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Do you need to send an copy of your online works to the Copyright Office for deposit? Interim regulations (Jan. 25) allow exemptions for most online works – for now.

The Copyright Office issued an interim regulation in the Federal Register Jan 25, giving a qualified exemption to mandatory copyright deposit requirement for online works published in the United States.  The exemption does not apply to online works that are also published in physical form.

The regulation exempts online works, but only unless the Copyright Office issues a demand for deposit.  The Copyright Office will set up categories of works subject to demand, starting with electronic serials i.e.: periodicals; newspapers; annuals; and the journals, proceedings, transactions, etc. of societies.

The regulation sets forth the process for issuing and responding to a demand for deposit, amends the definition of a “complete copy” and establishes new best edition criteria for electronic serials available only online.

It is interesting to read that the Copyright Office only got a handful of comments to its July 15 notice. It appears that commenters got a heavier weight because of this, and several comments are referred to in the Register.

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