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Copyright: A Guide


Definition of "Works of the Performing Arts" from the Glossary of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third edition.

"For purposes of copyright registration, the U.S. Copyright Office uses the term “works of the performing arts” to refer collectively to the following works of authorship:

  • musical works, including any accompanying words;
  • sound recordings;
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
  • choreographic works;
  • pantomimes;
  • audiovisual works;
  • and motion pictures.

This class includes all published and unpublished works prepared for the purpose of being performed directly before an audience or indirectly by means of a device or process.” 37 C.F.R. § 202.3(b)(1)(ii).