Group Registration of Unpublished Works: Author/Claimant
Generally, the “author” is the person or persons who created or co-created the works being registered. (Note: There is a limited exception to this rule if you are registering a “work made for hire.”)
The author or co-authors named in the application must be the creator or co-creator of each and every work in the group. In other words, each and every work in the group must be created or co-created by the same author(s).
In addition, the author or co-authors must be named as the “claimant” or “co-claimant” for each and every work in the group. For example, if you want to register 5 works created solely by Peter, Peter must be named as the claimant for those works. If you want to register 5 works and if each work was jointly created by Peter, Paul, and Mary, each person must be named as a co-author and co-claimant for all of those works.
To be clear, the author or co-authors must be named as the claimant or co-claimants for all the works being registered, even if the author(s) do not own the copyright in those works. For instance, if Peter created 5 works and transferred all of his rights to his music publishing company, Peter should still be named as the claimant for each works (not the music publisher).
If a third party owns one or more of the exclusive rights in a particular work, you may add that information to the Copyright Office’s records by recording a copy of the document that transferred those rights to the third party. If that work has been registered and if the title and registration number are included in the document, the Office may cross-reference the recordation and registration records may be cross-referenced with each other in the Office’s database.
Important note: If a third party owns all of the exclusive rights in a particular work, that party may be named as the copyright claimant (instead of naming the author as the claimant). But to do so, you must prepare a separate application, filing fee, and deposit for each individual work, and you must submit the claim using the Standard Application (rather than the application for a “Group of Unpublished Works”).