A reliance party is a person or business who has depended on the public domain status of the work in utilizing the work in a way that would, after restoration, be considered copyright infringement. A key to reliance party status is the requirement that the person or business must have engaged in what would have been infringing conduct both prior to and after the restoration date. Cessation of the activity for any appreciable period of time will deprive one of reliance party status. Also, before restoration, the person or business must have made or acquired one or more copies or phonorecords of the work that was restored.
Once a work is restored, a person or business who is a reliance party may continue to exploit the work without liability until the restored copyright owner either serves actual notice on the reliance party or until the Copyright Office published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to restore copyright. Once either of these occurs, the reliance party has one year to sell off stock. The reliance party may not make further copies or phonorecords of the work.