Simplifying Deposit Requirements for Certain Literary Works and Musical Compositions

The United States Copyright Office published a final rule amending the regulations governing the deposit requirements for certain types of literary works and musical compositions. Specifically, the final rule applies to certain types of “literary monographs,” which are defined, in part, as works published in one volume or a finite number of separate volumes. The final rule also simplifies deposit requirements for musical compositions that are published in the United States in print formats—that is, compositions published as “copies” rather than solely as phonorecords, as referenced in the Copyright Act.

Under the current regulations, two copies of the best edition are generally needed to register these types of works and to comply with the mandatory deposit requirement. Under the final rule, copyright owners will be able to satisfy both requirements by submitting one copy of the best edition of the work, although the Office will retain the right to demand a second copy under the mandatory deposit provision should the Library need it. In addition, the final rule clarifies the deposit requirements for musical compositions published both in print and phonorecord formats, to require the submission of the print version for purposes of copyright registration. These changes will improve the efficiency of registration and mandatory deposit for both the Office and copyright owners alike, while continuing to make these works available to the Library of Congress when needed for use in its collections or other disposition.