1511.3 Works Exempt from Mandatory Deposit
The mandatory deposit requirement only applies to works published in the United States. Unpublished works and works that are published solely outside the United States are not subject to this requirement.
Mandatory deposit does apply to works that are published simultaneously in both a foreign country and in the United States. It applies to works that are first published in a foreign country and then subsequently published or distributed in this country. It also may apply to unpublished transmission programs transmitted in the United States. For information concerning foreign works, see Section 1511.4. For information concerning transmission programs, see Section 1511.5.
Section 407 also states that the Register of Copyrights “may by regulation exempt any categories of material from the deposit requirements of this section, or require deposit of only one copy or phonorecord with respect to any categories.” 17 U.S.C. § 407 (C). The Office has issued exemptions for the following categories of works:
• Electronic works published in the United States that are available only online. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (5). For purposes of mandatory deposit, “electronic works” are defined as “works fixed and published solely in an electronic format.” 37 C.F.R. § 202.24 (C) (3).
This exemption applies to electronic serials that are available only online, unless the Office issues a demand for a particular serial under Section 202.24 of the regulations. For information concerning electronic serials, see Sections 1511.6.
NOTE: This exemption does not apply to works that are published in the United States in both electronic formats and physical formats.
• Tests and answer material for tests when published separately from other literary works. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (8).
• Lectures, sermons, speeches, and addresses when published individually and not as part of a collection of the works of one or more authors. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (3).
• Works first published as an individual contribution to a collective work. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (9).
NOTE: This exemption does not apply to the copyright owner or owner of the exclusive right of publication in the collective work as a whole.
• Literary, dramatic, and musical works published only in phonorecords. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (4).
NOTE: This exemption only applies to the literary, dramatic, or musical work that is embodied in a sound recording. The copyright owner or the owner of the exclusive right of publication in a sound recording, which results from the fixation of such works is subject to the mandatory deposit requirement if the sound recording is published in the United States.
• Works published only in a soundtrack that is an integral part of a motion picture. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (11).
NOTE: This exemption does not apply to the copyright owner or the owner of the exclusive right of publication in a motion picture.
• Motion pictures that consist of television transmission programs and that have been published, if at all, only by reason of a license or other grant to a nonprofit institution of the right to make a fixation of such programs directly from a transmission to the public, with or without the right to make further uses of such fixations. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (12).
• Diagrams and models illustrating scientific or technical works or formulating scientific or technical information in linear or three-dimensional form, such as architectural or engineering blueprints, plans, or designs, mechanical drawings, or anatomical models. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (1).
• Greeting cards, picture postcards, and stationery. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (2).
• Prints, labels, and other advertising materials, including catalogs, published in connection with the rental, lease, lending, licensing, or sale of services, articles of merchandise, or works of authorship. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (7).
• Three-dimensional sculptural works. 37 C.F.R. § 202.19 (C) (6).
• Works reproduced and published only in or on jewelry, dolls, toys, games, plaques, floor coverings, wallpaper and similar commercial wall coverings, textiles and other fabrics, packaging material, or any useful article. Id.
If a published work is subject to the mandatory deposit requirement, the copyright owner or owner of exclusive rights may submit a request for special relief from this requirement. For information concerning special relief, see Section 1511.9.