About Supplementary Registration


Supplementary Registration Tutorial

A supplementary registration is a special type of registration that may be used to correct an error in an existing registration or to amplify the information given in an existing registration. For detailed instructions on completing the online application, see the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Chapter 1800, Section 1802.8.


An existing registration that will be corrected and/or amplified by a supplementary registration is known as a “basic registration.”


When the Copyright Office issues a supplementary registration, it does not cancel or replace the basic registration or the registration number. Likewise, the Office does not change the information set forth in the basic registration or the public record for that registration. Instead, the basic registration and the supplementary registration coexist with each other in the public record, and the supplementary registration augments — but does not supersede — the information set forth in the basic registration. For a general discussion of supplementary registration, see Compendium, Chapter 1800, Section 1802.


You may “correct” an existing registration if it contains information that was incorrect when that registration was made. An “amplification” may be appropriate (i) if you want to add information should have been included in the existing registration, but was omitted when the registration was made, (ii) if you want to clarify information that appears in the existing registration, or (iii) if changes in certain facts have occurred since the registration was made.


The following are representative examples of issues that may be addressed with a supplementary registration:

  • To correct spelling errors in the basic registration
  • To reflect a change in name or address
  • To reflect a change in the title of the work or to add a subtitle
  • To correct the author’s name or to add a missing author
  • To add the name of a co-claimant who should have been listed when the basic registration was made
  • To correct the year of completion or date of publication given in the basic registration
  • To correct the author’s citizenship, domicile, or the nation of first publication
  • To clarify the claim to copyright in the work

For a complete discussion and examples of these issues, see Compendium Chapter 1800, Section 1802.6.


A supplementary registration cannot be used to change the following type of information on the basic registration:

  • To alter U.S. Copyright Office annotations
  • To reflect changes in the ownership of the work
  • To add a date of publication to a registration for an unpublished work
  • To correct errors or omissions appearing in the deposit copy(ies)
  • To add or correct a copyright notice to the deposit copy(ies)
  • To cancel or abandon a basic registration
  • To question or challenge the validity of a basic registration

For a complete discussion and examples of each of these issues, see Compendium Chapter 1800, section 1802.7.


Basic Registration Number

You must identify the basic registration that will be corrected or amplified by the supplementary registration.


When the Copyright Office issues a basic registration, it assigns a specific number to that registration. This number is printed on the top right corner of the certificate, and it typically begins with a two or three letter prefix, such as “PA,” “PAu,” “SR,” “SRu,” “TX,” “TXu,” “VA,” or “VAu.” If the registration was issued after January 1, 1978, you may look up this number by searching the Copyright Office’s public online catalog. To correct or amplify a registration issued prior to January 1, 1978, please click here.


When providing the registration number please use the following twelve character format. Doing so will facilitate the examination of your claim and prevent unnecessary delays.


Specifically, the number should consist of a twelve-character string, without spaces or hyphens. For published registration numbers with a prefix of TX, VA, PA, or SR enter the two letter prefix followed by ten digits. For unpublished registrations with a prefix of TXu, VAu, PAu, or SRu enter the three letter prefix followed by nine digits. Every letter of the alphabetic prefix should be capitalized, and zeroes should be inserted between the prefix and the numerical portion of the registration number so that the total number of characters is twelve.


Examples:

VAu 123-456 (a nine digit registration number for an unpublished work)

  • Remove hyphens, capitalize the entire prefix, and insert three zeroes between “VAU” and “123456”
  • Thus the number should be entered as:       VAU000123456

TX 1-234-567 (a nine digit registration number for a published work)

  • Remove hyphens and insert three zeroes between “TX” and “1234567”
  • Thus The number should be entered as:       TX0001234567

SR 123-456 (an eight digit registration number for a published work)

  • Remove hyphens, and insert four zeroes between “SR” and “123456”
  • Thus the number should be entered as:       SR0000123456

Year of Basic Registration

You must identify the year that the Copyright Office issued the basic registration. This year is printed on the top right corner of the certificate. If the registration was issued after January 1, 1978, you also may look up this year by searching the Copyright Office’s public online catalog. To correct or amplify a registration issued prior to January 1, 1978, please click here


Type of Work

You must identify the “type of work” that best describes the work(s) covered by the basic registration. These categories are listed under the drop down menu marked “Type of Work.”


Correction Explanation

If the information in the basic registration was incorrect at the time that basic registration was made, you should provide the correct information in the relevant portions of the online application. In addition, you should provide a brief statement that identifies and explains the reason for the correction. This statement should be provided on the Certification screen in the field marked “Correction Explanation.” For guidance in completing this portion of the application, see Compendium Chapter 1800, Section 1802.8(B).


Amplification Explanation

An amplification may be used to supplement or clarify the information that appears in the basic registration, to provide missing information that should have been included in the registration, or to reflect changes that have occurred since the registration was made (other than a change in the ownership of the copyright). If you provided this type of information in the application, you should include a brief statement that identifies and explains the reason for the amplification. This statement should be provided on the Certification screen in the field marked “Amplification Explanation.” For guidance in completing this portion of the application, see Compendium Chapter 1800, Section 1802.8(C).


Certification

An application for a supplementary registration must be certified by one of the following parties:

  • An author of the work.
  • Any other party who is entitled to be named as a copyright claimant (such as a copyright owner who owns all the rights that initially belonged to the author).
  • An owner of one or more — but less than all — of the exclusive rights in the work.
  • A duly authorized agent of any of the foregoing parties.

The person certifying the application must provide his or her first and last name in the space marked “Name of Certifying Individual.” Using the drop down menu marked “Submission Authority,” this person should specify whether he or she is the author, a copyright claimant, or an owner of one or more of the exclusive rights in the work. If this person is an authorized agent of one of the parties mentioned above, he or she should select the “authorized agent” option from the drop down menu and write the name of the party he or she represents in the field marked “Authorized agent of (name).”