United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 4/Sections 403 to 405

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§ 403—Notice of copyright: Publications incorporating United States Government works

Sections 401(d) and 402(d) shall not apply to a work published in copies or phonorecords consisting predominantly of one or more works of the United States Government unless the notice of copyright appearing on the published copies or phonorecords to which a defendant in the copyright infringement suit had access includes a statement identifying, either affirmatively or negatively, those portions of the copies or phonorecords embodying any work or works protected under this title.

§ 404—Notice of copyright: Contributions to collective works

(a) A separate contribution to a collective work may bear its own notice of copyright, as provided by sections 401 through 403. However, a single notice applicable to the collective work as a whole is sufficient to invoke the provisions of section 401(d) or 402(d), as applicable with respect to the separate contributions it contains (not including advertisements inserted on behalf of persons other than the owner of copyright in the collective work), regardless of the ownership of copyright in the contributions and whether or not they have been previously published.

(b) With respect to copies and phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988,[BCIAdate] where the person named in a single notice applicable to a collective work as a whole is not the owner of copyright in a separate contribution that does not bear its own notice, the case is governed by the provisions of section 406(a).

§ 405—Notice of copyright: Omission of notice on certain copies and phonorecords

(a) EFFECT OF OMISSION ON COPYRIGHT.—With respect to copies and phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, the omission of the copyright notice described in sections 401 through 403 from copies or phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner does not invalidate the copyright in a work if—

(1) the notice has been omitted from no more than a relatively small number of copies or phonorecords distributed to the public; or
(2) registration for the work has been made before or is made within five years after the publication without notice, and a reasonable effort is made to add notice to all copies or phonorecords that are distributed to the public in the United States after the omission has been discovered; or
(3) the notice has been omitted in violation of an express requirement in writing that, as a condition of the copyright owner's authorization of the public distribution of copies or phonorecords, they bear the prescribed notice.

(b) EFFECT OF OMISSION ON INNOCENT INFRINGERS.—Any person who innocently infringes a copyright, in reliance upon an authorized copy or phonorecord from which the copyright notice has been omitted and which was publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, incurs no liability for actual or statutory damages under section 504 for any infringing acts committed before receiving actual notice that registration for the work has been made under section 408, if such person proves that he or she was misled by the omission of notice. In a suit for infringement in such a case the court may allow or disallow recovery of any of the infringer's profits attributable to the infringement, and may enjoin the continuation of the infringing undertaking or may require, as a condition for permitting the continuation of the infringing undertaking, that the infringer pay the copyright owner a reasonable license fee in an amount and on terms fixed by the court.

(c) REMOVAL OF NOTICE.—Protection under this title is not affected by the removal, destruction, or obliteration of the notice, without the authorization of the copyright owner, from any publicly distributed copies or phonorecords.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^  The effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 is March 1, 1989.

Amendment history[edit]

Sections 403 to 405 were added by § 101 of title I of the Copyright Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-553, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2541), with effect from January 1, 1978. Section 403 was replaced by a new version pursuant to the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-568, Oct. 31, 1988, 102 Stat. 2853), with effect from March 1, 1989.

Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988[edit]

Pub. L. 100-568, Oct. 31, 1988, 102 Stat. 2853

  • Amended subsection 404(a) by substituting "to invoke the provisions of section 401(d) or 402(d), as applicable" for "to satisfy the requirements of sections 401 through 403" in the second sentence, with effect from March 1, 1989.
  • Amended subsection 404(b), by inserting "With respect to copies and phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988," at the beginning of the sentence, with effect from March 1, 1989.
  • Amended the heading of section 405 by adding "on certain copies and phonorecords" at the end, with effect from March 1, 1989.
  • Amended subsection 405(a) by substituting "With respect to copies and phonorecords publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, the omission of the copyright notice described in" for "The omission of the copyright notice prescribed by" at the beginning of the first sentence, with effect from March 1, 1989.
  • Amended subsection 405(b) by adding "and which was publicly distributed by authority of the copyright owner before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988" after "omitted," in the first sentence, with effect from March 1, 1989.

Public Law 105-80[edit]

Pub. L. 105-80, § 12(a)(10), Nov. 13, 1997, 111 Stat. 1535;

  • Amended section 405, subsection (b) by substituting “condition for permitting the continuation” for “condition or permitting the continuation”.