[Federal Register: October 2, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 191)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 51603]


Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. 96-6A]

``Best Edition'' of Published Copyrighted Works for the 
Collections of the Library of Congress

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule amends the Library of Congress's Best Edition 
Statement concerning motion pictures deposited under Title 17, section 
407, mandatory deposit, and section 408, registration deposit. The 
Statement sets out the criteria to be applied in determining the best 
edition for each of several types of motion picture materials which are 
listed in descending order of format preference in an Appendix to 
Copyright Office Regulations. The amendment removes the previously 
listed ``most widely distributed gauge'' as a selection factor of the 
``best edition'' and adds new video formats to the prioritized list of 
deposit material preferences based on current industry practices with 
respect to motion picture media and formats.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 3, 1997.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn J. Kretsinger, Assistant 
General Counsel, Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 15, 1996, the Copyright Office 
published in the Federal Register, a notice of proposed rulemaking on 
the revision of the best edition selection criteria for published 
motion pictures. (61 FR 54897). The Best Edition Statement criteria are 
published in 37 CFR 202.19, 202.20 and Appendix B to Part 202--``Best 
Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the 
Library of Congress.'' The criteria for ``Motion Pictures'' are set 
forth in 37 CFR 202, APP. B III.
    Two comments to the proposed amendment were received. Both 
commenters expressed concern that, because of the proposed changes in 
the ranking preferences in the video formats, the Copyright Office 
would no longer accept \3/4\'' videocassette copies for registration of 
published television productions but would request the higher quality 
Betacam or D-2 formats instead. The Office will generally continue its 
policy of accepting \3/4\'' videocasettes for registration of 
television programs and series. Where, however, certain television 
programs are published in copies of a higher quality format, the 
Library of Congress reserves the right to request the better archival 
format for its collections. However, the Library will continue to be 
flexible in its requests and in working through the Copyright Office in 
granting special relief under 37 CFR 202.19 and 202.20 from the deposit 
requirements when compliance with the requirements would be unduly 
burdensome on the applicant.
    The amended regulation eliminates the ``gauge in which most widely 
distributed'' as a criterion for the deposit format for either motion 
picture or video formats. The major objective in eliminating this 
criterion as a ranking preference for film prints is to discourage the 
deposit of \1/2\'' videocassettes where a better published format 
exists. As stated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the \1/2\'' 
gauge does not represent an acceptable archival quality medium for the 
Library's purposes.
    The amended regulation changes the second category in the Best 
Edition Statement under III Motion Pictures from videotape to video 
format in order to reflect more accurately that the preferential list 
contains a format other than videotapes. The regulation also adds a 
second high quality format, ``Betacam SP,'' to the prioritized list.

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202

    Claims, Copyright.

Final Regulations

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Copyright Office amends part 
202 of 37 CFR in the manner set forth below:

Appendix B to Part 202--``Best Edition'' of Published Copyrighted Works 
for the Collections of the Library of Congress

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

    Authority: 17 U.S.C. 702.

    2. In part 202, App. B, ``III. Motion Pictures'' is revised to read 
as follows:
* * * * *

III. Motion Pictures

    Film medium is considered a better quality than any other medium. 
The formats under ``film'' and ``video formats'' are listed in 
descending order of preference:

A. Film
    1. Preprint material with special arrangement.
    2. 35mm positive prints.
    3. 16mm positive prints.
B. Video Formats
    1. One-inch open reel tape
    2. Betacam SP
    3. D-2
    4. Betacam
    5. Videodisc
    6. Three-quarter inch cassette
    7. One-half inch VHS cassette
* * * * *
    Dated: September 25, 1997.
Nanette Petruzzelli,
Acting General Counsel.

    Approved by:
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 97-26061 Filed 10-1-97; 8:45 am]