Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1108.5 (B) Special Relief from the Deposit Requirements


1108.5 (B) Special Relief from the Deposit Requirements


If the PDF files do not comply with the technical requirements described in Sections 1108.5 (A) (1) through 1108.5 (A) (4), the Copyright Acquisitions Division (“CAD”) may contact the publisher and ask for replacement files. If the publisher does not provide replacement files, CAD will notify the Literary Division, which will review the publisher’s future submissions for similar deficiencies and may refuse registration if there are similar defects. See Group Registration of Newspapers, 82 Fed. Reg. 51,369, 51,375 (Nov. 6, 2017).


The U.S. Copyright Office recognizes that there may be cases where a publisher may not have a digital copy of their issues or may find it difficult to create a digital copy for purposes of seeking a group registration. If an applicant is unable to upload a particular issue to the electronic system, the applicant may request special relief from the deposit requirements. See id. at 51,375, 51,376.


A request for special relief must be made in writing, and it should explain why the applicant is unable to upload digital files that satisfy the deposit requirements described in Section 1108.5 (A). The Office may grant a request for special relief, subject to such conditions that the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of the Office of Registration Policy and Practice may impose on the applicant. See 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (D) (1)(iii), (iv).


Requests for special relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis. But the fact that a newspaper is published in a physical form does not necessarily mean that a request will be granted. Newspapers are typically created using digital publishing software, even though the issue itself may be distributed in a physical form. The Office may accept an electronic file that was used to create the physical copy, if it contains a complete copy of the issue and satisfies the other legal and formal requirements for this group registration option.


For a general discussion of special relief, see Chapter 1500, Section 1508.8.


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