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Group Registration for a Fraction of the Cost

By Alexa Rose Colangelo

On June 22, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a new rule permitting group registration of short online literary works. The new rule permits registration of up to fifty (50) short literary works through a single group application and filing fee.[1] Previously, applicants had to file a separate application for each short literary work and pay a fee of $65 per application.[2] Beginning on August 17th when the new rule comes into effect, applicants will be able to save a significant amount on application fees as they will be able to pay a single $65 fee for the single group application.[3]

Eligible short literary texts are those consisting solely of text, such as blog posts, social media posts, and short online articles.[4] In order to qualify for group registration, the short literary works must i) each contain 50-17,500 words, ii) be created by the same author or authors, iii) each author must be named the copyright claimant or claimants, and iv) all works must be published within a three month period.[5] The new rule excludes works for hire because the rule is meant to benefit individual writers with constrained resources rather than benefit corporate authors.[6]

If registration is successful, each short literary work filed through the group application will be considered a separate work of authorship at a fraction of the cost![7]

[1] Group Registration of Short Online Literary Works, 85 Fed. Reg. 37,341 (June 22, 2020) (to be codified at 37 C.F.R. pt. 201-02)

[2] Id at. 37,345.

[3] Id. at 37,346.

[4] Id. at 37,341.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. at 37,344.

[7] Id. at 37,341.