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Reading the Tea Leaves: Practical Insights from Case Law on Software Copyright Registration

Karen K. Williams and Gregory P. Stein

©2017. Published in Landslide, Vol. 9, No. 5, May/June 2017, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Those new to registering copyrights in software often assume it will be a simple process—after all, the electronic copyright registration form is a short document with a few options to select, right? Deciding what to register can be a significant challenge, however, as can determining how best to provide some of the information required by the registration application form. The process requires understanding the scope of protection provided by a registration (which is critical to determining what should be registered), dealing with claim limitations for derivative works, and the deposit requirement.

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