Copyright Office Proposes Amendment to Definition of "Claimant"
Issue No. 456 - May 21, 2012

The Copyright Office proposes to amend its regulations governing the definition of a "claimant" for purposes of copyright registration by eliminating the footnote to the definition of a "claimant" in § 202.3(a)(3)(ii) of the Code of Federal Regulations. The footnote currently extends the definition of a claimant to include individuals or entities that have obtained the contractual right to claim legal title to copyright in an application for copyright registration. This amendment would clarify that the copyright claimant must be either the author of the work, or a person or organization that has obtained ownership of all the exclusive rights initially belonging to the author. The Copyright Office believes that the footnote creates considerable legal uncertainty while offering no clear benefits to the registration system. Removing it will foster the use of other available registration options that create a more meaningful public record. Comments are due July 16, 2012. Reply comments are due August 15, 2012. For further information, see