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Other Documents Pertaining to a Copyright

A document is considered to “pertain to a copyright” if it has a direct or indirect relationship to the existence, scope, dura- tion, or identification of a copyright, or to the ownership, division, allocation, licensing, transfer, or exercise of rights under a copyright. That relationship may be past, present, future, or potential. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.4(a)(2). Examples include exclusive and nonexclusive licenses, contracts, powers of attorney, certificates of change of corporate title, and decrees of distribution. Examples of documents that do not pertain to a copyright include a bill of lading referring to a shipment of motion pictures and an assignment of rights in a patent or trademark.

If a document does not appear to have any direct or indirect relationship to a copyright claim, the Office may communicate with the remitter and may refuse to record the document.

Documents Not Covered by This Circular

note: The filing or recordation of the following documents is not covered by this circular, and other requirements may apply:

  • Certain contracts entered into by cable systems located outside the 48 contiguous states. See 17 U.S.C. § 111(e); 37

    • C.

      F.R. § 201.12.

  • Notices of identity and signal carriage complement and statements of account of cable systems. See 17 U.S.C. §111(d); 37 C.F.R. §201.17.

  • Statements of account of satellite carriers. See 17 U.S.C. § 119(b); 37 C.F.R. § 201.11.

  • Notices and statements of account submitted for the dis- tribution of digital audio recording equipment and media. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 1003-1004; 37 C.F.R. §§ 201.27, 201.28.

  • Notices of intention to obtain a compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords of nondramatic musi- cal works. See 17 U.S.C. § 115(b); 37 C.F.R. § 201.18.

  • License agreements and terms and rates of royalty pay- ments voluntarily negotiated between one or more public broadcasting entities and certain owners of copyright. See 17 U.S.C. § 118; 37 C.F.R. § 201.9.

  • Notices of termination. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 203, 304(c), 304(d); 37 C.F.R. § 201.10; and 74 FR 12554 (Mar. 25, 2009).

  • Statements regarding the identity of authors of anony- mous and pseudonymous works and statements relating to the death of authors. See 17 U.S.C. § 302(c)-(d).

  • Notices of intent to enforce filed under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). See 17 U.S.C. § 104A; 37

    • C.

      F.R. §§ 201.33, 201.34.

Recordation of Transfers and Other Documents · 3

  • Documents pertaining to a work of visual art that has been incorporated into or made a part of a building. See 17 U.S.C. § 113(d), 37 C.F.R. § 201.25.

  • Documents pertaining to mask works. See 17 U.S.C. § 903(c).

  • Documents pertaining to computer shareware. See 37

    • C.

      F.R. § 201.26.

Requirements for a Document to Be Recorded

Any transfer of copyright ownership or other document pertaining to a copyright may be recorded in the Copyright Office if the document meets the following requirements, as explained in detail below. The document must:

  • Have an original signature (or proper certification if

submitted as a photocopy);

  • Be complete by its own terms;

  • Be legible; and

  • Be accompanied by the correct fee.

Signature or Certification

The document must bear the actual signature or signatures of the person or persons who executed the document. See 17 U.S.C. § 205(a). If a photocopy of the original signed docu- ment is submitted, it must be accompanied by a sworn or official certification, depending on whether the document has been validated by, or filed in, a government office, as explained below. See 37 C.F.R. § 201.4(c)(1). The certification must state that the attached reproduction is a true copy of the original signed document. Id.

A sworn certification is used when the original document has not been validated by, or filed in, a government office. The sworn certification must communicate that the attached reproduction is a true copy of the original signed document, and the sworn certification must be signed by one of the par- ties to the document or by an authorized representative of that person. Sworn certifications may be issued by a notary or other person authorized to administer oaths. As an alter- native to a notarized certification, the following statement is acceptable: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the accompanying document is a true and correct copy of the original document.” Section 9 of the Form DCS (discussed below) contains a sworn certification statement that may be used to satisfy this requirement.

note: A notary public’s signature certifying that the photo- copy is a true copy is not acceptable. The signatory must be

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