Group Registration of Unpublished Works (GRUW)


Registering Multiple Unpublished Works with the Same Application

What is group registration of unpublished works?

The Copyright OFfice has created a new online group registration option for unpublished works. This option is known as "GRUW". It may be used to register up to ten unpublished works with the same application.

This option replaces the old procedure for registering an "unpublished collection" with an online application or a paper form.


What does "GRUW" stand for?

"GRUW" is an abbreviation for "group registration of unpublished works".


How do I register two or more unpublished works with the same application?

You may register up to ten unpublished works by (1) completing the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works", (2) paying the nonrefundable filing fee, and (3) uploading a separate digital copy of each work in a separate electronic file. Do not combine your works into one PDF file. The Office may refuse registration if any works are submitted in the same file or in a physical format.

The Office also created a separate procedure for registering unpublished photographs. For information concerning this option, see Copyright Registration of Photograhs (Circular 42).


Where can I learn about this group registration option?

These FAQs provide introductory information about group registration of unpublished works. You can also read the circular, call the Public Information Office at 202-707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free), or send us an email.


In the past,I registered my works as an "unpublished collection". Can I still do this?

No. The registration accommodation for "unpublished collections" has been eliminated. It was replaced by the new group registration option for unpublished works (GRUW).

GRUW offers a number of benefits compared to the old procedure for registering an "unpublished collection". It allows the Office to more easily examine each work for copyrightable authorship, create a more robust record of the claim, and improve the overall efficiency of the registration process.


When does this change go into effect?

March 15, 2019.


When was this change announced?

The new rule was published in the Federal Registeron February 13, 2019


What has the Office done to notify the public about this change?

The Copyright Office emailed every applicant who submitted an "unpublished collection" since February 13, 2019, to notify them about the rule change. Additional information is available on the Office's website.


Application Form

Do I need to submit my claim through the electronic registration system?

Yes, you must submit your claim through the Copyright Office's "eCO" system, which is available here.


Can I use a paper application to register two or more unpublished works?

No. If you want to register two or more unpublished works, you must submit your claim through the online registration system, and you must complete the online application designated for a "Group of Unpublished Works".


Where do I find information about the online registration system?

For information on how to access the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system, go to here.
Choose "Register a Group of Unpublsihed Works" under the heading "Other Registration Options" on the left side of the home screen, as shown here.


What if I need help completing the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works"?

The Copyright Office offers a video tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works". The tutorial is posted on the Office's website at https://stream-media.loc.gov/copyright/gruw.mp4.

The help text for the online application also provides detailed instructions on how to complete each section of the form. You can find the help text on the Copyright Office's website at www.copyright.gov/eco/help/group-unpublished/.

For additional information, see Group Registration of Unpublished Works (Circular 24) or call the Public Information Office at (202)707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).


I've been using a paper application to register my works as an "unpublished collection". Can I still use a paper form?

No. If you want to register two or more unpublished works, you must use the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works". Do not use a paper form.


I've been using the "Standard" online application to register my works as an "unpublished collection". Can I still use the "Standard" application?

No. If you want to register two or more unpublished works, you must use the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works". Do not use the "Standard" online application.


How can I tell the difference between the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works" and the "Standard" online application?

You can tell the difference between a Standard application and the group application based on how you access them after you log into your eCO account and based on the information provided in the onscreen instructions for each form.

You access the "Group of Unpublished Works" option when you choose "Register a Group of Unpublished Works" under the heading "Other Registration Options" on the left side of the home screen, as shown here.

You access the link for the "Standard Application" when you choose "Standard Application" under the heading "Register a Work".

Do not select this link if you are registering two or more unpublished works.


Eligibility Requirements

Can I register more than ten unpublished works with the same application?

No. You may register at least two but no more than ten unpublished works with the same application.

Note: If you are registering up to ten sound recordings, you may be able to register both the recording and the musical work, dramatic work, or literary work embodied in each recording. For additional information, see Group Registration of Unpublished Works (Circular 24).


Can I register published and unpublished works with the same application?

No. Every work you submit with the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works" must be unpublished.


Can I register multiple works with different authors?

No. Every work you submit with the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works" must be created or co-created by the same author or the same co-authors.


Can I register works with multiple coauthors

You can use the group registration option for works created by multiple authors so long as all of the co-authors are the same for every work.


What if someone else owns the copyright in the works?

Even if the author or co-authors transferred their rights to a third party the author or co-authors must be named as the claimant or co-claimants for every work you submit with the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works".


I want to include the current owner's name in the registration record. How can I do that?

If a third party owns one or more of the exclusive rights in a particular work, you may record the document that transferred those rights to that party. For information about recordation, see "Recordation of Transfers and Other Documents"

If a third party owns all of the exclusive rights in a particular work, you may submit a separate "Standard" online application for that work and you may name that party as the copyright claimant (with an appropriate transfer statement explaining how that party obtained ownership of all of the exclusive rights in that work).

Note:If you already submitted a particular work with a "Group of Unpublished Works" application, you should not submit a separate "Standard" online application for that work (or vice versa).


Titles of the Works

Do I need to provide a title for each work?

Yes, you must provide a title for each work you submit with the online appliction for a "Group of Unpublished Works".


What if my works don't have titles

You may provide a descriptive title that identifies the general subject matter of the work ("Yellow Work", "Blue Work", "Green Work"...).


Where do I enter the title for each work?

On the "Title" screen in the field marked "Title of this work (One Title)" as shown here.


Should I enter all of the titles in the same space?

No. Enter the title of the first work in the field marked "Title of this work (One Title)" as shown here. Then click "Save" and repeat this same process for the titles of the other works being registered.

The Copyright Office offers a video tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions on how to enter titles in the online application for a "Group of Unpublished Works". The tutorial is posted on the Office's website at https://stream-media.loc.gov/copyright/gruw.mp4.


Can I provide a title for my "collection" of unpublished works?

No. Do not provide a "collection" title in the application. If you provide a "collection" title, the Copyright Office will remove that title from the record.

A title for the entire group will be added automatically to your application. It will consist of the first title listed in the application, followed by the phrase "and [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9] Other Unpublished Works" (depending on how many titles you entered in the application).


Submitting the Works to the Copyright Office

Do I need to upload an electronic copy of my works?

Yes. To register a group of unpublished works you must upload an electronic copy of each work. Do not mail a physical copy of your work to the Copyright Office.


Where do I find information about how to upload my works?

The online registration system contains instructions. In addition, the Copyright Office offers a number of targeted resources for assistance in preparing and uploading the deposit:

You can also call the Public Information Office (PIO), 202-707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free).


Do I need to submit my works in a particular format?

Yes, each work must be submitted in a separate electronic file, and each work must be uploaded in one of the formats listed on the Copyright Office's website.

Do not combine your works into one PDF file.


Can I submit all of my works in one electronic file?

No. Each work must be uploaded to the electronic registration system in a separate electronic file.Do not submit all of your works in the same electronic file (such as a PDF).


Can I upload individual pages from each work?

No. If your work contains several pages (such as a fifteen-page short story or essay), you should upload all the pages in the same electronic file. Do not upload each page in a separate file.


I've been sending physical copies to the Copyright Office. Can I still do this?

No. If you want to register a group of unpublished works, you must upload an electronic copy of each work. Do not mail a physical copy of your works to the Copyright Office. The Office may refuse registration if works are submitted in a physical format.


My works were created in a physical format. Do I still need to upload an electronic copy of each work?

Yes. To register a group of unpublished works you must upload an electronic copy of each work. Do not mail a physical copy of your works to the Copyright Office.


Supplementary Registration

I registered a group of unpublished works. I found an error in my certificate. I also want to add some additional information to the certificate. Can I do this?

You may be able to correct or amplify the information in a registration certificate by submitting an application for supplementary registration.


Where do I find the application for supplementary registration?

You must submit an online application through the eCO system.

Important Note: Before submitting an application for supplementary registration, you must contact the Public Information Office for guidance on how to complete the form.

To reach the Public Information Office, call us at 202-707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free) or send us an email.


Where can I learn more about supplementary registration?

These FAQs provide introductory information about supplementary registration. You can also read the circular, call the Public Information Office at 202-707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free), or send us an email.