Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures


§202.17   Renewals

(a) General.

(1) This section concerns renewal for copyrights originally secured from January 1, 1964, through December 31, 1977, either by publication with the required copyright notice or by registration as an unpublished work. Renewal registration for these works is optional. As provided in Pub. L. No. 102-307, 106 Stat. 264, enacted June 26, 1992, renewal registration made during the last year of the original 28-year term of copyright differs in legal effect from renewal registration made during the 67-year extended renewal term. In the latter instance, the copyright is renewed automatically at the expiration of the original 28-year term. In the former instance, renewal by registration during the last year of the original 28-year term vested the renewal copyright in the statutory claimant living on the date of registration.

(2) Works for which copyright was secured before 1964 are governed by the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 304(a) in effect prior to the 1992 date of enactment of Pub. L. No. 102-307. The copyrights in such works could have been renewed by registration only within the last calendar year of the original 28-year term of copyright protection. If renewal registration was not made during that period of time, copyright protection was lost when the original term of copyright expired and cannot be regained.

(3) Works restored to copyright by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act are governed in their copyright term of protection by Pub. L. No. 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809, 4976 (December 8, 1994). Under 17 U.S.C. 104A(a)(1)(A) and (B), as amended, any work in which copyright is restored subsists for the remainder of the term of copyright that the work would have been otherwise granted in the United States. Such term includes the remainder of any applicable renewal term.

(4) Automatic restoration of copyright in certain foreign works that were in the public domain in the United States may have occurred under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act and may be protected by copyright or neighboring rights in their “source country,” as defined at 17 U.S.C. 104A(h)(8).

(b) Definitions.

(1) For purposes of this section, the terms assignee and successor, as they pertain to 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3)(A)(ii), refer to a party which has acquired the renewal copyright in a work by assignment or by other means of legal succession from the statutory claimant [as that claimant is defined in 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(1)(B) and (C)] in whom the renewal copyright vested but in whose name no renewal registration was previously made.

(2) For purposes of this section, a work has been copyrighted when it has been published with a proper copyright notice or, in the case of an unpublished work, when it has been registered for copyright.

(3) 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.

(4) For purposes of this section, the term statutory claimant means:

(i) A party who was entitled to claim copyright for the renewal term at the time renewal registration was made either as a proprietary claimant, 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2)(A)(i), or as a personal claimant, 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2)(B)(i), if registration was made during the original term of copyright; or

(ii) If the original copyright term expired, a party who was entitled to claim copyright for the renewal term as of the last day of the original term of copyright as either a proprietary or a personal claimant, 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2)(A)(ii) and (a)(2)(B)(ii).

(5) For purposes of this section, the term to vest means to give a fixed, non-contingent right of present or future enjoyment of the renewal copyright in a work. If renewal registration was made during the 28th year of the original term of copyright, the renewal copyright vested in the party or parties entitled to claim such copyright at the time of registration as provided by 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(1)(B) and (C). Although the vested right may have been determined by registration during the 28th year of the original term, the exercise of such right did not commence until the beginning of the renewal term, as provided in 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2). If renewal registration was not made during the 28th year, the renewal copyright automatically vested upon the beginning of the renewal term in the party or parties entitled to claim such copyright on the last day of the original term as provided by 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2)(A)(ii) and (B)(ii).

(c) Time limits: original term and renewal term registration.

(1) Under 17 U.S.C. 304(a), prior to its amendment of June 26, 1992, a registration for the original term of copyright must have been made during the 28 years of that original term, and a renewal registration must also have been made during the 28th year of that term. Pub. L. No. 102-307, 106 Stat. 264 (June 26, 1992) amended section 304(a) for works originally copyrighted from January 1, 1964, through December 31, 1977, and provided for optional original-term registration and optional renewal registration. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2), (a)(3) and 409(11). For such works, claims to renewal copyright could have been registered during the last year of the original term but such registration was not required in order to enjoy statutory protection during the renewal term. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3)(B).

(2) A renewal registration can be made at any time during the renewal term. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3)(A)(ii). If no original-term registration was made, renewal registration remains possible; but the Register may request information, under 17 U.S.C. 409(11), regarding the original term of copyright. Such information must demonstrate that the work complies with all requirements of the 1909 Act with respect to the existence, ownership, or duration of the copyright for the original term of the work. The Form RE/Addendum is used to provide this information.

(3) Renewal registration is currently available for works copyrighted from January 1, 1964, through December 31, 1977. Under the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3)(A)(ii), renewal registration may be made any time during the 67-year renewal term for such works according to the procedure indicated in paragraph (h) of this section. Such renewal registration is optional and is not a condition of the subsistence of the copyright for the 67-year renewal term. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3)(B). In the case of such works for which no registration was made during the original term of copyright, renewal registration may be made by submission of a Form RE/Addendum. The Addendum, an adjunct to the renewal form, concerns the facts of first publication for a work and assures the Copyright Office that the work as it existed in its original term of copyright was in compliance with the 1909 copyright law, 17 U.S.C. 1, et. seq. (1909 Act, in effect through December 31, 1977), whose provisions govern such works.

(d) Benefits of 28th-year renewal registration. Prior to January 1, 2006, renewal registration was available during the 28th year of the original term of copyright for works copyrighted from January 1, 1964, through December 31, 1977. As provided in Pub. L. No. 102-307, 106 Stat. 264, registration made during the 28th year of the original term of copyright provided the following benefits to the registrant:

(1) The certificate of registration constituted prima facie evidence as to the validity of the copyright during its renewal term and of the facts stated in the certificate. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(4)(B).

(2) A derivative work prepared under the authority of a grant of a transfer or license of copyright in a work made before the expiration of the original term of copyright could not continue to be used under the terms of the grant during the renewal term without the authority of the owner of the renewal copyright. 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(4)(A).

(3) The renewal copyright vested upon the beginning of the renewal term in the party entitled to claim the renewal of copyright at the time the application was made as provided under 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(2)(A)(i) and (B)(i).

(e) Statutory parties entitled to claim copyright for the renewal term under Section 304(a).

(1) Renewal claims must be registered in the name of the party or parties entitled to claim copyright for the renewal term as provided in paragraphs (e)(2) through (4) of this section and as specified in 17 U.S.C. 304(a). If a work was a new version of a previously published or registered work, renewal registration may be claimed only in the new matter.

(2) If the renewal claim was submitted during the last, i.e., the 28th, year of the original term of copyright, the claim had to be registered in the name[s] of the statutory claimant[s] entitled to claim the renewal copyright on the date on which the claim was submitted to the Copyright Office. If the renewal claim is submitted during the sixty-seven year extended renewal term, the renewal claim can be registered only in the name[s] of the statutory claimant[s] entitled to claim the renewal on the last day (December 31) of the original term of copyright. These eligible renewal claimants are listed below:

(i) The person who, on the applicable day, was the copyright proprietor is the appropriate renewal claimant in any posthumous work or any periodical, encyclopedia, or other composite work upon which the copyright was originally secured by the proprietor;

(ii) The person who, on the applicable day, was the copyright proprietor is the appropriate claimant in 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 was made for hire;

(iii) For any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopedic or other composite work, the appropriate claimants, in descending order of eligibility, are the person who, on the applicable day, was:

(A) The author(s) of the work, if still living;

(B) The widow(er) and/or child(ren) of the author, if the author was deceased on the applicable day;

(C) The author's executor(s), if still acting in that capacity on the applicable day, provided the author had a will and neither the author, nor any widow(er) or child of the author is still living; or

(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.

(3) The provisions of paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section are subject to the following qualification: Notwithstanding the definition of “posthumous work” in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, a renewal claim may be registered in the name of the proprietor of a work, as well as in the name of the appropriate claimant under paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section, in any case in which 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 either claim.

(4) The provisions of paragraphs (e)(2)(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, removed before the estate has been completely administered, or is deceased at the time of the renewal registration submission, 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 (e) 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 conflicting renewal claims in such a case should not be interpreted as evidencing the validity of either claim.

(f) Successors/assignees entitled to file an application for the renewal term under Section 304(a). The provisions of paragraph (e) of this section are subject to the following qualifications:

(1) Where no renewal registration has been made in the name of a person or entity identified in paragraphs (e)(2)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this section, a renewal application may be filed at any time during the renewal term by any successor or assignee of such person or entity.

(2) In such cases described in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section, the renewal application must identify the party in whom the renewal copyright vested; must indicate the basis upon which copyright for the renewal term vested in that party; must identify the party who is the successor or assignee of the statutory claimant under 17 U.S.C. 304(a)(3); and, must give the manner by which such successor/assignee secured the renewal copyright.

(3) When such a claim has been filed by a successor or assignee in the name of the statutory claimant as described in paragraph (e)(2)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this section, generally no subsequent claims may be filed by other successors or assignees whose rights are derived from the same statutory claimant. If a public record of renewal ownership is sought by other successors or assignees of the same statutory claimant, the document of transfer of the renewal copyright, either the renewal in its entirety or in part, may be recorded in the Copyright Office.

(4) Where a successor or assignee claims the renewal right from the same statutory claimant as does another successor or assignee, the Copyright Office may inquire concerning the situation and, if appropriate, may allow adverse renewal claims from the successors/assignees to be placed on the public record. In such cases, correspondence between the parties filing competing renewal claims and the Copyright Office will be, as always, maintained within Office records and subject to public inspection according to regulations found at 37 CFR 201.2.

(g) Application for renewal registration for a work registered in its original 28-year term.

(1) Each application for renewal registration shall be submitted on Form RE. All forms are available free of charge via the Internet by accessing the U.S. Copyright Office homepage at http://www.copyright.gov. Copies of Form RE are also available free upon Request. Requests should be mailed to the address specified in §201.1 of this chapter.

(2)

(i) An application for renewal registration may be submitted by any eligible statutory renewal claimant as specified in paragraph (e) of this section or by the duly authorized agent of such claimant, or by the successor or assignee of such claimant as provided under paragraph (f) of this section or by the duly authorized agent of such successor or assignee.

(ii) An application for renewal registration shall be accompanied by the required fee as set forth in 37 CFR 201.3. 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 a successor or assignee, or the duly authorized agent of such claimant or of such successor or assignee (whose identity shall also be given);

(B) The handwritten signature of such claimant, successor or assignee, 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.

(3) Once a renewal registration has been made, the Copyright Office will not accept another application for renewal registration on behalf of the same renewal claimant.

(h) Renewal with addendum registration for an unregistered work

(1) General. For published works copyrighted from January 1, 1964, through December 31, 1977, where no registration was made during the original term of copyright and where renewal registration is sought during the 67-year renewal term, the Form RE/Addendum must be used to provide information concerning the original term of copyright. The Form RE/Addendum requires a separate fee and the deposit of one copy or phonorecord of the work as first published (or identifying material in lieu of a copy or phonorecord). The effective date of registration for a renewal claim submitted on a Form RE/Addendum is the date the Copyright Office receives an acceptable completed application, the required fees, and an acceptable deposit for the work.

(2) Time Limits. A renewal claim accompanied by an Addendum to Form RE may be filed at any time during the 67-year renewal term.

(3) Content. The Form RE/Addendum 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 nation 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, and thereafter until March 1, 1989 [effective date of the Berne Implementation Act of 1988], all the copies or phonorecords of the work, including reprints of the work, published, i.e., publicly distributed in the United States or elsewhere, under the authority of the author or other copyright proprietor, bore the copyright notice required by the Copyright Act of 1909 and that United States copyright subsists in the work;

(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 Form RE/Addendum must also contain information about the country of manufacture and the manufacturing processes; and

(ix) The handwritten signature of the renewal claimant or successor or assignee, or the duly authorized agent of the claimant or of the successor or assignee. The signature shall be accompanied by the printed or typewritten name of the person signing the Addendum and by the date of the signature; and shall be immediately preceded by a declaration that the statements made in the application are correct to the best of that person's knowledge.

(4) Fees. Form RE and Form RE/Addendum must be accompanied by the required fee for each form as required in 37 CFR 201.3.

(5) Deposit requirement. One copy or phonorecord or identifying material of the work as first published in accordance with the deposit requirements set out in 37 CFR 202.20 and 202.21 is required.

(6) Waiver of the deposit requirement. Where the renewal applicant asserts that it is either impossible or otherwise an undue hardship to satisfy the deposit requirements of 37 CFR 202.20 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 descending order of preference. In every case, however, proof of the copyright notice showing the content and location of the notice as it appeared on copies or phonorecords of the work as first published must be included.

(i) A reproduction of the entire work as first published (e.g., photocopy, videotape, audiotape, CD-ROM, DVD are examples of physical media which may hold reproductions of a work as first published). If the work is a contribution to a periodical, a reproduction of only the contribution (including the relevant copyright notice) will suffice.

(ii) A reprint of the work (e.g., a later edition, a later release of a phonorecord, or the like). The reprint must show the copyright notice as it appeared in the same location within the first published copy of the work as well as the exact content of the copyright notice appearing in the first published edition. If the copyrightable content of the reprint differs from that of the first published edition, an explanation of the differences between the two editions is required.

(iii) Identifying material including a reproduction of the greatest feasible portion of the copyrightable content of a work including a photocopy or photograph of the title page, title screen, record label or the like, as first published, and a photocopy or photograph showing the copyright notice content and location as first published. The Copyright Office may request deposit of additional material if the initial submission is inadequate for examination purposes.


[72 FR 61803, Nov. 1, 2007, as amended at 73 FR 37839, July 2, 2008; 78 FR 42875, July 18, 2013]


Source: GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/)
Data current as of November 19, 2014.