ESA Comments to Copyright Office’s Notification of Inquiry Concerning Online Publications

  • 03.19.2020
  • Statements and Filings


The Entertainment Software Association (“ESA”) is pleased to provide these Comments in response to the Copyright Office’s Notification of Inquiry (“NOI”) concerning online publication.

The ESA provides these Comments to highlight the unique copyright registration issues presented by video games, particularly as they relate to publication. Video games may be the most complicated type of copyrighted work, in part because they generally involve both audiovisual and computer program authorship, often have multiple versions, are updated frequently, and involve both online and downloaded components. As a result, copyright registration of games presents unique issues, such as how to protect a game that has both published and unpublished elements. In this respect, games are different from photographs and other visual art works, as to which concerns about publication primarily seem to have arisen from difficulties individual creators have had understanding and tracking whether dissemination of particular works in different forms of online media constitutes publication, as opposed to the nature of the works themselves.

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