Definition[edit | edit source]
U.S. copyright law[edit | edit source]
|“||the official filing in the public records of the U.S. Copyright Office of a document having to do with copyright. The purpose of recordation is to make a public record of the facts in the document.||”|
Overview (U.S. copyright law)[edit | edit source]
The U.S. Copyright Office creates records of documents relating to a copyrighted work, a mask work, or a vessel hull design that have been recorded in the U.S. Copyright Office. Documents may involve transfers of rights from one copyright owner to another, security interests, contracts between authors and publishers, and notices of termination of grants of rights.
The statutory provisions governing recordation are set forth in Chapter 2 of the 1976 Copyright Act. Under Section 205, any transfer of copyright ownership or other document relating to copyright may be recorded in the U.S. Copyright Office, subject to certain conditions. The recordation of documents pertaining to transfers or other ownership matters is voluntary, but recommended because: (i) it provides constructive notice of the facts stated in the recorded document if certain conditions have been met; (ii) when a transfer of copyright is timely recorded (within one month of its execution in the United States or two months of its execution outside of the United States, or any time before a conflicting transfer is recorded), the recorded transfer prevails over a later executed transfer; and (iii) a complete public record may mitigate problems related to orphan works. Interested parties also record or consult documents pertaining to licenses, death of authors, expiration of term, wills, trusts, security interests, and mortgages, to name a few.
Copyright registration and recordation are two separate procedures: claims to copyright are registered, while documents related to copyright claims are recorded. Registering a claim to copyright is not a substitute for recording a document with the U.S. Copyright Office, and recording a document is not a substitute for registering a claim to copyright.
References[edit | edit source]
- Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, Glossary, at 14.
Source[edit | edit source]
- "Overview" section: Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, at 13.