the renewal on the date the renewal claim is submitted to the Copyright Office for registration. If the renewal claim is submitted during the sixty-seven year renewal term, the renewal claim can only be registered in the name(s) of the statutory claimant(s) entitled to claim the renewal on the last day (December 31st) of the original term of copyright.
(i)In the case of any posthumous work or of any periodical, encyclopedia, or other composite work upon which the copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, the renewal claim may be registered in the name of the proprietor;
(ii)In the case of any work copyrighted by a corporate body (otherwise than as assignees or licensees of the individual author) or by an employer for whom such work is made for hire, the renewal claim may be registered in the name of the proprietor; and
(iii)In the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopedic or other composite work, the renewal claim may be registered in the name(s) of the following person(s) in descending order of eligibility:
(A)The author of the work, if still living;
(B)The widow, widower, or children of the author, if the author is not living;
(C)The author's executors, if there is a will and neither the author nor any widow, widower, or child of the author is living;
(D)The author's next of kin, in the absence of a will and if neither the author nor any widow, widower, or child of the author is living.
(2)The provisions of paragraph (f)(1) of this section are subject to the following qualification: Notwithstanding the definition of "posthumous work" in paragraph (b) of this section, a renewal claim may be registered in the name of the proprietor of the work, as well as in the name of the appropriate claimant under paragraph (f)(1)(iii) of this section, in any case where a contract for exploitation of the work but no copyright assignment in the work has occurred during the author's lifetime. However, registration by the Copyright Office in this case should not be interpreted as evidencing the validity of the claim.
(3)The provisions of paragraphs (f)(1)(iii)(C) and (D) of this section are subject to the following qualifications:
(i)In any case where:
(A)The author has left a will which names no executor;
(B)The author has left a will which names an executor who cannot or will not serve in that capacity; or
(C)The author has left a will which names an executor who has been discharged upon settlement of the estate or removed before the estate has been completely administered, the renewal claim may be registered either in the name of an administrator cum testamento annexo (administrator c.t.a.) or an administrator de bonis non cum testamento annexo (administrator d.b.n.c.t.a.) so appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(ii)In any case described in paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this section, except in the case where the author has left a will without naming an executor and a court appointed administrator c.t.a. or administrator d.b.n.c.t.a. is in existence at the time of renewal registration, the renewal claim also may be registered in the name of the author's next of kin. However, registration by the Copyright Office of the conflicting renewal claims in these cases should not be interpreted as evidencing the validity of either claim.
(g)Application for renewal registration. (1) Each application for renewal registration shall be submitted on Form RE. Copies of Form RE, and if applicable, the Addendum to Form RE, are available free upon request to the Public Information Office, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559. (2)(i) An application for renewal registration may be submitted by any eligible statutory renewal claimant as specified in paragraph (f) of this section or by the duly authorized agent of any such claimant.
(ii)An application for renewal registration shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee, as required in § 201.3(c). The application shall contain the information required by the form and its accompanying instructions, and shall include a certification. The certification shall consist of:
(A)A designation of whether the applicant is the renewal claimant, or the duly authorized agent of such claimant (whose identity shall also be given);
(B)The handwritten signature of such claimant or agent, accompanied by the typewritten or printed name of that person;
(C)A declaration that the statements made in the application are correct to the best of that person's knowledge; and
(D)The date of certification.
(iii)In the case of an application for renewal registration of a work for which no original registration was made, the application shall be accompanied by an Addendum and deposit material in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section.
(3)Once a renewal registration has been made, the Copyright Office will not accept a duplicate application for renewal registration on behalf of the same renewal claimant.
(h)Addendum for an unregistered work -- (1) Content. If original term registration is not timely made for a work, the renewal application Form RE must be accompanied by an Addendum to Form RE which must contain the following information:
(i)The title of the work;
(ii)The name of the author(s);
(iii)The date of first publication of the work;
(iv)The place of first publication of the work;
(v)The citizenship of the author(s) on the date of first publication of the work;
(vi)The domicile of the author(s) on the date of first publication of the work;
(vii)An averment that, at the time of first publication, all the copies of the work published under the authority of the author or other copyright proprietor bore the copyright notice required by the Copyright Act of 1909, title 17 of the United States Code in effect on December 31, 1977, and that United States copyright subsists in the work; and
(viii)For works of United States origin which were subject to the manufacturing provisions of section 16 of the Copyright Act of 1909 as it existed at the time the work was published, the Addendum must also contain information about the country of manufacture and the manufacturing processes.
(2)Signature. The Addendum must contain the handwritten signature of the renewal claimant or the duly authorized agent of the renewal claimant. The signature shall (i) be accompanied by the printed typewritten name of the person signing the Addendum and by the date of the signature; and (ii) shall be immediately preceded by the following printed or typewritten statement in accordance with section 1746 of title 28 of the United States Code:
I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.
(3)Deposit requirement for an unregistered work. In addition to the Addendum to Form RE, an application for renewal registration of a work for which no original term registration is made must be accompanied by one copy or phonorecord or identifying material of the work as first published in accordance with the deposit requirements set out in sections 202.20 and 202.21 of the Copyright Office regulations for basic registration.
(4)Waiver of the deposit requirement. In a case where the renewal applicant asserts that it is either physically impossible or otherwise an undue hardship to satisfy the deposit requirements of § §1A202.20 and 202.21, the Copyright Office, at its discretion, may, upon receipt of an acceptable explanation of the inability to submit such copy or identifying material, permit the deposit of the following in the descending order of preference:
(i)A reprint, photocopy, or identifying reproduction of the work as first published; or (ii)(A) A photocopy of the title page of the work as first published;
(B)A photocopy of the page of the work as first published bearing the copyright notice;
(C)A specification as to the location, relative to each other, of the title and notice pages of the work as first published, if the pages are different; and
(D)A brief description of the copyrightable content of the work, which is sufficient to enable the Copyright Office to examine the work. The Examining Division of the Copyright Office may request deposit of additional descriptive material if the original submission is inadequate.