Intellectual Property & Competition Law

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Did You Know That: Unpublished Works May Registered in Groups of up to 10?

Recently, the U.S. Copyright Office updated its rules to establish a new group registration option for certain types of unpublished works and, thereby replaced the previous accommodation for unpublished collections. The new rule is aimed at benefiting individual creators or small businesses who otherwise might not register their works separately through the more expensive standard registration application.  

  Generally, a group of up to ten unpublished works may be registered in the following administrative classes using a single form: literary, visual arts, performing arts, and sound recordings. However, to be eligible to do so, they must be several requirements, including but not limited that they must: all fall within the same administrative class; not include compilations, databases, collective works or websites; be created by the same author(s); and have the same claimant information. However, there is a limited exception which allows applicants to include up to ten sound recordings together with the musical, dramatic or literary work embodied within each recording.

  Publication is a statutorily defined term, and applicants are responsible for determining whether their works fall within that term or are outside that definition and, thus, are properly considered “unpublished.”  Additionally, it should be noted that this new rule does not limit or replace the quantitatively more liberal rule for photographers by which up to 750 photographs can be included within a group registration application. 

If you would like further information as to group registration of photographs or need assistance with other types of copyright registration and/or enforcing your copyrights, please do not hesitate to call upon us.