What can be registered with this application?

This application may be used to register a group of musical works (with or without lyrics) that were published on the same album.

This application cannot be used register a sound recording. And it cannot be used to register photos, artwork, liner notes, or any other type of work that may be included on the album.

What's the difference between a "musical work" and a "sound recording"?

A musical work – such as a song with music and lyrics – and a particular recording of that song are two separate works.

A musical work is a work that consists of music – including melody, rhythm, and/or harmony – and any accompanying lyrics.

Example:

A sound recording is a recording of a particular performance of a musical work.

For example, the song “Respect” and a recording of Aretha Franklin performing the song “Respect” are two distinct works. The music and lyrics is a musical work. A recording of a person performing this song is a sound recording.

Example:

This is a musical work:

These are sound recordings:

For more information about the differences between a musical work and a sound recording, read Circular 56a.

What is an album?

As mentioned above, this application may be used to register a group of musical works that were published on the same album.

An “album” is defined as “a single physical or electronic unit of distribution containing at least two musical works that are embodied in a phonorecord.” For examples of what may qualify as an “album,” see Group Registration of Works on an Album (Circular 58).

Eligibility Requirements

You may register a group of musical works with this application, if the following conditions have been met.

Author Information

The author of a musical work is the person who created the music or the lyrics that appear in the work, such as a composer, lyricist, or songwriter.

If the works were created by one author, you should identify that author in the application. If the works were created by two or more co-authors, you should identify all of the co-authors in the application.

As mentioned above, all of the musical works must be created by the same author, or all of the works must have a common author.

Note: All of the other registration requirements must also be met, including the requirement that the claimant(s) for each work must be the same person or organization. Read more.

Works Created by the Same Author

You may use this application if all of the works were created by the same person, as shown below:

Example:

Songs Author
1
A
2
A
3
A

Works Created by the Same Co-Authors

Likewise, you may use this application if all of the works were created by the same co-authors, as shown below:

Example:

Songs Co-Authors
1
A & B
2
A & B
3
A & B

Works Created by a Common Author

You may also use this application if all of the works being registered have a common author or a common co-author. This means that at least one of the authors must have contributed copyrightable authorship to each and every work in the group, as shown in the following examples.

Example:

Songs Authors
1
A
2
A & B
3
A & C

In this example, songs 1, 2, and 3 have a common author, because each work was created or co-created by the same person. In other words, A is the author or co-author of every song in this group, even though A co-created songs 2 and 3 with a different co-author – namely, B and C.

Example:

Songs Authors
4
A & B
5
A & C
5
D & E

In this example, songs 4 and 5 have a common author, because each work was co-created by the same person. In other words, A is the co-author of songs 4 and 5, even though A co-created these works with a different co-author – namely, B and C.

By contrast, song 6 doesn’t have a common author, because the co-authors of that work – D and E – did not create any of the other songs in this group. Likewise, A is not a common author for song 6, because A did not co-create that work.

Claimant Information

When you complete the application, you must provide the name and address for the copyright claimant.

Who is the copyright claimant?

The copyright claimant is the author or co-author of all of the works being registered, or the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

In all cases, the copyright claimant for each work listed in the application must be the same person or the same organization.

Can I name the author as the copyright claimant?

If you plan to name the author or co-authors as the copyright claimant, then all of the works being registered must be created by the exact same authors, as shown in the following example.

Example:

Songs Authors
1
A & B
2
A & B
3
A & B

In this example, A and B co-created Songs 1, 2, and 3. All three songs may be registered with this application by naming A and B as the co-claimants for these works.

Example:

Songs Authors
4
A & C
5
A & C
6
A & D

In this example, A and C created songs 4 and 5. A and D created song 6. Songs 4 and 5 may be registered with this application by naming A and C as the co-claimants for these works.

By contrast, song 6 cannot be included in the claim, because the co-authors of that work are different than the co-authors of songs 4 and 5.

To register song 6, the applicant should submit a separate application, deposit, and fee for that work using the Standard Application, not the group registration application. Click here if you need help locating the Standard Application.

Can I name a third party as the copyright claimant, such as a music publisher?

A third party – such as a music publisher – may be named as the copyright claimant if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

The copyright law provides composers, lyricists, and songwriters with the following exclusive rights:

A third party may be named as the copyright claimant if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works listed in your application.

If you plan to name a third party as the copyright claimant, you should only list the works that are owned by that party. If a third party does not own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of a particular work, you should not list that work in your application.

Example:

Songs
Co-Authors
Owner of All of the Authors' Exclusive Rights
1
A & B
Publisher X
2
A & C
Publisher X

In this example, A and B created song 1. A and C created song 2. A, B, and C transferred all of their exclusive rights to Publisher X by written agreement.

Songs 1 and 2 may be registered with this application, by naming Publisher X as the claimant for those works.

Example:

Songs
Co-Authors
Owner of 50% of the Authors' Publishing Rights
Owner of All Other Exclusive Rights
3
A & D
Publisher Y
A & D
4
A & D
Publisher Y
A & D

In this example, A and D created songs 3 and 4. Both authors transferred 50% of their publishing rights to Publisher Y. The authors retained the rest of their exclusive rights.

Songs 3 and 4 may be registered with the same application, by naming authors A and D as the co-claimants for these songs.

As mentioned above, a third party may only be named as the copyright claimant if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. A third party that does not own all of these rights cannot be named as a claimant.

In this example, Publisher Y cannot be named as a claimant, because the publisher owns some – but not all – of the exclusive rights in songs 3 and 4.

Publication Information

All of the works that you submit with this application must be published on the same album. All of the works must be first published in the same country. And as a general rule, all of the works must be first published on the same date.

Note: Unpublished works cannot be registered with this application.

Limited Exception for Previously Published Works

There is a limited exception to this rule for musical works that were previously published as an individual work (such as a single) before they were published on the album.

A previously published work may be included in the claim if the following requirements have been met:

Example:

Title of the Works Being Registered
Album Track Number
Album Publication Date
Single Publication Date
Nation of First Publication
Mercury
1
6/1/2021
USA
Venus
2
6/1/2021
USA
Earth
3
6/1/2021
3/1/2021
USA
Mars
4
6/1/2021
3/1/2021
Canada

Tracks 1 and 2 may be registered with the group registration application.

Track 3 may be included in the claim, because that work was first published in the same country as songs 1 and 2. To do so, the applicant should provide the following information in the “Note to Copyright” space:


By contrast, song 4 cannot be included in the group registration application, because it was first published in a different country than the rest of the works in this group. To register song 4, the applicant should submit a separate application, deposit, and fee using the Standard Application. Click here if you need help locating the Standard Application.


Title Information

You may register up to 20 musical works with this application. All of the works that you submit must be published on the same album. All of the works must be first published in the same country. And as a general rule, all of the works must be first published on the same date.

Note: There is a limited exception to this rule for musical works that were previously published as an individual work (such as a single) before they were published on the album. Click here to learn more about this exception.

You must provide the title of the album. You must provide a separate title for each musical work that you want to register. And you must provide the track numbers that were assigned to those musical works when they were published on the album.

Example:

Title of the Album Title of the Works Published on the Album Album Track Numbers Titles of the Works Being Registered
Solar System Mercury 1 Mercury
Venus 2 Venus
Earth 3 Earth
Mars 4
Jupiter 5
Saturn 6
Neptune 7
Uranus 8

In this example, the applicant is registering three songs that were published on the same album. To do so, the applicant should provide the following information:

Album title: Solar System

Title/track numbers for the works being registered:


Group Title

A group title will be automatically added to your application. The group title will consist of the phrase “Works published on the album” followed by the album title, as shown below.

Example:

This title will be used to identify your claim as a group registration. It will appear on the certificate and in the Copyright Office's online public record.


Completing the "Album Title/Publication and Completion Information" Screen

To begin, click “New” on the “Titles” screen. Provide the information requested on the “Album Title/Publication and Completion Information” screen. Click “Save” when you’re done.

Title of Album / Date of First Publication for the Album

Enter the album title in the space provided. Then enter the date of first publication for the album. As a reminder, all of the works being registered must be published on the album on this date.

Nation of First Publication for the Album

All of the works must be first published in the same country. In the space marked “Nation of First Publication for the Album,” select the name of the country where the album was first published. The “Nation of First Publication” is the country where the album was distributed for the first time. If the album was first published in the United States and another country, you may state “United States.” If the album was first published in multiple countries, you may provide that information in the “Note to Copyright Office” space, which is located on the “Certification” screen.

Name of Label / Label Number

You are encouraged to provide the name of the record label that released the album. If the record label assigned a cataloguing number to the album, you are also encouraged to provide that information in the space provided.

Was this album released as a digital album? Was this album released as a physical product?

Please tell us if the album was distributed in digital form or as a physical product, such as a CD or LP.

You should provide a “yes” answer to at least one of these questions. If the album was distributed both in digital form and in a physical format, you should answer “yes” to both questions.

Number of musical works being registered

Enter the number of musical works that will be included in this claim by selecting a number between 2 and 20 from the drop down menu.

As a reminder, you must submit at least 2 – but no more than 20 musical works with your application.

Year of Completion

In the “Year of Completion” space, enter the year in which the musical works were completed.

If the works were completed in the same year, enter that year in the space provided. If the works were completed over a period of two or more years, provide the year of completion for the most recent work in the group.

Example:

Keisha wrote 3 songs in December 2020 and 2 songs in January 2021. The songs were published on the same album in February 2021. Keisha should enter “2021” in the “Year of Completion” space.

Tips for Completing the Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered screen

You must provide a separate title for each musical work that you want to register. And you must provide the track numbers that were assigned to those musical works when they were published on the album. Read more.

There are two things to keep in mind when you complete this part of the application:

Who is the copyright claimant?

The copyright claimant is the author or co-authors of all of the works being registered, or the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. Read more .

Are you planning to name the author as the copyright claimant?

If you plan to name the authors as the copyright claimants, those authors must have created all of the musical works that you list on the titles screen. Read more.

Are you planning to name a third party as the copyright claimant, such as a music publisher?

A third party may be named as the copyright claimant(s) if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. Read more .

Specifically, the third party must own all of the exclusive rights listed below:

If you plan to name a third party as the copyright claimant – such as a music publisher – that party must own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

When completing the titles screen, you should only list the musical works that are owned by the copyright claimant. If the claimant does not own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of a particular song, do not list that work on this screen. Read more.

Click here for examples that illustrate this requirement.

Titles and track numbers provided on the "Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered" screen must match the filenames for the audio files you submit to the Copyright Office

After you file your application, you should submit separate audio files that contain one complete copy of each musical work being registered.

The Copyright Office strongly encourages you to upload your audio files in a digital form. If you submit your musical works in a physical format, such as a CD or LP, there will be a significant delay in the examination of your works.

The titles you provide in the application must match the corresponding filenames for the audio files you submit to the Copyright Office.

The file name should also include the track number that was assigned to the musical work when it was published on the album.

Example:

Titles listed in the application: Album track number listed in the application: Filenames for the digital audio files:
Birthday Party 2 02birthdayparty.mp3
Dinner Party 4 04dinnerparty.mp3
Wedding Party 6 06weddingparty.mp3

Punctuation or other special characters do not need to be included in the filename. For example, if track number 12 is titled “What’s the Occasion?” the file may be named “12whatstheoccasion.mp3” (omitting the apostrophe and question mark as shown on your screen).

Example:

Titles listed in the application: Album track number listed in the application: Filenames for the digital audio files:
What's the Occasion? 12 12whatstheoccasion.mp3

Completing the "Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered" Screen

When you’re ready to enter the titles and track numbers for your musical works, click “New” on the “Titles” screen. A new screen will appear with the heading “Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered.” Be sure to read all of the instructions before you complete this screen!

In the space provided, enter the title of the musical work that you want to register.

Then provide the track number that was assigned to this musical work when it was published on the album. The track number must be entered in numerical form and may contain no more than one or two digits.

When completing this screen, you should only enter one title and one track number in the spaces provided. Do not enter titles for two or more works in these spaces.

When you’re done, click “Save” at the top of your screen.

If you need to add titles for other works, click “New” on the “Titles” screen and repeat the previous steps. Once you have entered titles for all of the musical works in the group, click “Continue.”

Hidden Tracks

To register a “hidden track” – such as a song that was published on the album but was not listed in the liner notes or elsewhere in the deposit – you should provide the following information in the application:

Important: If you upload a digital copy of the hidden track, the name assigned to the digital file must match the corresponding title that you enter on the “Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered” screen and in the “Note to Copyright Office.” If the titles and the file names do not match each other, the Office may remove that work from your application or may refuse to register the entire claim.

Example:

Titles listed in the application: Filenames for the digital audio files:
The Surprise Party thesurpriseparty.mp3

Author Screen

You must identify the author of the musical works that you want to register.

The author is the person who wrote the music and/or lyrics contained within each musical work, such as a composer, lyricist, or songwriter.

If the music and/or lyrics were co-written by two or more co-authors, you must identify each author in the application.

Each work you submit to the Copyright Office must be a musical work. When you submit your claim, the term “musical works (with or without lyrics)” will be added automatically to the entry for each author. This term will appear on the certificate and in the Copyright Office’s online public record.


Name Individual Authors (Not Performing Groups) as the Author of the Musical Works

When completing the “Authors” screen, you should identify the authors who created or co-created the musical works that you plan to register.

Generally, you should not name a performing group as the author of the works, unless the group is a legal entity that created each musical work as a work made for hire. If the author or co-authors are members of a performing group, you may include this information in the “Note to Copyright Office” space on the “Certification” screen. But naming a performing group as the author – without naming the individual members who created the works – is not sufficient.

You should not list all of the members of a performing group, unless all of the members co-wrote the music and/or lyrics for the works being registered. For instance, if Bingo, Mick, Paul, and Keith are members of a band, and if Keith wrote all the lyrics and Bingo wrote all the music, then Keith and Bingo should be named as the co-authors. By contrast, Mick and Paul should not be named in the application, because they did not contribute music or lyrics to the works being registered.


Name Composers, Lyricists, and/or Songwriters (Not Performers or Producers)as the Author of the Musical Works

A musical work – such as a song with music and lyrics – and a recording of a band performing that song are two separate works. A musical work is a work that consists of music – including melody, rhythm, and/or harmony – and any accompanying lyrics. A sound recording is a recording of a particular performance of a musical work. Read more.

The author of a musical work is the person who created the music and/or lyrics, such as a composer, lyricist, or songwriter. Sound recordings are generally created by performers and/or producers. In other words, the author of a sound recording is the performer featured in the recording, and/or the producer who captured, manipulated, and/or edited the sounds that appear in the final recording.

When completing the “Authors” section you should identify the composers, lyricists, and/or songwriters who created the musical works. You should not name the performers or producers who created a recording of those works, unless those individuals also contributed to the music (melody, rhythm, harmony) and/or lyrics that you plan to register.


Tips for Completing the "Authors of the Musical Works Being Registered" Screen

There are two things to keep in mind before you complete the Authors screen:

Who is the copyright claimant?

The claimant is the author or co-author of all of the works being registered, or the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

Can I name the author as the copyright claimant?

If you plan to name the author or co-authors as the copyright claimant, then all of the sound recordings, photos, artwork, and liner notes must be created by the exact same authors. When you complete this screen, you should only list works created by exactly the same author or the same co-authors. Read more.

Can I name a third party as the copyright claimant, such as a music publisher?

A third party – such as a music publisher – may be named as the copyright claimant if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. Read more

In this situation, you should only list the works that are owned by the copyright claimant. If the claimant does not own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of a particular song, do not list those works on the Authors screen. Read more.

Click here for examples that illustrate this requirement.

Completing the "Authors of the Musical Works Being Registered" Screen

When you’re ready to identify the authors of your musical works, click “New.” A new screen will appear.

Enter the author’s information in the spaces provided.

If the author is an individual, such as a composer or songwriter, enter that person’s name in the “Individual Author” space.

If the author is an organization enter that entity’s name in the “Organization” space and select “yes” in the work made for hire space.

Work Made For Hire

A work made for hire is either:

The Copyright Office developed a questionnaire that may be useful in determining whether a particular work qualifies as a “work made for hire.” To complete the questionnaire and to read more information about this topic, see Works Made For Hire (Circular 30).

Who is the author of a work made for hire?

The author of a work made for hire is the employer or the party that ordered or commissioned the musical work.

Who should be named as the author of a "work made for hire"?

If a musical work is a “work made for hire,” you should select “yes” in the space marked “Is this author’s contribution a work made for hire.”

As mentioned above, the author of a “work made for hire” is the employer of the person(s) who created the musical work or the party that ordered or commissioned the musical work. Do not name the person or persons who actually created a work made for hire.

If the musical works were created by a legal entity, provide that entity’s name in the space marked “Organization.” Note: As mentioned above, a performing group should not be named as the author of the works, unless the group is a legal entity that created each musical work as a work made for hire.

If the employer or commissioning party is an individual, provide that person’s first and last name in the spaces marked “Individual Author.”

Citizenship and Domicile

You should identify the author’s country of citizenship and/or domicile. To enter this information select one of the countries listed in the drop down menu.

“Citizenship” means that the author is a citizen of a particular nation or the author owes permanent allegiance to a particular country, even though he or she is not a citizen of that nation.

“Domicile” is the nation where the author has a fixed and permanent residence, where the author intends to maintain his or her residence for an unlimited time, and whenever absent where the author intends to return.

Year of Birth / Year of Death

If the author is an individual and if that person is deceased, you must enter the author’s year of death in the space provided. This information is required, because the length of the copyright term may be based on the year that the author died.

If you like, you may provide the author’s year of birth. This information is entirely optional. But please note that if you complete this part of the application, the author’s year of birth will appear on the certificate and the Office’s online public database.

Anonymous

What is an anonymous work?

A musical work is “anonymous” if the author of that work is not identified on the album or in the liner notes. If the author’s name appears on the album or in the liner notes for a particular musical work, that work is not “anonymous,” even if the author does not wish to reveal his or her identity in the registration record.

Examples:

How should you identify the author of an anonymous work?

If the author’s name does not appear on the album or in the liner notes — and if you do not want to reveal the author’s identity in the registration record — check the box indicating that the works were created anonymously.

If the author created the works anonymously — and if you want to disclose the author’s identity in the registration record — you may enter the author’s name in the spaces for “First Name” and “Last Name.”

Important Note: Depending on the circumstances, providing the author’s name in the registration record for an anonymous work may extend or reduce the term of copyright. For additional information see the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Chapter 600, Section 615.1.

If you check the box indicating that the works were created anonymously — and if you do not want to reveal the author’s identity in the registration record — you should not include the author’s real name anywhere in the application (including the “Certification” screen). If you include the author’s real name in the application it becomes part of the public record and cannot be changed once a registration has issued.

Pseudonymous

What is a pseudonymous work?

A musical work is “pseudonymous” if the author is identified on the album or in the liner notes solely by a stage name, performing name, fictitious name, or other pseudonym. If both the author’s legal name and fictitious name appear on the album or in the liner notes for a particular song, that work is not pseudonymous.

Example:

The name of a performing group is not a pseudonym

As mentioned above, you should identify the individuals who wrote the music and/or lyrics for the works listed in the application, even if the album states that the works were created by a performing group. The name of a performing group is not a pseudonym, so you should not include that name in the “Pseudonym” space. If the author or co-authors are members of a performing group, you may include this information in the “Note to Copyright Office” space on the “Certification” screen.

How should you identify the author of a pseudonymous work?

If the author’s pseudonym appears on the album or in the liner notes (but the author’s real name does not) — and if you do not want to reveal the author’s real name in the registration record — you may leave the “First Name” and “Last Name” spaces blank. Then check the box indicating that the works are “pseudonymous” and enter the author’s pseudonym in the space provided.

If the author’s pseudonym appears on the album or in the liner notes — and if you want to disclose the author’s identity in the registration record — you may provide that person’s name in the spaces for “First Name” and “Last Name.” You may also check the box indicating that the works are “pseudonymous” and enter the author’s pseudonym in the space provided.

Important: Depending on the circumstances, providing the author’s name in the registration record for a pseudonymous work may extend or reduce the term of copyright. For additional information see Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Chapter 600, Section 615.2.

If you checked the box indicating that the author’s pseudonym appears on the album — and if you do not want to reveal the author’s identity in the registration record — you should not include the author’s real name anywhere in the application (including the “Certification” screen). If you include the author’s real name in the application it becomes part of the public record and cannot be changed once a registration has issued.

Identifying the Musical Works Created by This Author

Once you’ve identified the author, you must identify the musical works that were created or co-created by this author.

If this author created all of the musical works that you want to register, you may check the box that reads: “Check this box ONLY if this author created or co-created ALL of the musical works that you want to register”

Important: Do not check this box if the author created some – but not all – of the musical works that you want to register. Instead, you should complete the box that reads: “Album track number(s) for the musical work(s) created by this author.”

Specifically, you should identify the musical works that the author created by entering the track numbers that were assigned to those works when they were published on the album. Each track number should be entered as a number and each number should be separated with a comma.

Example:

Titles of the Works Being Registered
Album Track Numbers
Author
Heartache
2
Clyde Composer
Lovelorn
4
Clyde Composer
Loneliness
7
Clyde Composer

Clyde wrote three works that were published on an album as track numbers 2, 4, and 7. To register these works you should enter Clyde’s name in the “Individual Author” space. To identify the works that he created you may check the box that reads: “Check this box ONLY if this author created or co-created ALL of the musical works that you want to register.”

By contrast, you should not check this box if the author created some – but not all – of the musical works that you want to register.

Example:

Titles of the Works Being Registered
Album Track Numbers
Author(s)
Happiness
9
Clyde Composer & Sara Songwriter
Celebration
11
Sara Songwriter
Elated
13
Sara Songwriter

In this example, Clyde and Sara co-created track 9. Sara created tracks 11 and 13 by herself.

You should enter Clyde’s name in the “Individual Author” space. You should not check the first box that reads “Check this box ONLY if this author created or co-created ALL of the musical works that you want to register,” because Clyde did not create all of the works being registered; he only created track number 9. To identify that work you should enter the number “9” in the box that reads “Album track number(s) for the musical work(s) created by this author.”

By contrast, Sara created or co-created tracks 9, 11, and 13. After you enter her name in the Individual Author space, you may check the box stating that she created all of the works being registered.


Claimant Screen

When you complete the application, you must provide the name and address for the copyright claimant.

Tips for Completing the "Claimant" Screen

Before you complete this part of the application, be sure to read all of the instructions and examples shown on the “Claimant” screen.

Who is the copyright claimant?

The claimant is the author or co-author of all of the works being registered, or the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

In all cases, the copyright claimant for each work listed in the application must be the same person or the same organization. Read more.

Can I name the author as the copyright claimant?

If you plan to name the author or co-authors as the copyright claimant, then all of the works being registered must be created by the exact same authors.

In this situation, you should only list songs written by exactly the same author or the same co-authors when you complete the “Claimant” screen. Read more.

Can I name a third party as the copyright claimant, such as a music publisher

A third party – such as a music publisher – may be named as the copyright claimant if that party owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. Read more.

If you plan to name a third party as the copyright claimant, you should only list the works that are owned by that party.

If a third party does not own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of a particular work, you should not list that work on the “Claimant” screen.

Click here for examples that illustrate this requirement.

Completing the "Claimant" Screen

When you’re ready to identify the copyright claimant for your musical works, click “New.” A new screen will appear.

Individual Claimant or Organization

Enter the claimant’s name and address in the spaces provided. If the claimant is an individual, such as a composer or songwriter, enter that person’s name and address in the “Individual Claimant” space. Then click “Save” at the top of your screen.

If the claimant is an organization, such as a music publisher, enter that entity’s name and address in the “Organization” space. Then provide an appropriate transfer statement at the bottom of your screen.

Transfer Statement

If the claimant is not the author of the works, you must explain how the claimant obtained ownership of all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered.

To do so, select an appropriate transfer statement from the space marked “Transfer Statement.” Then click the “Save” button at the top of your screen.

Naming Additional Claimants

If plan to name all of the authors as co-claimants, you should provide a name and address for each co-author.

If plan to name two or more third parties as the co-claimants, you should provide a name and address for each party.

To do so, click the “New” button and then repeat the steps described above.

Once you have identified the claimant or co-claimants for the works you plan to register, click “Continue.”


Limitation of Claim

The “Limitation of Claim” screen should be used to exclude any preexisting material from your claim, and to identify the new material that the authors contributed to these musical works.

What is preexisting materials?

A group registration covers the new material that the author created and contributed to each work, but as a general rule, it does not cover any preexisting material contained within those works.

For purposes of registration, preexisting material includes:

Do I need to complete the "Limitation of Claim" Screen?

As a general rule, you should complete the “Limitation of Claim” screen if the works being registered contain material that has been previously published.

Likewise, you should complete this screen if the works contain material that has been previously registered with the Copyright Office, material that is owned by another party, or material that is in the public domain. If the works being registered do not contain any preexisting material, you may leave this screen blank and click “Continue” to proceed to the “Rights & Permissions” screen.

Note: There is a limited exception to this rule for musical works that were previously published as an individual work (such as a single) before they were published on the album. These works should not be identified as “previously published” works on the “Limitation of Claim” screen, but instead must be expressly claimed in the “Note to Copyright Office” space on the “Certification” screen. Click here for more information about this exception.

Completing the "Limitation of Claim" Screen

Material Excluded Space

If the works contain preexisting material, briefly identify that material in the “Material Excluded” space.

If the works contain previously registered material, enter the registration number and year of registration in the spaces provided. If the Copyright Office issued multiple registrations for the preexisting material, give the year and number for the most recent registration.

New Material Included Space

In the “New Material Included” space, you should briefly describe the new material that the authors contributed to these musical works.

Be sure to identify the title and/or album track number for each musical work that contains preexisting material or new material.

Example:

Titles of Works Being Registered Album Track Number Preexisting Material New Material
Mercury
1
None
Music
Venus
2
None
Music
Jupiter
5
Previously published melody
Musical Arrangement
Neptune
7
None
Music and Lyrics

The song “Jupiter” was published on an album as track number 5. It contains a new musical arrangement based on a previously published melody. The rest of the works being registered are entirely new.

In the “Material Excluded” space the applicant should state “Track 5 Preexisting melody.”

In the “New Material Included” space, the applicant should state “Track 5 Musical arrangement; all other tracks new.”

Example:

Titles of Works Being Registered Album Track Number Preexisting Material New Material
Sunday
1
None
Music
Monday
2
None
Music
Saturday
7
Previously registered music
New lyrics

The song “Saturday” was published on an album as track number 7. The music was previously registered with the Copyright Office. The author wrote new lyrics to go with the preexisting music. The rest of the works being registered are entirely new.

In the “Material Excluded” space the applicant should state “Track 7 previously registered music.”

In the “New Material Included” space, the applicant should state “Track 7 New lyrics; all other tracks new.”

In addition, the applicant should provide the registration number and year of registration for the previously registered music.


Certification Screen

The application must be certified before you submit your claim to the Copyright Office.

The certification may be signed by the author or claimant for the works being registered, or an owner of one or more of the exclusive right(s) in these works. Alternatively, the application may be certified by an authorized agent of one of these parties.

Check the box to confirm that you are authorized to certify the application. Then enter your first and last name in the space marked “First and Last Name of the Individual Certifying the Application.”

Note to Copyright Office space

Use the “Note to Copyright Office” space to provide any additional information that may be relevant to the examination of your claim, such as explaining apparent discrepancies between the information given in the application and deposit.

Previously Published Works

The “Note to Copyright Office” space may also be used if you want to register a musical work that was previously published as an individual work, such as a single, before it was published on the album. To do so, you should provide the following information in this space:

Hidden Tracks

The “Note to Copyright Office” space may also be used to register a “hidden track,” such as a song that was published on the album but was not listed in the liner notes or elsewhere in the deposit. To do so, you should provide the following information in the application:

Important: If you upload a digital copy of the hidden track, the name assigned to the digital file must match the corresponding title that you enter on the “Titles of the Musical Works Being Registered” screen and in the “Note to Copyright Office” space. If the titles and the file names do not match each other, the Office may remove that work from your application or may refuse to register the entire claim.

Example:

Title listed in the application:
Filename for the digital audio file:
The Surprise Party thesurpriseparty.mp3

Review Submission

The information you entered in the application will be displayed on the “Review Submission” screen. Carefully review this information before submitting your application. Use the links in the navigation bar on the left side of your screen to go back and make corrections if needed.

Important: You cannot make changes to your application once it has been submitted. Be sure to review all the information on the “Review Submission” screen before proceeding.

Once you have confirmed that the information is correct, click “Add to Cart” to pay the fee and submit your application.

Submit Your Musical Works to the Copyright Office

After payment is confirmed, you will receive an email confirming the receipt of your application and payment. The email will be sent from the following address: [email protected]

To complete the submission process, you must submit separate audio files that contain a complete copy of each musical work that you want to register.

You are strongly encouraged to upload your works in a digital form, regardless of whether the album was distributed in a digital or physical format. There will be significant delays if you mail a physical copy of your works to the Copyright Office (instead of uploading separate audio files to the electronic registration system).

Title and File Names Must Match

When you complete your application you must provide the title and track number for each musical work that you want to register. If you upload a digital copy of each work, the name assigned to each digital file must match the corresponding titles that you listed in the application. The file name should also include the track number that was assigned to each work when it was published on the album.

Example:

Titles listed in the application: Album track number listed in the application: Filenames for the digital audio files:
Birthday Party 2 02birthdayparty.mp3
Dinner Party 4 04dinnerparty.mp3
Wedding Party 6 06weddingparty.mp3

To see a list of the titles that you entered in the application, follow these steps:

Requirements for Digital Audio Files

Each musical work must be contained in a separate audio file. Do not submit a separate document containing the lyrics for each work being registered.

Each audio file must be saved in an acceptable format. The list of acceptable formats is posted on the Office’s website.

Each audio file must be uploaded one by one. Do not upload all of your works in a ZIP folder.

Note: The Copyright Office will not accept: