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Copyright registration of computer programs

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Overview Edit

Copyright registration of a computer program covers the entire copyrightable expression embodied in that program. Thus, flow charts, source codes, and object codes may all be protectible. As specified in the Copyright Office regulations and in Copyright Office Circular 61, screen displays may be protected to the extent they contain copyrightable authorship. If screen displays are mentioned on the application, they will be examined. Many registrants, however, claim copyright in the "entire work" without submitting a specific claim in the screen display.

The Copyright Office accepts a claim in the "entire work" on the understanding that "entire work" refers only to the copyrightable content of the work of authorship. When the Copyright Office accepts a claim in the "entire work," neither the public nor the courts can assume that the Copyright Office has made a determination that individual component parts of the work are necessarily entitled to copyright protection as original works of authorship.

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