U.S. Copyright Office Releases the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition

Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante has released the official version of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition (the “Third Edition”). It is available on the Office’s website at http://copyright.gov/comp3/. The Third Edition is effective as of December 22, 2014, and is the governing administrative manual for registrations and recordations issued by the Office on or after that date. It may be cited as follows:

Short form citation: COMPENDIUM (THIRD) § 101.1(A).

The Compendium serves as a technical manual for the Office’s staff, as well as a guidebook for authors, copyright licensees, practitioners, scholars, the courts, and members of the general public. More than three times the size of the previous edition, the Third Edition represents a comprehensive overhaul and makes the Office’s practices and standards more accessible and transparent to the public. As in the past, it addresses fundamental principles of copyright law, such as creation, publication, registration, and renewal. It addresses routine questions such as who may file an application and who may request copies of the Office’s records. It describes recent changes to the Office’s recordation practices, such as the new option for submitting titles and registration numbers in electronic form. It also contains a new Table of Authorities that lists the cases, statutory provisions, and other legal authorities cited in the Third Edition and the relevant section where each citation may be found.

In the years ahead, the Copyright Office will introduce a number of public discussions regarding the application and deposit requirements for many digital works, including websites, software, photographs, e-books, audiovisual works, and musical works, many of which have multiple authors, multiple dates of creation, and multiple dates of publication. A key objective will be creating digital copyright records that are accurate, affordable, and as useful as possible when it comes to the identification of ownership and copyrighted works.

The Compendium, Third Edition is the result of more than two and a half years of work. Read acknowledgments. Members of the public may provide feedback on the Third Edition at any time. See www.copyright.gov/comp3/ for more information.