Revision History

The most recent version of the Compendium was released on January 28, 2021. In preparing this update, the U.S. Copyright Office conducted a comprehensive review of chapters 100 through 2200, as well as the Introduction, Glossary, and Table of Authorities.

  • The Compendium has been updated to reflect key court decisions, including the Supreme Court's decision in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, 137 S. Ct. 1002 (2017); Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., 139 S. Ct. 881 (2019); and Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, 140 S. Ct. 1498 (2020).

  • The update reflects many of the rulemakings that the Office has conducted over the past three years. It provides information concerning the new group registration options for unpublished works, published and unpublised photographs, short online literary works, and serial, newspaper, and newsletter issues. It reflects the new deposit requirements for literary monographs, printed music, and photographic databases. And it incorporates changes made by the final rules on architectural works and the single application as well as technical amendments to the regulation on copyright notice.

  • The update also reflects a number of technical upgrades that have been made to the electronic registration system. The Office added a "Registration Decision Date" to registration certificates issued on or after August 19, 2019. The Office introduced a new and improved version of the single application and the application for registering a single issue of a serial publication. It expanded the unique identifiers that may be provided in an application for copyright registration, such as ISMN, ISWC, and ISTC numbers. And it added a new feature that allows certain file types to be uploaded to the electronic system, while blocking unacceptable file types.

  • Finally, the Compendium has been updated to reflect certain practice changes that have been implemented by the Office of Registration Policy and Practice. Among other changes, the Compendium clarifies how and when the Office will communicate with applicants, when it will attempt to correct deficiencies in the application, when it will register a claim with an annotation, and when it will refuse registration.

The Office initially released this version in draft form on March 15, 2019, and held a webinar to review the proposed revisions on April 10, 2019. The Office received comments on the draft from eleven organizations and seven indivduals. After carefully reviewing these comments, the Office amended, revised, or removed 953 sections as part of this release: 277 of those sections were modified since the release of the public draft and 87 of those sections were modified in response to the public comments. For information concerning these revisions, read more.

The Office has prepared a complete list of the sections that have been added, amended, revised, or removed in this release. In addition, the Office has prepared a set of redlines, which provide a direct comparison between the current version and the 2017 version of the Compendium. The public draft released on March 15, 2019, may be accessed here.

Download Revision History Download Redlines Download March 15, 2019 Public Draft Public Comments on the 2019 Public Draft Federal Register Notices