Group Registration for Unpublished Works

The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to create a new group registration option for a limited number of unpublished works. To qualify for this group 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. In general, applicants would be allowed to include up to five works in each submission, with an exception for sound recordings registered together with the musical work, dramatic work, or literary work embodied in that recording. Applicants would be required to submit an online application and upload their works to the electronic registration system, although the Office may waive these requirements in exceptional cases.

The proposed rule offers a number of significant benefits compared to current practices: it would allow the Office to more easily examine each work for copyrightable authorship, to create a more robust record of the claim, and to improve the overall efficiency of the registration process.