Final Rule Regarding Group Registration for Unpublished Works

After soliciting comments, the U.S. Copyright Office adopted a final rule creating a group registration option for unpublished works, allowing registration of up to ten unpublished works for a single fee. To qualify for this option, all the works must be created by the same author or the same joint authors, and the author or joint authors must be named as the copyright claimant for each work. The claim to copyright in each work must be the same, and each work must be registered in the same administrative class. Applicants must submit an online application and upload their works to the electronic registration system, although the Office may waive these requirements in exceptional cases. This rule replaces the previous option to register unpublished collections, and is intended for use by individual creators or small businesses who might not otherwise use the more expensive standard registration application to register their unpublished works on an individual basis.

The rule offers a number of benefits over current practices: it will allow 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.

Important note for photographers: This rule does not replace the procedure for registering unpublished photographs. Photographers may continue to register up to 750 photos with one application and one filing fee using the group registration option for photographs.