[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 17, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2371-2372]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00701]



 Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. 2017-9]

Simplifying Deposit Requirements for Certain Literary Works and 
Musical Compositions

AGENCY: U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The United States Copyright Office is issuing a final rule, 
amending regulations that govern the deposit requirements for certain 
types of literary works and musical compositions. The final rule is 
adopted as proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking, though the 
Office provides some clarification regarding the rule's application.

DATES: Effective February 16, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarang V. Damle, General Counsel and 
Associate Register of Copyrights, by email at [email protected]; Robert J. 
Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration 
Policy and Practice, by email at [email protected]; Erik Bertin, Deputy 
Director of Registration Policy and Practice, by email at 
[email protected]; or Cindy Abramson, Assistant General Counsel, by email 
at [email protected]. All can be reached by telephone by calling 202-707-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 16, 2017, the Copyright Office 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (``NPRM'') to amend the 
regulations governing the deposit requirements for certain types of 
literary works (specifically, literary monographs) and musical 
compositions that are published in print formats.
    Under the previous regulations, two copies of the best edition were 
generally needed to register these types of works and to comply with 
the mandatory deposit requirement. Under the new rule, copyright owners 
will be able to satisfy both registration deposit and mandatory deposit 
requirements by submitting one copy of the best edition of the work. In 
the case of literary monographs, the Office will retain the right to 
demand a second copy under the mandatory deposit provision should the 
Library need it.
    As part of these changes, the rule also clarifies the deposit 
requirements for musical compositions published both in print and 
phonorecord formats, requiring the submission of the print version for 
purposes of copyright registration. If, however, the musical 
composition is published only as a phonorecord, the applicant should 
submit a copy of the phonorecord.
    All of these changes will improve the efficiency of registration 
and mandatory deposit for both the Office and copyright owners alike, 
ensuring that the Office has an adequate registration record and 
continuing to make these works available to the Library of Congress 
when needed for use in its collections or other disposition.
    The NPRM explained in detail the rationale for the rule changes.\1\ 
The Office solicited and received five comments, only two of which were 
substantive. Having reviewed and carefully considered the comments, the 
Copyright Office now issues a final rule identical to the proposed 
rule. While the Office does not believe the comments require any 
alteration to the rule itself, it does believe that some clarification 
would be helpful to both the commenters and copyright owners, and is 
provided here.

    \1\ 82 FR 38859 (Aug. 16, 2017).

    The Association of American Publishers (``AAP'') filed a comment 
regarding the proposed rule as it relates to the deposit of literary 
monographs. While the comment appreciates that the rule ``could reduce 
the financial burdens of publishers with respect to deposit 
regulations,'' it nevertheless does not support the rule because it 
takes issue with the Library's disposition of surplus works. AAP 
Comments at 2.
    AAP appears to believe that there is no authority in the Copyright 
Act for the Library's disposition of surplus works and that the only 
authority comes from the Library's own regulations. AAP Comments at 6-
7. But as discussed in the NPRM, section 704 of the Copyright Act 
explicitly states that ``[i]n the case of published works, all copies, 
phonorecords, and identifying material deposited are available to the 
Library of Congress for its collections, or for exchange or transfer to 
any other library.'' 17 U.S.C. 704(b) (emphasis added). Furthermore, 
AAP's concern about the Library's disposition of surplus books would be 
diminished by adoption of the rule, which limits the volume of works 
(and thereby any surplus) coming in to the Library in the first place. 
AAP concedes that the rule should have that result. AAP Comments at 2. 
In part, a primary goal of the rule is to lessen the burden for 
publishers. Accordingly, the Office chooses to move forward with the 
rule as is and anticipates that AAP's members will benefit 
significantly from the rule.
    The National Music Publishers' Association (``NMPA'') filed a 
comment in support of the rule, subject to certain clarifications 
pertaining to the deposit of musical compositions. Specifically, NMPA 
wanted to clarify that ``where musical works are originally published 
solely as phonorecords, and such musical works are properly deposited 
and registered in accordance with the statutory and regulatory 
directives . . . that the later publication of the same musical work in 
the form of a `copy' does not create an additional burden to 
subsequently deposit and register the work in `copy' form.'' NMPA 
Comments at 2. The Office confirms that a later publication in the form 
of a ``copy'' does not create an additional deposit requirement.
    As NMPA correctly points out, the Copyright Act defines ``best 
edition'' as ``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.'' 17 U.S.C. 101 (emphasis added); 
NMPA Comments at 4. NMPA believes, and the Office agrees, that this 
definition limits a ``best edition'' to published works at the time of 
deposit--that is, at the time the deposit for copyright registration or 
mandatory deposit is made. NMPA Comments at 4-5. Therefore, if only a 
phonorecord is published at the time of deposit, a subsequently 
published ``copy'' would not be a ``best edition'' and not be required 
for deposit.
    NMPA proposes language to the rule to clarify any confusion 
regarding subsequent publication of ``copies.'' The Office believes 
that the rule in its current form along with the current definition of 
``best edition'' is sufficient and no changes need to be made to the 

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202

    Copyright, Preregistration and registration of claims to copyright.

Final Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Copyright Office 
amends 37 CFR part 202 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows:

[[Page 2372]]

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702.

2. Amend Sec.  202.19 as follows:
a. Add paragraph (b)(5).
b. In paragraph (d)(2)(v), remove the words ``in copies only,'' and add 
in their place ``solely in copies,'' and remove the words ``if the only 
publication of copies in the United States took place by rental, lease, 
or lending,''.
c. Add paragraph (d)(2)(ix).
    The additions read as follows:

Sec.  202.19   Deposit of published copies or phonorecords for the 
Library of Congress.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) The term literary monograph means a literary work published in 
one volume or a finite number of volumes. This category does not 
include serials, nor does it include legal publications that are 
published in one volume or a finite number of volumes that contain 
legislative enactments, judicial decisions, or other edicts of 
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ix) In the case of published literary monographs, 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, unless 
the Copyright Office issues a demand for a second copy pursuant to 17 
U.S.C. 407(d).
* * * * *

3. Amend Sec.  202.20 as follows:
a. Revise paragraph (b)(3).
b. Remove paragraph (b)(4).
c. Redesignate paragraph (b)(5) as paragraph (b)(4).
d. In paragraphs (c)(2)(i)(A) through (D), remove the semicolon and add 
a period in its place at the end of each sentence.
e. Revise paragraph (c)(2)(i)(E).
f. In paragraphs (c)(2)(i)(F) through (I), remove the semicolon and add 
a period in its place at the end of the sentence.
g. In paragraph (c)(2)(i)(J), remove ``; and'' and add a period in its 
place at the end of the sentence.
h. Add paragraph (c)(2)(i)(L).
i. In paragraphs (c)(2)(viii)(A) through (D), remove the semicolon and 
add a period in its place at the end of the sentence.
j. In paragraphs (c)(2)(viii)(C) and (D), remove ``an audiocassette or 
other'' and add in its place ``a''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:

Sec.  202.20   Deposit of copies and phonorecords for copyright 

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) The terms secure test and literary monograph have the meanings 
set forth in Sec. Sec.  202.13(b) and 202.19(b)(5).
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (E) Musical compositions published solely in copies or in both 
copies and phonorecords, provided that one complete copy (rather than a 
phonorecord) is deposited.
* * * * *
    (L) Published literary monographs.
* * * * *

    Dated: December 14, 2017.
Karyn Temple Claggett,
Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright 
Carla D. Hayden,
Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2018-00701 Filed 1-16-18; 8:45 am]