Copyright registration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Copyright registry)
Jump to: navigation, search
The pre-1978 indices to the copyright records are available for public inspection at the Library of Congress.

The purpose of copyright registration is to place on record a verifiable account of the date and content of the work in question, so that in the event of a legal claim, or case of infringement or plagiarism, the copyright owner can produce a copy of the work from an official government source.

Before 1978, in the United States, federal copyright was generally secured by the act of publication with notice of copyright or by registration of an unpublished work.[1] This has now been largely superseded by international conventions, principally the Berne Convention, which provide rights harmonized at an international level without a requirement for national registration. However, the U.S. still provides legal advantages for registering works of U.S. origin.[specify]

Is registration required?[edit]

It is a common misconception to confuse copyright registration with the granting of copyright.

Copyright in most countries today is automatic on "fixation" – it applies as soon as the work is fixed in some tangible medium. This standard is established internationally by the Berne Convention (1886), which most countries have signed onto since. Registration may be required by countries before joining Berne. For instance, the US required registration of copyrighted works before it signed onto the Berne Convention in 1989; at that point, registration was no longer required for works to be copyrighted in the US. Registration is still required in the US for some benefits, such as awards of statutory damages. U.S. Courts are split on whether a completed copyright registration is required to commence an infringement lawsuit, with the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits holding that the receipt of an application for copyright registration by the Copyright Office was sufficient. The case Kernel Records Oy v Mosley found that registration is necessary for a lawsuit and that anything published online is considered a US work.

Scholarship on reinstating registration requirements[edit]

Some scholars and policy advocates (such as law professor and activist Lawrence Lessig and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren) have called for returning to a system of registration requirements and possibly other formalities such as copyright notice. The system of automatic copyright on fixation has been cited as one of the factors behind the growth of so-called "orphan works" in, for instance, the U.S. Copyright Office's 2006 report on orphan works.[2] UC Berkeley's Law School held a conference in 2013 on the question of "Reform(aliz)ing Copyright for the Internet Age?", noting that

"Formalities, which in the past three decades have largely disappeared from American copyright law, may be about to stage a comeback. ... [R]ecent research on formalities suggests that we can get many of the benefits that formalities promise for a more efficient and focused copyright law, without the problems that led us to do away with them in the first place."[3]

Where can work be registered?[edit]

  • In Canada, copyrighted works can be registered at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for a fee.[4]
  • In Kenya, copyrighted works can be registered at the Kenya Copyrights Board for a small fee.
  • In the United Kingdom, commercial services provide a registration facility where copies of work can be lodged to establish legal evidence of a copyright claim.[5] There are also requirements to file certain published works with the British Library and, on request, the five legal deposit libraries.
  • In the United States, the United States Copyright Office accepts registrations. For works created in the US by US citizens, a registration is also required before an infringement suit may be filed in a US court. Furthermore, copyright holders cannot claim statutory damages or attorney's fees unless the work was registered prior to infringement, or within three months of publication.[6]

Finding copyright registrations[edit]

All United States copyright registrations and renewals registered since 1978 have been published online at the Copyright Office website. Registrations and renewals prior to 1978 [7] were published in semi-annual softcover Copyright Catalogs. For films from 1894 to 1969, inclusive, Library of Congress published hardcover Cumulative Copyright Catalogs, each covering ten or more years.

Please see the Copyright Catalog article for links to download digital copies of these pre-1978 US catalogs.

Requirements by country[edit]

Copyright Registration by Country
Country Registration Agency (if any) Copyright registration requirements
Albania Albanian Author’s Right Office Voluntary.[8] Registration is acceptable in court as evidence of author's right.[9]
Antigua and Barbuda None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[10]
Argentina Ministry of Justice, Security, and Human Rights Voluntary. Registration serves as presumption of authorship and date of creation.[11]
Australia None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[12]
Belarus National Center of Intellectual Property Voluntary. May establish evidence of date of creation and a presumption of ownership.[citation needed]
Brazil Various, depending on subject matter[13] Voluntary. Registration may help to provide evidence of authorship and which may aid in certifying precedence in the case of two similar works.[14]
Canada Canadian Intellectual Property Office Voluntary. Registration is evidence of ownership in an infringement case.[15]
China National Copyright Administration Voluntary. Recommended, especially for software.[16]
Denmark None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[17]
Egypt None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[18]
France Office of Literacy and Artistic Property Voluntary, may establish evidence of date of creation and a presumption of ownership.[19]
Germany None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[20]
India Copyright Office Voluntary, establishes prima facie evidence of the facts contained on the registration certificate and may be used in court as proof of those facts.[21]
Israel None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[22]
Jamaica None - The Intellectual Property Services Centre is a non-profit organization that provides private registration services and is recommended by the Jamaican Intellectual Property Office for that purpose[23] Not officially available, though voluntary registration through the Intellectual Property Services Centre provides rebuttable evidence of authorship and/or ownership. The Jamaican Intellectual Property Office officially recommends the practice of "poor man's copyright" to provide evidence of ownership and creation date.[23]
Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs Voluntary, establishes presumption of facts contained in registration for use in court.[24]
Kenya Kenya Copyright Board Voluntary, establishes prima facie evidence of the facts contained on the registration certificate and may be used in court as proof of those facts
Lithuania None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[25]
Mexico National Copyrights Institute Voluntary, establishes prima facie evidence of ownership.[26]
Portugal Inspeção Geral das Atividades Culturais Voluntary, offers refutable presumption of copyright and ownership.[27]
Russian Federation Rospatent Voluntary registration available for computer programs and databases.[28]
Spain Ministry of Culture Voluntary, offers refutable presumption of copyright and ownership, but not required to file suit for infringement.[29]
Sweden None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[30]
Turkey Ministry of Culture Required for cinematographic works and phonograms, voluntary for all other works. Registration may be used as evidence.[31]
Ukraine National Office of Intellectual Property Voluntary.[32]
United Kingdom None Not required. No voluntary procedure available.[33]
United States of America United States Copyright Office Not required to obtain copyright protection, but required for domestic copyright owners to bring a suit for copyright infringement in federal court. Not required for a federal court's subject-matter jurisdiction, however, as established through the Supreme Court decision in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick.[34][35] Registration establishes prima facie evidence of facts contained in registration certificate if made within five years of first publication. Copyright owners are precluded from collecting statutory damages and/or attorney's fees for any infringement occurring before registration.[36] Foreign copyright owners are not required to register before suing for copyright infringement, but at least one court has held that they are subject to the same preclusion of statutory damages as domestic authors.[37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Copyright Basics (Circular 1) p.3.
  2. ^ United States Copyright Office, Copyright Office's Report on Orphan Works (2006).
  3. ^ "Reform(aliz)ing Copyright for the Internet Age?", Berkeley School of Law, April 18-19, 2013, Claremont Hotel, Berkeley CA.
  4. ^ Noble, Frederick. "Copyright Registration". Albright Patents. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Copyright Basics (Circular 1) p.7.
  6. ^ Copyright and the Public Domain page 11-10; Stephen Fishman - Law Journal Press (2008); ISBN 978-1-58852-151-4
  7. ^ On Copyright and other rights related with it, Law No.9380 of 28.04.2005 (Albania) Nuvola-inspired File Icons for MediaWiki-fileicon-doc.pngDOC
  8. ^ On Creation and Working of Albanian Author's Right Office, Decision No. 232 of 19.04.2006 (Albania) Nuvola-inspired File Icons for MediaWiki-fileicon-doc.pngDOC
  9. ^ Copyright Act, 2003 (Antigua and Barbuda)
  10. ^ Argentina - Benefits of Registration (Spanish)
  11. ^ How You Get Copyright, Australian Copyright Council
  12. ^ http://www.cultura.gov.br/site/2008/03/08/orgaos-de-registro-de-obras-intelectuais/
  13. ^ Azevedo, Rodrigo. "Chap. 6: Brazil". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  14. ^ CIPO - Registration of Copyright
  15. ^ Ganea, Peter. "Chap. 8: People's Republic of China". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  16. ^ Copyright, Act, 14/06/1995, No. 395 (Denmark)
  17. ^ Makeen, Makeen. "Chap. 14: Egypt". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  18. ^ Sirinelli, Pierre. "Chap. 15: France". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  19. ^ Thum, Dorothy. "Chap. 16: Germany". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  20. ^ Anand, Pravin; Reddy, Prashant. "Chap. 19: India". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  21. ^ Greenman, Tony. "Chap. 20: Israel". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  22. ^ a b JIPO - Copyright and Related Rights
  23. ^ Ueno, Tatsuhiro. "Chap. 22: Japan". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  24. ^ Mizaras, Vytautas. "Chap. 24: Lithuania". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  25. ^ Schmidt, Luis. "Chap. 25: Mexico". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  26. ^ Leitão, Luís. "Chap. 14: Portugal". In Almedina. Direito de Autor (2011 ed.). 
  27. ^ Savelieva, Irina. "Chap. 30: Russian Federation". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  28. ^ Xalabarder, Raquel. "Chap. 35: Spain". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  29. ^ Cederlund, Karin; Axhamn, Johan. "Chap. 36: Sweden". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  30. ^ Nal, Temel. "Chap. 39: Turkey". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  31. ^ The Law on Copyright and Related Rights
  32. ^ Best, Hubert. "Chap. 40: United Kingdom". In Silke von Lewinski. Copyright Throughout the World (December 2009 ed.). 
  33. ^ Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick Supreme Court Opinion
  34. ^ "Trying to Curb "Drive-By Jurisdictional Rulings": Supreme Court Clarifies Purpose of Registration Requirement in Copyright Cases" by Moses Heyward
  35. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 412
  36. ^ Football Association Premier League Ltd. v. YouTube Inc., No. 07 Civ. 3582, (S.D.N.Y. July 3, 2009)

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]