Information Needed to File Copyright

Information needed to file for copyright   To complete the registration forms properly, you (or the attorney preparing the registration) will need to know the answers to the following questions:

  1.  What is the title of the work?
  2. Have there been any previous or alternative titles?
  3. Was this work part of a larger work, such as a periodical, serial, or collection?
  4. What are the names of all of the authors?  (This is asking for the name(s) of the person/people who created the work, not the person who is claiming copyright.  If the work is a work “made for hire”, then the copyright owner is the same as the author.  Although “made for hire” sounds like it should cover work that an independent contractor does for pay, it doesn’t cover that.  Work done by an independent contractor must be assigned in writing to the owner, or it is owned by the independent contractor.  A work is “made for hire” if either the work was work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or there is a written agreement between the parties specifying that the work is a work made for hire, AND it comes within one of the following ten categories of works: (i) contribution to a collective work, (ii) part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, (iii) translation, (iv) supplementary work (i.e., prepared for publication as a secondary adjunct to another author’s work such as an index or forward), (v) compilation, (vi) instructional text, (vii) test, (viii) answer material for a test, or (ix) atlas.)
  5. What is the country of citizenship or domicile of each author?
  6. Was each authors’ name (as opposed to a pseudonym) identified on the copies of the work?  (If not, there will be additional questions to answer as to how to report the anonymous or pseudonymous authors’ information in the registration form.)
  7. OPTIONAL:  What is the year of birth of each author?  (Month and day of birth are not necessary).
  8. If any author (who is not anonymous or pseudonymous) is deceased, what is the year of death?  (Month and day of death are not necessary).  (Answer is optional for any deceased anonymous or pseudonymous author).
  9. What did each author contribute to the work being registered?
  10. What was the year in which the work was completed?
  11. If the work is already published, what is the month, day, and year of publication?  (“Publication” is defined as “the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.”  A work is also “published” if there has been an “offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display.”  If your work is not yet published, but will be published later, you may need to seek registration again once the work is published.  See Circular 7d, “Mandatory Deposit of Copies or Phonorecords for the Library of Congress”.)
  12. Who will own the copyright, and is the owner a person, persons, a corporation, or other entity?
  13. What is the address of the copyright owner?
  14. Has this work or any earlier version been registered for copyright before?
  15. Is this work based on or does it incorporate any previously-existing work?