1110.5 Deposit Requirements
This Section discusses the deposit requirements for registering a group of contributions to periodicals.
Applicants must submit one complete copy of each contribution that is included in the group. The copies must be submitted in a digital format, and the contributions must appear in the precise form in which they were first published in the periodical. 37 C.F.R. § 202.4 (G) (7).
Applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting any of the following:
• They may submit one complete copy of the entire issue of the periodical in which the contribution was first published.
• If the contribution was first published in a newspaper, they may submit one complete copy of the entire section of the newspaper where the contribution was first published.
• They may submit one complete copy of the particular pages within the periodical where the contribution was first published.
See id.; see also Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 81 Fed. Reg. 86,634, 86,639-40 (Dec. 1, 2016).
Requiring applicants to submit a copy of the contributions in the precise form in which they were first published is consistent with the legislative history, which states that “[a]s a general rule the deposit of more than a tear sheet or similar fraction of a collective work is needed to identify the contribution properly and to show the form in which it was published.” H.R. REP. NO. 94-1476, at 153 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5659, 5769. It also serves an evidentiary purpose. It gives the registration specialist an opportunity to compare the deposit with the title, date of publication, issue number, page number, or other information that is set forth in the application (although in practice specialists do not conduct this type of analysis for every contribution in the group). If a particular contribution becomes involved in litigation, the deposit could be used to verify that the work was published in a particular periodical on a particular date. See Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 81 Fed. Reg. at 86,640.
In all cases, applicants must submit a digital copy of each contribution. Specifically, each contribution must be contained in a separate electronic file in PDF, JPG, TIFF, or any other electronic format that has been approved by the Office. 37 C.F.R. § 202.4 (G) (7). A current list of acceptable file formats is posted on the Office’s website. The electronic files must be uploaded to the electronic registration system, preferably in a .zip file containing all the files. The size of each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes, although applicants may digitally compress the files to comply with this requirement. See id. Guidance on how to upload the files is available on the Office’s website.
Many publishers distribute electronic replicas of their periodicals in downloadable or printable formats. Applicants may be able to create a digital copy of their contributions by printing or downloading them from the publisher’s website or by requesting a copy directly from the publisher. Alternatively, applicants may be able to create digital copies by scanning their contributions with a multi-function printer or scanner, or by photographing them with a smartphone and saving each image as an electronic file. See Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 82 Fed. Reg. 29,410, 29,4111-12 (June 29, 2017).
The Office recognizes that there may be rare cases where an author does not have access to these resources. Applicants who are unable to submit their contributions in the precise form in which they were first published may request special relief from the deposit requirements. Likewise, applicants may request special relief if they are unable to submit a digital copy of their contributions or unable to upload them through the electronic system. Id. §§ 202.4 (G) (8), 202.20 (D) (1)(iii), (iv).
A request for special relief must be made in writing, and it should explain why the applicant is unable to submit copies that satisfy the deposit requirements described above. The Office may grant a request for special relief in exceptional cases, 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 id. § 202.4 (G) (8).
For a general discussion of special relief, see Chapter 1500, Section 1508.8.