Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 201—GENERAL PROVISIONS
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) General. This section prescribes the procedures for submission of legal documents pertaining to computer shareware and the deposit of public domain computer software under section 805 of Public Law 101-650, 104 Stat. 5089 (1990). Documents recorded in the Copyright Office under this regulation will be included in the Computer Shareware Registry. Recordation in this Registry will establish a public record of licenses or other legal documents governing the relationship between copyright owners of computer shareware and persons associated with the dissemination or other use of computer shareware. Documents transferring the ownership of some or all rights under the copyright law of computer shareware and security interests in such software should be recorded under 17 U.S.C. 205, as implemented by §201.4.
(1) The term computer shareware is accorded its customary meaning within the software industry. In general, shareware is copyrighted software which is distributed for the purposes of testing and review, subject to the condition that payment to the copyright owner is required after a person who has secured a copy decides to use the software.
(2) A document designated as pertaining to computer shareware means licenses or other legal documents governing the relationship between copyright owners of computer shareware and persons associated with the dissemination or other use of computer shareware.
(3) Public domain computer software means software which has been publicly distributed with an explicit disclaimer of copyright protection by the copyright owner.
(c) Forms. The Copyright Office does not provide forms for the use of persons recording documents designated as pertaining to computer shareware or for the deposit of public domain computer software.
(d) Recordable documents.
(1) Any document clearly designated as a “Document Pertaining to Computer Shareware” and which governs the legal relationship between owners of computer shareware and persons associated with the dissemination or other use of computer shareware may be recorded in the Computer Shareware Registry.
(2) Submitted documents may be a duplicate original, a legible photocopy, or other legible facsimile reproduction of the document, and must be complete on its face.
(3) Submitted documents will not be returned, and the Copyright Office requests that if the document is considered valuable, that only copies of that document be submitted for recordation.
(e) Fee. The fee for recording a document pertaining to computer shareware is the recordation fee for a document, as prescribed in §201.3(c).
(f) Date of recordation. The date of recordation is the date when all of the elements required for recordation, including the prescribed fee have been received in the Copyright Office. After recordation of the statement, the sender will receive a certificate of recordation from the Copyright Office. The submission will be retained and filed by the Copyright Office, and may be destroyed at a later date after preparing suitable copies, in accordance with usual procedures.
(g) Donation of public domain computer software.
(1) Any person may donate a copy of public domain computer software for the benefit of the Machine-Readable Collections Reading Room of the Library of Congress. Decision as to whether any public domain computer software is suitable for accession to the collections rests solely with the Library of Congress. Materials not selected will be disposed of in accordance with usual procedures, including transfer to other libraries, sale, or destruction. Donation of public domain software may be made regardless of whether a document has been recorded pertaining to the software.
(2) In order to donate public domain software, the following conditions must be met:
(i) The copy of the public domain software must contain an explicit disclaimer of copyright protection from the copyright owner.
(ii) The submission should contain documentation regarding the software. If the documentation is in machine-readable form, a print-out of the documentation should be included in the donation.
(iii) If the public domain software is marketed in a box or other packaging, the entire work as distributed, including the packaging, should be deposited.
(iv) If the public domain software is copy protected, two copies of the software must be submitted.
(3) Donations of public domain software with an accompanying letter of explanation must be sent to the following address: Gift Section, Exchange & Gift Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4260.
[58 FR 29107, May 19, 1993, as amended at 60 FR 34168, June 30, 1995; 64 FR 29522, June 1, 1999; 65 FR 39819, June 28, 2000; 82 FR 9358, Feb. 6, 2017]