Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) General. This section prescribes rules pertaining to the deposit of copies and phonorecords of published works for the Library of Congress under section 407 of title 17 of the United States Code. The provisions of this section are not applicable to the deposit of copies and phonorecords for purposes of copyright registration under section 408 of title 17, except as expressly adopted in §202.20.
(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
(i) The best edition of a work is the edition, published in the United States at any time before the date of deposit, that the Library of Congress determines to be most suitable for its purposes. The “best edition” requirement is described in detail at Appendix B to this part.
(ii) Criteria for selection of the “best edition” from among two or more published editions of the same version of the same work are set forth in the statement entitled “Best Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the Library of Congress” (hereafter referred to as the “Best Edition Statement”) in effect at the time of deposit.
(iii) Where no specific criteria for the selection of the “best edition” are established in the Best Edition Statement, that edition which, in the judgment of the Library of Congress, represents the highest quality for its purposes shall be considered the “best edition.” In such cases:
(A) When the Copyright Office is aware that two or more editions of a work have been published it will consult with other appropriate officials of the Library of Congress to obtain instructions as to the “best edition” and (except in cases for which special relief is granted) will require deposit of that edition; and
(B) When a potential depositor is uncertain which of two or more published editions comprises the “best edition”, inquiry should be made to the Copyright Acquisitions Division.
(iv) Where differences between two or more “editions” of a work represent variations in copyrightable content, each edition is considered a separate version, and hence a different work, for the purpose of this section, and criteria of “best edition” based on such differences do not apply.
(2) A complete copy includes all elements comprising the unit of publication of the best edition of the work, including elements that, if considered separately, would not be copyrightable subject matter or would otherwise be exempt from the mandatory deposit requirement under paragraph (c) of this section.
(i) In the case of sound recordings, a “complete” phonorecord includes the phonorecord, together with any printed or other visually perceptible material published with such phonorecord (such as textual or pictorial matter appearing on record sleeves or album covers, or embodied in leaflets or booklets included in a sleeve, album, or other container).
(ii) In the case of a musical composition published in copies only, or in both copies and phonorecords:
(A) If the only publication of copies in the United States took place by the rental, lease, or lending of a full score and parts, a full score is a “complete” copy; and
(B) If the only publication of copies in the United States took place by the rental, lease, or lending of a conductor's score and parts, a conductor's score is a “complete” copy.
(iii) In the case of a motion picture, a copy is “complete” if the reproduction of all of the visual and aural elements comprising the copyrightable subject matter in the work is clean, undamaged, undeteriorated, and free of splices, and if the copy itself and its physical housing are free of any defects that would interfere with the performance of the work or that would cause mechanical, visual, or audible defects or distortions.
(iv) In the case of an electronic work published in the United States and available only online, a copy is “complete” if it includes all elements constituting the work in its published form, i.e., the complete work as published, including metadata and formatting codes otherwise exempt from mandatory deposit.
(3) The terms architectural works, copies, collective work, device, fixed, literary work, machine, motion picture, phonorecord, publication, sound recording, useful article, and their variant forms, have the meanings given to them in 17 U.S.C. 101.
(4) For purposes of paragraph (c)(5) of this section, an electronic serial is an electronic work published in the United States and available only online, issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations, without subsequent alterations, and intended to be continued indefinitely. This class includes periodicals, newspapers, annuals, and the journals, proceedings, transactions, and other publications of societies.
(c) Exemptions from deposit requirements. The following categories of material are exempt from the deposit requirements of section 407(a) of title 17:
(1) Diagrams and models illustrating scientific or technical works or formulating scientific or technical information in linear or three-dimensional form, such as an architectural or engineering blueprint, plan, or design, a mechanical drawing, or an anatomical model.
(2) Greeting cards, picture postcards, and stationery.
(3) Lectures, sermons, speeches, and addresses when published individually and not as a collection of the works of one or more authors.
(4) Literary, dramatic, and musical works published only as embodied in phonorecords. This category does not exempt the owner of copyright, or of the exclusive right of publication, in a sound recording resulting from the fixation of such works in a phonorecord from the applicable deposit requirements for the sound recording.
(5) Electronic works published in the United States and available only online. This exemption includes electronic serials available only online only until such time as a demand is issued by the Copyright Office under the regulations set forth in §202.24. This exemption does not apply to works that are published in both online, electronic formats and in physical formats, which remain subject to the appropriate mandatory deposit requirements.
(6) Three-dimensional sculptural works, and any works published only as reproduced in or on jewelry, dolls, toys, games, plaques, floor coverings, wallpaper and similar commercial wall coverings, textiles and other fabrics, packaging material, or any useful article. Globes, relief models, and similar cartographic representations of area are not within this category and are subject to the applicable deposit requirements.
(7) Prints, labels, and other advertising matter, including catalogs, published in connection with the rental lease, lending, licensing, or sale of articles of merchandise, works of authorship, or services.
(8) Tests, and answer material for tests when published separately from other literary works.
(9) Works first published as individual contributions to collective works. This category does not exempt the owner of copyright, or of the exclusive right of publication, in the collective work as a whole, from the applicable deposit requirements for the collective work.
(10) Works first published outside the United States and later published in the United States without change in copyrightable content, if:
(i) Registration for the work was made under 17 U.S.C. 408 before the work was published in the United States; or
(ii) Registration for the work was made under 17 U.S.C. 408 after the work was published in the United States but before a demand for deposit is made under 17 U.S.C. 407(d).
(11) Works published only as embodied in a soundtrack that is an integral part of a motion picture. This category does not exempt the owner of copyright, or of the exclusive right of publication, in the motion picture, from the applicable deposit requirements for the motion picture.
(12) Motion pictures that consist of television transmission programs and that have been published, if at all, only by reason of a license or other grant to a nonprofit institution of the right to make a fixation of such programs directly from a transmission to the public, with or without the right to make further uses of such fixations.
(d) Nature of required deposit.
(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the deposit required to satisfy the provisions of section 407(a) of title 17 shall consist of:
(i) In the case of published works other than sound recordings, two complete copies of the best edition; and
(ii) In the case of published sound recordings, two complete phonorecords of the best edition.
(2) In the case of certain published works not exempt from deposit requirements under paragraph (c) of this section, the following special provisions shall apply:
(i) In the case of published three-dimensional cartographic representations of area, such as globes and relief models, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition of the work will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(ii) In the case of published motion pictures, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition of the work will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Any deposit of a published motion picture must be accompanied by a separate description of its contents, such as a continuity, pressbook, or synopsis. The Library of Congress may, at its sole discretion, enter into an agreement permitting the return of copies of published motion pictures to the depositor under certain conditions and establishing certain rights and obligations of the Library with respect to such copies. In the event of termination of such an agreement by the Library it shall not be subject to reinstatement, nor shall the depositor or any successor in interest of the depositor be entitled to any similar or subsequent agreement with the Library, unless at the sole discretion of the Library it would be in the best interests of the Library to reinstate the agreement or enter into a new agreement.
(iii) In the case of any published work deposited in the form of a hologram, the deposit shall be accompanied by:
(A) Two sets of precise instructions for displaying the image fixed in the hologram; and
(B) Two sets of identifying material in compliance with §202.21 and clearly showing the displayed image.
(iv) In any case where an individual author is the owner of copyright in a published pictorial or graphic work and:
(A) Less than five copies of the work have been published; or
(B) The work has been published and sold or offered for sale in a limited edition consisting of no more than three hundred numbered copies, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition of the work or, alternatively, the deposit of photographs or other identifying material in compliance with §202.21, will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(v) In the case of a musical composition published in copies only, or in both copies and phonorecords, if the only publication of copies in the United States took place by rental, lease, or lending, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(vi) In the case of published multimedia kits that include literary works, audiovisual works, sound recordings, or any combination of such works, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(vii) In the case of published computer programs and published computerized information works, such as statistical compendia, serials, and reference works that are not copy-protected, the deposit of one complete copy of the best edition as specified in the current Library of Congress Best Edition Statement will suffice in lieu of the two copies required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section. If the works are copy-protected, two copies of the best edition are required.
(viii) In the case of published architectural works, the deposit shall consist of the most finished form of presentation drawings in the following descending order of preference:
(A) Original format, or best quality form of reproduction, including offset or silk screen printing;
(B) Xerographic or photographic copies on good quality paper;
(C) Positive photostat or photodirect positive;
(D) Blue line copies (diazo or ozalid process). If photographs are submitted, they should be 8 × 10 inches and should clearly show several exterior and interior views. The deposit should disclose the name(s) of the architect(s) and draftsperson(s) and the building site.
(e) Special relief.
(1) In the case of any published work not exempt from deposit under paragraph (c) of this section, the Register of Copyrights may, after consultation with other appropriate officials of the Library of Congress and upon such conditions as the Register may determine after such consultation:
(i) Grant an exemption from the deposit requirements of section 407(a) of title 17 on an individual basis for single works or series or groups of works; or
(ii) Permit the deposit of one copy or phonorecord, or alternative identifying material, in lieu of the two copies or phonorecords required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section; or
(iii) Permit the deposit of incomplete copies or phonorecords, or copies or phonorecords other than those normally comprising the best edition; or
(iv) Permit the deposit of identifying material which does not comply with §202.21.
(2) Any decision as to whether to grant such special relief, and the conditions under which special relief is to be granted, shall be made by the Register of Copyrights after consultation with other appropriate officials of the Library of Congress, and shall be based upon the acquisition policies of the Library of Congress then in force.
(3) Requests for special relief under this paragraph shall be made in writing to the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of the Office of Registration Policy and Practice, shall be signed by or on behalf of the owner of copyright or of the exclusive right of publication in the work, and shall set forth specific reasons why the request should be granted.
(4) The Register of Copyrights may, after consultation with other appropriate officials of the Library of Congress, terminate any ongoing or continuous grant of special relief. Notice of termination shall be given in writing and shall be sent to the individual person or organization to whom the grant of special relief had been given, at the last address shown in the records of the Copyright Office. A notice of termination may be given at any time, but it shall state a specific date of termination that is at least 30 days later than the date the notice is mailed. Termination shall not affect the validity of any deposit made earlier under the grant of special relief.
(f) Submission and receipt of copies and phonorecords.
(1) All copies and phonorecords deposited in the Copyright Office will be considered to be deposited only in compliance with section 407 of title 17 unless they are accompanied by an application for registration of a claim to copyright in the work represented by the deposit, and either a registration fee or a deposit account number. Copies or phonorecords deposited without such an accompanying application and either a fee or a deposit account notation will not be connected with or held for receipt of separate applications, and will not satisfy the deposit provisions of section 408 of title 17 or §202.20.
(2) All copies and phonorecords deposited in the Copyright Office under section 407 of title 17, unless accompanied by written instructions to the contrary, will be considered to be deposited by the person or persons named in the copyright notice on the work.
(3) Upon request by the depositor made at the time of the deposit, the Copyright Office will issue a certificate of receipt for the deposit of copies or phonorecords of a work under this section. Certificates of receipt will be issued in response to requests made after the date of deposit only if the requesting party is identified in the records of the Copyright Office as having made the deposit. In either case, requests for a certificate of receipt must be in writing and accompanied by the appropriate fee, as required in §201.3(c). A certificate of receipt will include identification of the depositor, the work deposited, and the nature and format of the copy or phonorecord deposited, together with the date of receipt.
[51 FR 6403, Feb. 24, 1986, as amended at 54 FR 42299, Oct. 16, 1989; 56 FR 47403, Sept. 19, 1991; 56 FR 59885, Nov. 26, 1991; 57 FR 45310, Oct. 1, 1992; 60 FR 34168, June 30, 1995; 64 FR 29522, June 1, 1999; 64 FR 62978, Nov. 18, 1999; 66 FR 34373, June 28, 2001; 73 FR 37839, July 2, 2008; 75 FR 3869, Jan. 25, 2010; 82 FR 9360, Feb. 6, 2017]