U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Code of Federal Regulations


If your web browser does not redirect you to the Code of Federal Regulations, please click here: Regulations
§ 201.4 Recordation of transfers and certain other documents. (a) General. (1) This section prescribes conditions for the recordation of transfers of copyright ownership and other documents pertaining to a copyright under section 205 of title 17 of the United States Code, as amended by Pub. L. 94-553. The filing or recordation of the following documents is not within the provisions of this section: (i) Certain contracts entered into by cable systems located outside of the 48 contiguous States (17 U.S.C. 111(e); see 37 CFR 201.12); (ii) Notices of identity and signal carriage complement, and statements of account of cable systems and satellite carriers and for digital audio recording devices and media (17 U.S.C. 111(d), 119(b) and 1003(c); see 37 CFR 201.11; 201.17; 201.28); (iii) Original, signed notices of intention to obtain compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords of nondramatic musical works (17 U.S.C. 115(b); see 37 CFR 201.18); (iv) License agreements, and terms and rates of royalty payments, voluntarily negotiated between one or more public broadcasting entities and certain owners of copyright (17 U.S.C. 118; see 37 CFR 201.9); (v) Notices of termination (17 U.S.C. 203, 304(c) and (d); see 37 CFR 201.10); and (vi) Statements regarding the identity of authors of anonymous and pseudonymous works, and statements relating to the death of authors (17 U.S.C. 302). (2) A transfer of copyright ownership has the meaning set forth in section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code, as amended by Pub. L. 94-553. A document shall be considered to "pertain to a copyright" if it has a direct or indirect relationship to the existence, scope, duration, 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. (3) For purposes of this section: (i) A sworn certification is an affidavit under the official seal of any officer authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or if the original is located outside of the United States, under the official seal of any diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or of a person authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by the certificate of such an officer, or a statement in accordance with section 1746 of title 28 of the United States Code; and (ii) An official certification is a certification, by the appropriate Government official, that the original of the document is on file in a public office and that the reproduction is a true copy or the original. (b) Forms. The Copyright Office does not provide forms for the use of persons recording documents. (c) Recordable documents. Any transfer of copyright ownership (including any instrument of conveyance, or note or memorandum of the transfer), or any other document pertaining to a copyright, may be recorded in the Copyright Office if it is accompanied by the fee set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, and if the requirements of this paragraph with respect to signatures, completeness, and legibility are met. (1) To be recordable, the document must bear the actual signature or signatures of the person or persons who executed it. Alternatively, the document may be recorded if it is a legible photocopy or other legible facsimile reproduction of the signed document, accompanied by a sworn certification or an official certification that the reproduction is a true copy of the signed document. Any sworn certification accompanying a reproduction shall be signed by at least one of the parties to the signed document, or by an authorized representative of that person. (2) To be recordable, the document must be complete by its own terms. (i) A document that contains a reference to any schedule, appendix, exhibit, addendum, or other material as being attached to the document or made a part of it shall be recordable only if the attachment is also submitted for recordation with the document or if the reference is deleted by the parties to the document. If a document has been submitted for recordation and has been returned by the Copyright Office at the request of the sender for deletion of the reference to an attachment, the document will be recorded only if the deletion is signed or initialed by the persons who executed the document or by their authorized representatives. In exceptional cases a document containing a reference to an attachment will be recorded without the attached material and without deletion of the reference if the person seeking recordation submits a written request specifically asserting that: (A) The attachment is completely unavailable for recordation; and (B) The attachment is not essential to the identification of the subject matter of the document; and (C) It would be impossible or wholly impracticable to have the parties to the document sign or initial a deletion of the reference. In such exceptional cases, the Copyright Office records of the document will be annotated to show that recordation was made in response to a specific request under this paragraph. (ii) If a document otherwise recordable under this title indicates on its face that it is a self-contained part of a larger instrument (for example: if it is designated "Attachment A" or "Exhibit B"), the Copyright Office will raise the question of completeness, but will record the document if the person requesting recordation asserts that the document is sufficiently complete as it stands. (iii) When the document submitted for recordation merely identifies or incorporates by reference another document, or certain terms of another document, the Copyright Office will raise no question of completeness, and will not require recordation of the other document. (3) To be recordable, the document must be legible and capable of being reproduced in legible microform copies. (d) Fees. The fees for recordation of a document are prescribed in §201.3(c). (e) Recordation. The date of recordation is the date when a proper document under paragraph (c) of this section and a proper fee under paragraph (d) of this section are all received in the Copyright Office. After recordation the document is returned to the sender with a certificate of record. (17 U.S.C. 205, 702, 708) [43 FR 35044, Aug. 8, 1978, as amended at 53 FR 123, Jan. 5, 1988; 56 FR 59885, Nov. 26, 1991; 64 FR 29521, June 1, 1999; 65 FR 39819, June 28, 2000; 67 FR 69136, Nov. 15, 2002; 70 FR 38022, July 1, 2005]