In Part Two of this blog series, I discuss special circumstances that apply to copyright registration of online works and I provide resources for additional information.
Special Considerations and Group Registration for Online Works
Normally, registration covers your work in the form it exists on the registration date as reflected in the deposit. For basic filings, registration does not cover revisions. Registration for revisions requires an additional application with an additional registration fee. This is a disadvantage for online works with frequently changing or rotating content.
A potential solution to this problem is using group registration. Group registration is a single registration covering multiple works, multiple versions of a work, or multiple issues of a series. You file group registrations on one application and pay one filing fee. Under certain circumstances, you can register your online work as an automated database or as a serial. The group registration methods can minimize the number of applications you must file and the filing fees you must pay.
Currently, online registration is not available for group registration. You must file your group registration application on paper forms via mail. This situation may rapidly change as the Copyright Office expands its online registration capabilities. I discuss group registration further in my book, The Cyber Citizen’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle.
For Additional Information on Copyright Registration
Copyright Office. The Copyright Office publishes several information circulars about copyright registration. You can get the information circulars by visiting www.copyright.gov or by calling the forms and publication hotline at (202) 707-9100. In addition, the Copyright Office's information specialists are available at (202) 707-5959 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST to respond to basic questions concerning copyright registration.
The Cyber Citizen’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Internet Law for Your Professional Online Presence includes an in-depth discussion of copyright registration for online works (including an explanation of the advantages and requirements for group registration). The Appendix includes fully annotated examples of completed copyright registration applications for a blog, website, podcast, and online newsletter. You can view the full table of contents along with an excerpt here.