Copyright Office Institutes New Group Registration Procedure for Unpublished Works
Issue No. 752 - March 11, 2019

Starting on March 15, the Copyright Office is instituting a new group registration procedure for unpublished works. The Group Registration for Unpublished Works (GRUW) will replace the Unpublished Collections registration procedure. Applicants may no longer submit claims for unpublished collections on the Standard Application or a paper application. Beginning on March 15, 2019, applicants must use the new GRUW Online Application and must submit electronic deposits for each of the works included in the claim.

The new procedure will benefit authors of unpublished works by creating a detailed public record of their registration that will identify by title all the works covered by their claim. Additionally, every work included in a GRUW application will be separately examined by the Copyright Office’s registration staff.

A GRUW application may include up to ten works.1 The works may be individual works, joint works, or derivative works. All the works in the application must have the same author or co-authors and be of the same type. Additionally, all authors must be named as copyright claimants.

Databases, collective works, compilations, and websites are not eligible for this type of registration. Regulations governing GRUW are found at section 202.4(c) of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Supplementary registrations will be available. An applicant will be asked to contact the Office of Registration Policy and Practice for instructions on filing a supplementary registration.

1. An exception will be made for eligible sound recordings and the underlying musical compositions, dramatic works, or literary works embodied in the recordings, bringing that to a maximum of twenty (ten sound recordings + ten recorded works).