The definition of “publication” in the U.S. copyright law does not specifically address online transmission. However, “publication” may include the public distribution of copies by means of electronic transmission (e.g., over the internet). The applicant, who knows the facts surrounding distribution of copies of a work, must determine whether the work has been published or not (read more).

If you determine the online work has been published, give the complete date and nation of first publication in the space provided. Give a single nation of first publication; this may be the nation where the work is uploaded.

For a revised version, the publication date should be the date the revised version was first published, not the date the original version first appeared online. Note: The registration for a revised version covers only the new and revised authorship in that version.

Note: If the same work is published both online and by the distribution of physical copies and these events occur on different dates, the publication date should refer to whichever occurred first.

Year of Completion (Year of Creation)

Give the year in which creation of this work was completed. Also, this should be the year this particular version was completed. Do NOT refer to earlier or later versions. Note: This year cannot be later than the year of publication.

Date of First Publication

Give the month, day, and year the work was first published in any country. If you do not know the exact date of first publication, give the approximate month, day, and year.

Nation of First Publication

Select the nation of publication from the drop-down menu. If the work was published in the United States and another country on the same day, give “United States” as the nation of first publication.


If your work has an ISBN number, give it in the space provided. The International Standard Book Number is administered by the R. R. Bowker Company.