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Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices

Chapter 500

Compendium Home | Table of Contents

 

Chapter 500

________________________________________

COPYRIGHTABLE MATTER:

PICTORIAL, GRAPHIC, AND SCULPTURAL WORKS

 

Outline of Topics

 

501 Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works: in

general.

 

501.01 Forms of embodiment.

 

502 Works of art.

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paintings,

other pictorial works, and sculpture.

 

503.01 Style and artistic merit.

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression.

503.03 Works not capable of supporting a copyright

claim.

 

504 Registration requirements for two-dimensional

useful articles, three-dimensional works of

artistic craftsmanship, and models.

 

504.01 Material not subject to registration.

 

504.02 Examples.

 

505 Registration requirement for the shapes of three-

dimensional useful articles.

 

505.01 Definition of useful article.

505.02 Separability test.

505.03 Separability test: conceptual basis.

505.04 Separability test: physical basis.

505.05 Separability test: factors not relevant in

determining registrability.

 

506 Prints.

 

506.01 Registration requirements.

506.02 pictorial or graphic material.

506.03 uncopyrightable elements.

-1 -

[1984]


Chapter 500

COPYRIGHTABLE MATTER:

PICTORIAL, GRAPHIC, AND

SCULPTURAL WORKS                                             -2 –

 

507 Reproductions of pictorial, graphic, or sculp-

tural works.

 

507.01 Registration requirements.

507.02 Derivative works.

507.03 Reproductions not capable of supporting a

registration.

 

508 Photographs, holograms, and individual slides.

 

508.01 Registration requirements.

508.02 Uncopyrightable works.

 

509 Maps.

 

509.01 Registration requirements.

509.02 Compilations and derivative works.

509.03 Elements not capable of supporting a copyright.

 

510 Scientific works: architectural and technical

drawings and models.

 

510.01 Registration requirements.

510.02 Uncopyrightable works.

510.03 Ideas, processes, or systems.

510.04 Subjects depicted.

 


 

Chapter 500

 

COPYRIGHTABLE MATTER:

PICTORIAL, GRAPHIC, AND SCULPTURAL WORKS

 

501 Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works: in

general. The copyright law defines "pictorial,

graphic, and sculptural works" as including

two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of

fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs,

prints and art reproductions, maps, globes,

charts, technical drawings, diagrams, and

models. Such works shall include works of

artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form

but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects

are concerned: the design of a useful article,

as defined in this section, shall be considered

a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only

if, and only to the extent that, such design

incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural

features that can be identified separately

from, and are capable of existing independently

of, the utilitarian aspects of the article. See

17 U.S.C. 101.

 

501.01 Forms of embodiment. Registrable pictorial,

graphic, or sculptural authorship may be

embodied in a wide variety of forms. These

include works of fine, graphic, and applied

art: prints: photographs, holograms, and

individual slides: art reproductions: maps,

globes, and charts: architectural and tech-

nical drawings: diagrams, patterns, models,

and the like: and advertisements. Motion

pictures, film strips, slide presentations,

and other audiovisual works are not "pic-

torial works" for the purpose of registration.

 

502 Works of art. These include works of the fine

arts, such as paintings, other pictorial works,

and sculpture, as well as works of artistic

craftsmanship, such as jewelry, glassware,

ceramic figurines, table service patterns, wall

plaques, grave markers, toys, dolls, stuffed

toy animals, models, and the separable artistic

features of two-dimensional and three-dimen-

sional useful articles.

 

500-1

[1984]


500-2

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

Generally, in order to be entitled to regis-

tration, such works must contain original pic-

torial, graphic, or sculptural authorship. If

the work consists entirely of uncopyrightable

elements, registration is not authorized. On

the other hand, the mere presence of uncopy-

rightable elements in a work will not prevent

registration on the basis of features that are

copyrightable under the statute. Thus a

design, otherwise original, may be registrable

even though it incorporates uncopyrightable

standard forms, such as circles and squares.

 

503.01 Style and artistic merit. The registrability

of a work of the traditional fine arts is not

affected by the style of the work or the form

utilized by the artist. Thus, the form of

the work can be representational or abstract,

naturalistic or stylized. Likewise, the regis-

trability of a work does not depend upon artistic

merit or aesthetic value. For example, a child's

drawing may exhibit a very low level of artistic

merit and yet be entitled to registration as a

pictorial work.

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression. A claim to copyright in a

work of the traditional fine arts will be

registrable if the work contains at least a

certain minimum amount of pictorial, graphic,

or sculptural expression owing its origin

to the author. If the expression is pictorial,

the authorship could be expressed, for example,

in the linear contours of a drawing, the

assemblage of diverse fragments forming a

collage, or the arrangement and juxtaposition

of pieces of colored stone in a mosaic portrait.

If the expression is sculptural, the authorship

could, for example, be expressed by means of

carving, cutting, molding, casting, shaping,

or otherwise processing the material into a

three-dimensional work of sculpture.

 

[1984]


 

 

500-3

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

in, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

(cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial graphic, and sculp-

tural expression.

 

503.02(a) Minimal standards: pictorial or graphic

material. A certain minimal amount of

original creative authorship is essen-

tial for registration in Class VA or

in any other class. Copyrightability

depends upon the presence of creative

expression in a work, and not upon

aesthetic merit, commercial appeal, or

symbolic value. Thus, registration

cannot be based upon the simplicity of

standard ornamentation such as chevron

stripes, the attractiveness of a con-

ventional fleur-de-lys design, or the

religious significance of a plain,

ordinary cross. Similarly, it is not

possible to copyright common geometric

r. figures or shapes such as the hexagon

or the ellipse, a standard symbol such

as an arrow or a five-pointed star.

Likewise, mere coloration cannot

support a copyright even though it may

enhance the aesthetic appeal or com-

mercial value of a work. For example,

it is not possible to copyright a new

version of a textile design merely

because the colors of red and blue

appearing in the design have been

replaced by green and yellow, respec-

tively. The same is true of a simple

combination of a few standard symbols

such as a circle, a star, and a tri-

angle, with minor linear or spatial

variations.

 

Examples:

 

1) An unpublished design for textile

fabric is submitted for registra-

tion in Class VA. The design con-

sists of a standard unembellished

 

[1984]


500-4

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

(cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression. (cont’d)

 

503.02(a) Minimal standards: pictorial or graphic

material. (cont'd)

 

Examples: (cont'd)

 

1) (cont'd)

 

character of Chinese calligraphy

painted upon horizontally striated

grass cloth. Practice: Registra-

tion is not authorized in this

case. Like typography, calligraphy

is not copyrightable as such, not-

withstanding the effect achieved by

calligraphic brush strokes across a

striated surface.

 

2) An applicant for registration has ..

developed a novelty item consisting

of transparently clear plastic

sheets bonded together around their

periphery, and having a small

amount of colored liquid petroleum

in the air space between the

laminated sheets. Any slight

pressure upon the external surface

results in the formation of undula-

ting patterns and shapes, no two of

which are ever identical. Practice:

Since the specific outlines and

contours of the patterns and shapes

formed by the liquid petroleum do

not owe their origin to a human

agent, it is not possible to claim

copyright in such patterns and

shapes. The novelty of the idea

embodied in the work and the

effects achieved by the action of

the petroleum under pressure like-

wise do not warrant registration.

 

[1984]


 

500-5

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpt.

(cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

torial expression. (cont’d)

 

503.02(b) Minimal standards: sculptural material.

The requisite minimal amount of origi-

nal sculptural authorship necessary for

registration in Class VA does not

depend upon the aesthetic merit, com-

mercial appeal, or symbolic value of a

work. Copyrightability is based upon

the creative expression of the author,

that is, the manner or way in which the

material is formed or fashioned. Thus,

registration cannot be based upon

standard designs which lack original-

ity, such as common architecture

moldings, or the volute used to

decorate the capitals of Ionic and

Corinthian columns. Similarly, it is

not possible to copyright common

geometric figures or shapes in three-

dimensional form, such as the cone,

cube, or sphere. The mere fact that a

work of sculpture embodies uncopyright-

able elements, such as standard forms

of ornamentation or embellishment, will

not prevent registration. However,

the creative expression capable of

supporting copyright must consist of

something more than the mere bringing

together of two or three standard forms

or shapes with minor linear or spatial

variations. In no event can registra-

tion rest solely upon the fact that an

idea, method of operation, plan, or

system has been successfully communi-

cated in three-dimensional form. In

every case, it is the creative expres-

sion of the author which must be able

to stand alone as an independent work

apart from the general idea which

informs it.

 

[1984]


 

500-6

 

503  Registration requirements for drawings, paint­ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture. (cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression. (cont'd)

 

 

503.02(b) Minimal standards: sculptural material. (cont'd)

 

Examples:

 

1) Registration in Class VA is re­quested for a design or model of a table lamp. Cast in plaster of Paris, the design features the head of a horse mounted on an iron horseshoe with toe and heel calks which supports the entire fixture. Electrical wiring is concealed within the plaster casting. Practice: If the head of the horse is original, registration may be considered on that basis. However, the general idea of embellishing a lighting fixture with a work of art is not copyrightable. The same is true of the decorative idea of using a horseshoe as support for a lamp base, regardless of the pleasing effect thereby achieved.

 

2) A toy manufacturer conceives a novel idea for a toy consisting of multicolored geometrical spheres, cubes, and cylinders of varying sizes. All of these parts or pieces are magnetized, and will adhere to one another when placed in close proximity. Thus, it is possible to construct an indefinite variety of shapes and figures by means of the magnetized parts or pieces. The manufacturer desires to protect the three-dimensional aspects of the toy before publica­tion occurs. He applies to the

 

[1984]

 


 

500-7

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

(cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression. (cont'd)

 

503.02(b) Minimal standards: sculptural material.

(cont'd)

 

Examples: (cont'd)

 

2) (cont'd)

Copyright Office for registration

of a design for an unpublished

sculptural work of art. His appli-

cation Form VA is accompanied by

one complete set of magnetized

spheres, cubes, and cylinders

arranged in a plain box according

to size and color. Practice: We

will refuse a registration in Class

VA based solely upon the unassem-

bled toy, even though its component

parts or pieces are potentially

capable of being arranged in copy-

rightable shapes and forms. The

general idea of the toy is uncopy-

rightable, regardless of its novelty

or uniqueness.

 

3) A work described as a "mobile"

consists of nine pieces of trans-

lucent colored glass each of which

is suspended by wire from an over-

head rack designed to rotate about

a pivot in a horizontal plane. The

suspension wires vary in length and

no two pieces of glass share the

same shape or outline. Registra-

tion is sought in Class VA on the

basis of the overall effect pro-

duced by the play of light upon the

suspended glass components of a

work which the applicant describes

as "three-dimensional." No copy-

rightable authorship is claimed in

the design of the individual pieces

 

[1984]


500-8

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

(cont'd)

 

503.02 Copyrightable pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural expression (cont'd)

 

503.02(b) Minimal standards: sculptural material.

(cont'd)

 

Examples: (cont'd)

 

3) (cont'd)

 

of glass. Practice: Registration

based upon the cumulative effect

produced by the component members

of the mobile will be refused. If

these members had contained copy-

rightable authorship, registration

could have been considered on the

basis of the two-dimensional design

features displayed by the pieces of

glass.

 

503.03 Works not capable of supporting a copyright

claim. Claims to copyright in the following

works cannot be registered in the Copyright

Office:

 

503.03(a) Works-not originated by a human author.

In order to be entitled to copyright

registration, a work must be the product

of human authorship. Works produced by

mechanical processes or random selection

without any contribution by a human author

are not registrable. Thus, a linoleum

floor covering featuring a multicolored

pebble design which was produced by a

mechanical process in unrepeatable, random

patterns, is not registrable. Similarly,

a work owing its form to the forces of

nature and lacking human authorship is

not registrable; thus, for example, a

piece of driftwood even if polished and

mounted is not registrable.

 

[1984]


 

500-9

 

503 Registration requirements for drawings, paint-

ings, other pictorial works, and sculpture.

(cont'd)

 

503.03 Works not capable of supporting a copyright

claim. (cont'd)

 

503.03(b) Works containing insufficient expression.

No registration is possible where the

work consists solely of elements which

are incapable of supporting a copyright

claim. Uncopyrightable elements include

common geometric figures or symbols,

such as a hexagon, an arrow, or a

five-pointed star, as pointed out in

section 503.02(a) above.

 

503.03(c) Ideas and concepts. Mere ideas and

concepts cannot support a copyright claim.

In order to be registrable, a work must

contain original copyrightable expression.

Thus, for example, neither the idea of

folding a five-pointed star in a manner

that enables it to stand upright, nor the

star so folded is registrable.

 

504 Registration requirements for two-dimensional

useful articles, three-dimensional works of

artistic craftsmanship, and models. The regis-

trability of two-dimensional useful articles

is determined by the presence of at least a

certain minimum amount of pictorial or graphic

authorship. For three-dimensional works of

artistic craftsmanship falling outside the

definition of useful articles, such as jewelry,

toys, and wall plaques, the authorship may be

either sculptural or pictorial in nature, such

as carving, cutting, molding, casting, shaping

the work, arranging the elements into an origi-

nal combination, or decorating the work with

pictorial matter. Three-dimensional works of

artistic craftsmanship are registrable either

in assembled form, or in unassembled component

pieces, as for example, an unassembled model

airplane.

 

[1984]


500-10

 

504 Registration requirements for-two-dimensional

useful articles, three-dimensional works of

artistic craftsmanship, and models. (cont d)

 

504.01  Material not subject to copyright. Standard

elements, as such, are not registrable. Thus,

registration cannot be made for glassware de-

void of copyrightable ornamentation, or for

fabric designs consisting only of polka dots.

Moreover, the mechanical or utilitarian

aspects of a three-dimensional work of applied

art are not subject to copyright protection.

Hence, the serrated edge of a knife could not

be the basis of a copyright registration.

504.02 Example. The following are examples of the

principles governing the registrability of

such works:

 

1) A textile design consisting of nothing

more than polka dots is not registrable.

However, a representational image pro-

duced by the use of dots is registrable.

 

2) A jeweled pin consisting of three parallel

rows of stones is not registrable, while

a pin consisting of a sculpted bee is

registrable.

 

3) A copyright claim in an original stuffed

toy lion is registrable, while a plain

red cushion shaped as a five-pointed

star is not.

 

505 Registration requirements for the shapes of

three-dimensional useful articles. Under the

definition of "pictorial, graphic, and sculp-

tural works" in the copyright law, the "design

of a useful article" is copyrightable only if,

and only to the extent that, such design incor-

porates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural

features that can be identified separately

from, and are capable of existing independently

of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.

See 17 U.S.C. 101.

 

[1984]

 


 

500-11

 

505 Registration requirements for the shapes of

three-dimensional useful articles. (cont'd)

 

505.01 Definition of useful article. A "useful

article" is an article having an intrinsic

utilitarian function that is not merely to

portray the appearance of the article or

to convey information. An article that is

normally a part of a useful article is

considered a "useful article." 17 U.S.C.

101. Examples of useful articles include

automobiles, boats, household appliances,

furniture, work tools, garments, and the

like.

 

505.02 Separability test. Registration of claims

to copyright in three-dimensional useful

articles can be considered only on the

basis of separately identifiable pictorial,

graphic, or sculptural features which are

capable of independent existence apart from

the shape of the useful article. Determin-

ation of separability may be made on either

a conceptual or physical basis.

 

505.03 Separability test: conceptual basis. Con-

ceptual separability means that the pic-

torial, graphic, or sculptural features,

while physically inseparable by ordinary

means from the utilitarian item, are never-

theless clearly recognizable as a pictorial,

graphic, or sculptural work which can be

visualized on paper, for example, or as

free-standing sculpture, as another

example, independent of the shape of the

useful article, i.e., the artistic features

can be imagined separately and independently

from the useful article without destroying

the basic shape of the useful article. The

artistic features and the useful article

could both exist side by side and be per-

ceived as fully realized, separate works --

one an artistic work and the other a useful

article. Thus, carving on the back of a

chair, or pictorial matter engraved on a

glass vase, could be considered for regis-

tration. The test of conceptual separa-

bility, however, is not met by merely

 

[1984]


500-12

 

505 Registration requirements for the shapes of

three-dimensional useful articles. (cont'd)

 

505.03 Separability test: conceptual basis.

(cont'd)

 

analogizing the general shape of a useful

article to works of modern sculpture, since

the alleged "artistic features" and the

useful article cannot be perceived as

having separate, independent existences.

The shape of the alleged "artistic fea-

tures" and of the useful article are one

and the same, or differ in minor ways: any

differences are de minimis. The mere fact

that certain features are nonfunctional or

could have been designed differently is

irrelevant under the statutory definition

of pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.

Thus, the fact that a lighting fixture

might resemble abstract sculpture would not

transform the lighting fixture into a copy-

rightable work.

 

505.04 Separability test: physical basis. The

physical separability test derives from the

principle that a copyrightable work of

sculpture which is later incorporated into

a useful article retains its copyright pro-

tection. Examples of works meeting the

physical separability test include a

sculptured lamp base of a Balinese dancer,

or a pencil sharpener shaped like an antique

car. However, since the overall shape of a

useful article is not copyrightable, the

test of physical separability is not met by

the mere fact that the housing of a useful

article is detachable from the working parts

of the article.

 

505.05 Separability test: factors not relevant in

determining registrability. In applying the

test of separab11ity, the following are not

relevant considerations: 1) the aesthetic

value of the design, 2) the fact that the

shape could be designed differently, or 3)

the amount of work which went into the

 

[1984]

 


 

500-13

 

505 Registration requirements for the shapes of

three-dimensional useful articles. (cont'd)

 

505.05 Separability test: factors not relevant in

determining registrability. (cont'd)

 

making of the design. Thus, the mere fact

that a famous designer produces a uniquely

shaped food processor does not render the

design of the food processor copyrightable.

 

506 Prints. "Prints" include a wide variety of

pictorial prints and illustrations produced by

means of lithography, photoengraving or other

printing processes, including reproductions of

representational and abstract designs and color

reproductions of photographic prints. Examples

of such works include greeting cards, picture

postcards, posters, decals, stationery, table

place mats, advertisements, various kinds of

wrappers, billboards, shopping bags, and labels.

 

506.01 Registration requirements. In order to be

entitled to registration as a print, the

work must contain at least a certain

minimum amount of original pictorial or

graphic authorship.

 

506.02 Pictorial or graphic material. Registra-

tion is appropriate for original pictorial

or graphic material, such as illustrations

and representational or abstract design, as

well as photographs reproduced in color by

lithography, photoengraving, or other printing

processes. Although the copyrightability of

such material does not depend upon artistic

merit or aesthetic value, the material must

contain at least a certain minimum amount of

original pictorial or graphic expression to

be eligible for registration.

 

506.03 Uncopyrightable elements. In determining

the registrability of a print, the copy-

right claim cannot be based solely upon

mere variations of typographic ornamenta-

tion, lettering, or coloring. Likewise,

the arrangement of type on a printed page

cannot support a copyright claim. However,

 

[1984]


500-14

 

506 Prints. (cont'd)

 

506.03 Uncopyrightable elements. (cont'd)

 

if the type is so arranged as to produce a

pictorial representation, the resulting

image is registrable. Thus, an advertise-

ment which utilized lettering to achieve a

pictorial representation of a person can be

registered.

 

507 Reproductions of pictorial, graphic, or sculp-

tural works. Material comprising "reproductions

of pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works" include

reproductions of existing works of art. Examples

of such reproductions are photoengravings, collo-

types, silk-screen prints, mezzotints, and three-

dimensional reproductions of sculpture.

 

507.01 Registration requirements. In order to be

registrable, an art reproduction must contain

at least a certain minimum amount of original

authorship. This authorship may consist of

drawing, lithography, photoengraving, etching,

original sculpturing or molding, and the like.

For example, a reproduction of Rodin's "Hand

of God" achieved through sculpturing a minia-

ture version of the original is registrable.

 

507.02 Derivative works. Art reproductions are

derivative works because, by their nature,

they are based on preexisting works. Accord-

ingly, a statement identifying the preexisting

artistic work and indicating the nature of the

authorship in the reproduction should be given

in the appropriate spaces on the application

form. However, in those cases where the author

and claimant of the reproduction are also the

author and claimant of the original work of

art that has been reproduced, and the original

work has not been previously registered or

published, registration should be made as

an original pictorial, graphic, or sculptural

work.

 

[1984]


 

500-15

 

507 Reproductions of pictorial, graphic, sculp-

tural works. (cont'd)

 

507.03 Reproductions not capable of supporting

a registration. Claims to copyright in the

following works cannot be registered in the

Copyright Office:

 

507.03(a) Underlying work not a pictorial, graphic,

or sculptural work. Where the underlying

work is not a pictorial, graphic, or sculp-

­tural work, no registration is possible on

the basis of reproduction authorship. For

example, a lithographic reproduction of a

letter of the alphabet is not registrable.

 

507.03(b) Mechanical or photomechanical processes.

Reproductions made through the mere opera­tion of mechanical or photomechanical processes are not registrable. For example, a photocopy of an original pen and ink drawing is not registrable as

an art reproduction.

 

508 Photographs, holograms, and individual slides. Works considered for registration on the basis of photographic authorship include still photo­

graPhic prints, holograms, and individual slides.

 

508.01 Registration requirements. To be entitled

to copyright registration, a photograph, holo­

gram, or slide must contain at least a certain

minimum amount of original expression. Gener­ally, original photographic or holographic

authorship depends on the variety and number of the elements involved in the composition

of the photograph or hologram. However, the nature of the thing depicted or the subject

of the photograph or hologram, as distinguished from its composition or arrangement, is not regarded as a copyrightable element. original

photographic composition capable of supporting

registration may include such elements as time

and light exposure, camera angle or perspective achieved, deployment of light and shadow from natural or artificial light sources, and the arrangement or disposition of persons, scenery, or other subjects depicted in the photograph.

 

[1984]

 

 

 


 

500-16

 

508 Photographics, holograms, and individual slides.

 

508.01 Registration requirements. (cont'd)

 

In the case of holography, original authorship

depends largely upon the selection, arrange-

ment, and disposition of scene and object.

 

508.02 Uncopyrightable works. Where images are

produced through the operation of mechanical

or photomechanical processes with no appreciable

element of artistic expression, the work is not

registrable.

 

Examples:

 

1) A microfilm merely reproducing public

domain textual matter is not registrable.

 

2) The photocopy of a public domain pictorial

work is not registrable.

 

509 Maps. The term "map" refers to cartographic

representations of area. Common examples include

terrestrial maps and atlases, marine charts, celes-

tial maps, and such three-dimensional works as

globes and relief models.

 

509.01 Registration requirements. To be regis-

trable, a map must contain at least a

certain minimum amount of original carto-

graphic material. Examples of original

cartographic material include drawings or

pictorial representations of area based on

original surveying or carto-graphic field

work and compilations resulting from the

original selection and arrangement of

essentially cartographic features, such as

roads, lakes or rivers, cities, political

or geographic boundaries, and the like.

509.02 Compilations and derivative works. The

preparation of many maps involves the use

of previously published source material to

a significant degree, and the copyrightable

 

[1984]


509

 

500-17

 

509 Maps. (cont'd)

 

509.02 Compilations and derivative works. (cont'd)

 

authorship, therefore, is generally based

upon elements such as additional compilation

and drawing. Additional authorship of this

kind may include cartographic representations

such as new roads, historical landmarks, or

zoning boundaries. Where any substantial

portion of the work submitted for registra­

tion includes previously published or regis­

tered material, or material that is in the

public domain, statements describing both

the preexisting material as well as the new

copyrightable authorship should be given at

the appropriate spaces on the application

form. See Chapter 700: APPLICATIONS AND FEES.

 

509.03 Elements not capable of supporting a copy­

right. A mere reprint of public domain or

previously published material is not regis­

trable. Likewise, a claim based upon an obvious selection and arrangement of mater­ials is not registrable. For example, an outline map of the united States containing nothing more than the names of the state capitals does not contain the necessary authorship to support registration.

 

510 Scientific works: architectural and technical

drawings and models. Material comprising sci­-

entific works includes architectural blueprints, mechanical drawings, engineering diagrams, astro­nomical charts, anatomical models, scientific and architectural models, and similar works.

 

510.01 Registration requirements. In order to be entitled to registration, architectural and technical drawings must contain at least a certain minimum amount of original graphic

or pictorial matter. A scientific or archi­tectural model must contain at least a certain minimum amount of original sculptural material.

 

[1984]


500-18

 

510 Scientific works: architectural and technical drawings and models. (cont'd)

510.02 Uncopyrightable works. Claims to copyright in the following works cannot be registered in the Copyright Office:

 

510.02(a) Devices. Devices and similar articles, designed for computing and measuring, cannot be registered. Common examples of such works include slide rules, wheel dials, and nomograms that contain insufficient original literary or pictorial material. The printed material of which a device usually consists (lines, numbers, symbols, calibrations, and their arrangement) cannot be copyrighted, because this material is necessarily dictated by the uncopyrightable idea, principle, formula, or standard of measurement involved.

 

 

510.02(b) Blank forms. Blank forms and similar works which are designed for recording information and do not in themselves con­vey information, cannot be registered. Common examples include: forms calibrated for use in conjunction with a machine or device, report forms, graph paper, account books, scorecards, order forms, vouchers, and the like. See 37 C.F.R. 202.1(c).

 

510.03 Ideas, processes, or systems. Copyright protection does not extend to ideas, pro­cesses, or systems. Scientific or tech­nical works are registrable only if they contain the requisite original copyright­able expression. The following are not protectible by copyright and do not offer a basis for copyright registration: 1) ideas or procedures for doing, making, or build­ing things 2) scientific or technical discoveries or methods 3) business operations or procedures 4) mathematical principles or 5) any other concept, pro­cess, method of operation, or plan of action. See 17 U.S.C. 102(b).

 

[1984]


 

500-19

 

510 Scientific works: architectural and technical drawings and models. (cont'd)

 

510.04 Subjects depicted. Where registration is sought for a scientific or technical work, the application should describe only the authorship contained in the work and not bear any statements which suggest that registration extends to the subjects depicted. Thus, the application for

registration of a claim to copyright in an architectural drawing of a building should contain no statements which imply that the registration extends to the building. See 17 D.S.C. l13(b).

 

[END OF CHAPTER 500]

 

 

[1984]


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