17 U.S. Code § 409. Application for copyright registration
The various clauses of section 409, which specify the information to be included in an application for copyright registration, are intended to give the Register of Copyrights authority to elicit all of the information needed to examine the application and to make a meaningful record of registration. The list of enumerated items was not exhaustive; under the last clause of the section the application may also include “any other information regarded by the Register of Copyrights as bearing upon the preparation or identification of the work or the existence, ownership, or duration of the copyright.”
Among the enumerated items there are several that are not now included in the Copyright Office’s application forms, but will become significant under the life-plus-50 term and other provisions of the bill. Clause (5), reflecting the increased importance of the interrelationship between registration of copyright claims and recordation of transfers of ownership, requires a statement of how a claimant who is not the author acquired ownership of the copyright. Clause (9) requires that, “in the case of a compilation or derivative work” the application include “an identification of any preexisting work or works that it is based on or incorporates, and a brief, general statement of the additional material covered by the copyright claim being registered.” It is intended that, under this requirement, the application covering a collection such as a song-book or hymnal would clearly reveal any works in the collection that are in the public domain, and the copyright status of all other previously-published compositions. This information will be readily available in the Copyright Office.
The catch-all clause at the end of the section will enable the Register to obtain more specialized information, such as that bearing on whether the work contains material that is a “work of the United States Government.” In the case of works subject to the manufacturing requirement, the application must also include information about the manufacture of the copies.
2010—Par. (9) to (11). Pub. L. 111–295 inserted “and” after semicolon at end of par. (9), redesignated par. (11) as (10), and struck out former par. (10) which read as follows: “in the case of a published work containing material of which copies are required by section 601 to be manufactured in the United States, the names of the persons or organizations who performed the processes specified by subsection (c) of section 601 with respect to that material, and the places where those processes were performed; and”.
1992—Pub. L. 102–307 inserted at end “If an application is submitted for the renewed and extended term provided for in section 304(a)(3)(A) and an original term registration has not been made, the Register may request information with respect to the existence, ownership, or duration of the copyright for the original term.”
Amendment by Pub. L. 102–307 effective June 26, 1992, but applicable only to copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, and not affecting court proceedings pending on June 26, 1992, with copyrights secured before January 1, 1964, governed by section 304(a) of this title as in effect on the day before June 26, 1992, except each reference to forty-seven years in such provisions deemed to be 67 years, see section 102(g) of Pub. L. 102–307, as amended, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.