[Federal Register: February 26, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 38)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 8821-8822]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. RM 2004-1]

``Best Edition'' of Published Motion Pictures for the Collections 
of the Library of Congress

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Final rule with request for comments.


SUMMARY: Owners of motion pictures that have been published must submit 
copies of their movies to the Copyright Office for the Library of 
Congress to use and include in its collections. This mandatory deposit 
requirement may be satisfied at the same time that an application for 
copyright registration is submitted. In order to obtain copies of 
superior quality when works are published in more than one format, the 
Library of Congress established ``best edition'' requirements. The 
purpose of this rule is to amend the best edition requirements for 
motion pictures to take into account recent technological developments 
and to make editorial changes that clarify the requirements.

DATES: Effective date: This rule shall take effect April 26, 2004.
    Comment Date: Comments are due by March 29, 2004.

ADDRESSES: An original and ten copies of any comment shall be sent to 
the Copyright Office. If comments are mailed, the address is: Copyright 
Office GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-
0400. If comments are hand delivered by a commercial, non-government 
courier or messenger, comments must be delivered to: the Congressional 
Courier Acceptance Site, located at Second and D Streets, NE., between 
8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., e.s.t. If hand delivered by a private party, they 
must be delivered to the Public Information Office, James Madison 
Memorial Building, Room 401, First and Independence Street, Washington, 
DC between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.s.t.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn J. Kretsinger, Associate 
General Counsel, or Renee Coe, Senior Attorney, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. 
Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-0400. Telephone: 
(202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.


I. Background

    Sections 407 and 408 of title 17, United States Code, require that 
owners of any motion picture that has been published must deposit a 
copy of the work with the Copyright Office for the use of the Library 
of Congress. The copy submitted must be the ``best edition'' of the 
work, which 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.'' 17 U.S.C. 101 
(definition of best edition). Based on that statutory requirement, the 
regulations require that ``when two or more editions of the same 
version of a work have been published, the one of the highest quality 
is generally considered to be the best edition.'' 37 CFR 202, App. B. 
The criteria for what constitutes the best edition, for all kinds of 
copyrighted works, are contained in Appendix B of 37 CFR 202, which is 
entitled ` ``Best Edition' of Published Copyrighted Works for the 
Collections of the Library of Congress.'' Subpart III of Appendix B 
establishes the requirements for motion pictures, ranking movie formats 
for commercial and home viewing in descending order of preference 
relative to their quality, beginning with the format that is most 
suitable for the Library's purposes. This regulation amends subpart III 
to make changes that take into account recent technological 
developments and to make editorial changes that clarify the 

II. Changes to Best Edition Rule

A. Film Formats

    The only change to the requirements for film formats is to add 70 
millimeter positive print as the most desirable film format (apart from 
preprint material, by special arrangement). The addition of this film 
format to the regulation clarifies the Library's desire to obtain 
published motion pictures in a superior format. This format is only 
required where the original production negative size is greater than 35 

B. Video Formats

    One-Inch Open Reel Tape. One-inch open reel tape has been deleted 
from subpart III of the best edition list because it is a defunct 
    BetacamSP, Digibeta and Betacam. Betacam SP will continue to be on 
the list and digibeta, also known as digital beta, has been added. 
These are videocassettes in analog and digital formats, respectively, 
that are now widely used in the television industry. Both are better 
quality than the format that is commonly known as ``betacam,'' which 
has been deleted from the list.
    D-2. D-2 is an obsolete version of the D Series. The current 
version is D-9. However, the format for the D Series has been entirely 
eliminated from the list because each version rapidly becomes obsolete.
    DVD and Videodisc. DVDs, which are 4\3/4\ inch disks in digital 
format for home viewing of films, are replacing videodiscs on the list, 
which are 12 inch disks in analog format.
    Three-Quarter Inch Cassette. Three-quarter inch cassette, also 
commonly known as ``U-matic,'' has been removed from the list because 
it is a defunct format.
    One-Half Inch VHS Cassette and VHS Cassette. Changing ``one-half 
inch VHS cassette'' to ``VHS cassette'' is an editorial change. ``VHS 
cassette'' is now the commonly used term for this home viewing format.

III. Written Comments

    The Copyright Office is publishing this amendment as a final rule 
because owners of published motion pictures have already begun 
complying with these changes to the best edition requirements. The 
Office believes these changes are noncontroversial and will elicit no 
significant adverse comment. However, the Office is providing the 
public an opportunity to submit written comments by March 29, 2004. The 
rule will take effect April 26, 2004, unless the Copyright Office has 
received adverse substantive comments and publishes a notice 
withdrawing the rule before that date.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Statement

    Although the Copyright Office, as a department of the Library of 
Congress and part of the Legislative Branch, is not an ``agency'' 
subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, the 
Register of Copyrights has considered the effect of the proposed 
amendment on small businesses. The Register has determined that the 
amendments would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small business entities that would require a 
provision of special relief for them. The proposed amendments are 
designed to minimize any significant economic impact on small business 

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202

    Claims, Copyright.

[[Page 8822]]

Proposed Regulations

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


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

    Authority: 17 U.S.C. 702.

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

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

* * * * *

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, by special arrangement
2. 70 mm positive print, if original production negative is greater 
than 35 mm
3. 35 mm positive prints
4. 16 mm positive prints

B. Video Formats

1. Betacam SP
2. Digital Beta (Digibeta)
3. DVD
4. VHS Cassette
* * * * *

    Dated: February 11, 2004.
Marybeth Peters,
Register of Copyrights.
    Approved by:
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 04-3958 Filed 2-25-04; 8:45 am]