works consisting primarily of one or more U.S.
government works has been eliminated. However, use
of the copyright notice for these works is still strongly
recommended. The use of a notice on such a work will
defeat a claim of innocent infringement, as previously
described, provided the notice also includes a statement
that identifies one of the following:
l Those portions of the work in which copyright is
l Those portions that constitute U.S. government
material. Note the following example:
© 1993 Jack Crevalle. Copyright claimed
in Chapters 7-10, exclusive of U.S. government
Works published before March 1, 1989, that consist
primarily of one or more works of the U.S. government
must bear a notice and the identifying statement.
The copyright notice is not required on unpublished
works. To avoid an inadvertent publication. without
notice, however, it may be advisable for the author or
other owner of the copyright to affix notices to any
copies or phonorecords that leave his control.
CORRECTING ERRORS AND OMISSIONS
Unlike the law that was in effect before 1978,
sections 405 and 406 in the new Copyright Act provide
procedures for correcting errors and omissions of the
copyright notice on works published on or after January
1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989.
Generally, the omission or error does not
automatically invalidate the copyright in a work if
registration for the work has been made before, or is
made within five years after the publication without
notice. Also, to add the notice to all copies or
phonorecords distributed to the public in the United
States after the omission has been discovered, a
reasonable effort is required.
Before 1978 (as a condition for copyright
protection), the copyright law required all copies
published with the authorization of the copyright owner
to bear a proper notice. When a work was published
under the copyright owners authority before January 1,
1978, without a proper copyright notice, all copyright
protection for that work was permanently lost in the
United States. The new copyright law does not provide
retroactive protection for those works.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
procedures used to obtain a copyright and the
rules that apply to the copyright owner.
Generally, copyright registration is a legal formality
intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a
particular copyright. However, except in one specific
situation, registration is not a condition of copyright
protection. That exception is contained in sections 405
and 406 of the Copyright Act. The act provides that
copyright registration may be required to preserve a
copyright that would otherwise be invalidated because
of the omission of the copyright notice from the
published copies or phonorecords, omission of the name
or date or a certain error in the year date.
Even though registration is not generally a
requirement for protection, the copyright law provides
several inducements or advantages to encourage
copyright owners to register. Some of these advantages
are as follows:
Registration establishes a public record of the
Before an infringement suit maybe filed in court,
registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin
and for foreign works not originating in a Berne
If made before or within five years of
publication, registration will establish prima
facie evidence in court of the validity of the
copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
If registration is made within three months after
publication of the work or before an infringement
of the work, statutory damages and attorneys
fees will be available to the copyright owner in
court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual
damages and profits is available to the copyright
Registration may be made at any time within the life
of the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a
work has been registered in unpublished form, another
registration is not necessary when the work is published,
although the copyright owner may register the published
edition, if desired.