U.S. Copyright Office Amends its Rules for Deposits of Single Issues of Serials

Issue No. 973 - July 22, 2022

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a rule, effective August 22, 2022, allowing those applying to register a single issue of a serial to submit an electronic version of the issue as the deposit copy, even if the serial is published in physical format. The rule also allows those applicants who wish to continue to provide a physical deposit copy to submit a single deposit copy instead of two.

Under the existing regulation for registering single issues of serials, if the serial is published in electronic format only, an applicant can submit one electronic copy as the deposit copy. However, if the serial is published in physical format, or in both physical and electronic formats, the applicant must submit two physical copies of the best edition. Because of the attendant delays in the receipt and handling of physical deposits, examinations of such applications are slower. In addition, an applicant mailing a physical copy will obtain a later effective date of registration than one who uploads an electronic deposit, because the effective date depends on the date of receipt of the deposit by the Office.

To expedite examination and allow publishers to obtain an earlier effective date of registration, the final rule permits publishers who wish to register a single issue of a serial that is not published exclusively in electronic format to submit a single deposit copy of the issue in electronic format. If a publisher wishes to send a physical copy, only one physical deposit copy will be required. The final rule also sets out technical requirements for electronic deposits of single issues of serials and encourages applicants to use a standardized file naming convention. The amended rule does not change the mandatory deposit requirements for the Library, which remain the same as before.

For more information, please visit the Office’s website.