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

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1504 What Is the Best Edition of the Work?


1504 What Is the Best Edition of the Work?


The Copyright Act states that the “material deposited for registration [of a published work] shall include . . . two complete copies or phonorecords of the best edition.” 17 U.S.C. § 408 (B) (2) (emphasis added).


The “best edition” of a work is defined as “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; 37 C.F.R. §§ 202.19 (B) (1), 202.20 (B) (1).


The criteria used to identify the best edition for a particular work are listed in the “Best Edition Statement,” which is set forth in Appendix B to Part 202 of the Office’s regulations. It is also posted on the Office’s website in Best Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the Library of Congress (Circular 7b).


NOTE: If a work was published in both a hard copy format (i.e., in a physically tangible format) and an electronic format, the requirements set forth in the Best Edition Statement for the hard copy format apply. 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (B) (1). It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the correct deposit.


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