3

I presume it is either of the following, given that training materials are often videos or tapes accompanied by the transcribed text (or vice versa).

The definitions according to 17 U.S.C. § 101 (archived):

  • "Literary works" are works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.
  • "Sound recordings" are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as disks, tapes, or other phonorecords, in which they are embodied.
  • "Audiovisual works" are works that consist of a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines, or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as films or tapes, in which the works are embodied.

Relevant resources:

6

Training materials may be any of those types of work. A written manual or workbook is a literary work. An audiobook or other sound-only recording is a sound recording. A video or other motion picture is an audiovisual work.

Whether the purpose of the material is entertainment or training or something else is orthogonal to its classification in one of these three categories.

Different manifestations of the same training material may be categorized differently. For example, a transcript of an unscripted video would be a literary work. It is also a derivative work (another orthogonal concept), and the source from which it is derived is an audiovisual work.

2

It depends on what the specific material is. The written text is a plainly a literary work. If I make just a recording of some text (speaking extemporaneously), it is not audiovisual (lacks images), and because it is not the the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, it qualifies as a sound recording. It would count as a phonorecord as well. A video of you reading the text is an audiovisual work. If you post a movie and a text file, one is a literary work and the other is an audiovisual work.

1
  • I especially like your last sentence because it clarifies a different question of mine (but raises another), but I marked @phoog's answer because it is equally elucidating (and they have less reputation score, so balancing things out).
    – toraritte
    Nov 8 '20 at 1:57

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