The Copyright Office has issued a final regulation allowing for an easier process to register a group of short online literary works. The new regulation allows for a single group registration of multiple short online literary works. Short online literary works include works comprised mostly of text and published on websites or online platforms. These short online literary works include blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, short articles, etc. The copyright registration will grant copyright rights in the text of each individual work.

Conditions for copyright group registration

In order to qualify for the group registration, several conditions must be met. For example:

  • Each work must be authored by an individual or jointly by individuals – no works for hire permitted. The Copyright Office stated that the new procedure benefits individual writers who would not normally have the time or resources to register their works with the Copyright Office.
  • Each work must have identical authors, who must also be the claimant
  • The works must be first published online within a three calendar month period
  • Each work must contain at least 50, but no more than 17,500, words
  • Each work limited to only text – images not included

If the above conditions are met, the applicant can submit up to 50 works with one application and one filing fee.

Application requirements

In order to apply, an online application must be completed. The Copyright Office will provide a new form, Form GRTX, for use in filing the application. The filing fee is $65.

In order to file, the Applicant must provide the following:

  • The Applicant must provide a title for each work in the group and a title for the group as a whole
  • Applicant must upload a copyright deposit of a .zip file containing a separate digital file for each work
  • The Applicant must submit a sequentially numbered list containing a title/file name for each work in the group

The new procedure is effective August 17, 2020. This is good news for those individuals who post short, text-based, copyrightable subject matter online. The new regulation provides a more streamlined process for filing for a copyright registration on multiple short online literary works. The process is comparable to the group registration of photographs enjoyed by photographers for quite some time.

Michele Lawson

Michele Lawson is a U.S. Registered Patent Attorney.