[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 37, Volume 1]
[Revised as of July 1, 1999]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 37CFR201.7]

[Page 348-349]
PART 201--GENERAL PROVISIONS--Table of Contents
Sec. 201.7  Cancellation of completed registrations.

    (a) Definition. Cancellation is an action taken by the Copyright 
Office whereby either the registration is eliminated on the ground that 
the registration is invalid under the applicable law and regulations, or 
the registration number is eliminated and a new registration is made 
under a different class and number.
    (b) General policy. The Copyright Office will cancel a completed 
registration only in those cases where:
    (1) It is clear that no registration should have been made because 
the work does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or fails to 
satisfy the other legal and formal requirements for obtaining copyright;
    (2) Registration may be authorized but the application, deposit 
material, or fee does not meet the requirements of the law and Copyright 
Office regulations, and the Office is unable to get the defect 
corrected; or
    (3) An existing registration in the wrong class is to be replaced by 
a new registration in the correct class.
    (c) Circumstances under which a registration will be cancelled. (1) 
Where the Copyright Office becomes aware after registration that a work 
is not copyrightable, either because the authorship is de minimis or the 
work does not contain authorship subject to copyright, the registration 
will be cancelled. The copyright claimant will be notified by 
correspondence of the proposed cancellation and the reasons therefor, 
and be given 30 days, from the date the Copyright Office letter is 
mailed, to show cause in writing why the cancellation should not be 
made. If the claimant fails to respond within the 30 day period, or if 
the Office after considering the response, determines that the 
registration was made in error and not in accordance with title 17 
U.S.C., Chapters 1 through 8, the registration will be cancelled.
    (2) When a check received in payment of a registration fee is 
returned to the Copyright Office marked ``insufficient funds'' or is 
otherwise uncollectible the Copyright Office will immediately cancel any 
registration(s) for which the dishonored check was submitted and will 
notify the remitter the registration has been cancelled because the 
check was returned as uncollectible.
    (3) Where registration is made in the wrong class, the Copyright 
Office will cancel the first registration, replace it with a new 
registration in the correct class, and issue a corrected certificate.
    (4) Where registration has been made for a work which appears to be 
copyrightable but after registration the Copyright Office becomes aware 
that, on the administrative record before the Office, the statutory 
requirements have apparently not been satisfied, or

[[Page 349]]

that information essential to registration has been omitted entirely 
from the application or is questionable, or correct deposit material has 
not been deposited, the Office will correspond with the copyright 
claimant in an attempt to secure the required information or deposit 
material or to clarify the information previously given on the 
application. If the Copyright Office receives no reply to its 
correspondence within 30 days of the date the letter is mailed, or the 
response does not resolve the substantive defect, the registration will 
be cancelled. The correspondence will include the reason for the 
cancellation. The following are instances where a completed registration 
will be cancelled unless the substantive defect in the registration can 
be cured:
    (i) Eligibility for registration has not been established;
    (ii) A work published before March 1, 1989, was registered more than 
5 years after the date of first publication and the deposit copy or 
phonorecord does not contain a statutory copyright notice;
    (iii) The deposit copies or phonorecords of a work published before 
January 1, 1978 do not contain a copyright notice or the notice is 
    (iv) A renewal claim was registered after the statutory time limits 
for registration had apparently expired;
    (v) The application and copy(s) or phonorecord(s) do not match each 
other and the Office cannot locate a copy or phonorecord as described in 
the application elsewhere in the Copyright Office or the Library of 
    (vi) The application for registration does not identify a copyright 
claimant or it appears from the transfer statement on the application or 
elsewhere that the ``claimant'' named in the application does not have 
the right to claim copyright;
    (vii) A claim to copyright is based on material added to a 
preexisting work and a reading of the application in its totality 
indicates that there is no copyrightable new material on which to base a 
    (viii) A work subject to the manufacturing provisions of the Act of 
1909 was apparently published in violation of those provisions;
    (ix) For a work published after January 1, 1978 the only claimant 
given on the application was deceased on the date the application was 
    (x) A work is not anonymous or pseudonymous and statements on the 
application and/or copy vary so much that the author cannot be 
identified; and
    (xi) Statements on the application conflict or are so unclear that 
the claimant cannot be adequately identified.
    (d) Minor substantive errors. Where a registration includes minor 
substantive errors or omissions which would generally have been 
rectified before registration, the Copyright Office will attempt to 
rectify the error through correspondence with the remitter. Except in 
those cases enumerated in paragraph (c) of this section, if the Office 
is unable for any reason to obtain the correct information or deposit 
copy the registration record will be annotated to state the nature of 
the informality and show that the Copyright Office attempted to correct 
the registration.

[50 FR 40835, Oct. 7, 1985, as amended at 60 FR 34168, June 30, 1995]