Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2100
Chapter 2200
Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

1907 Distributing the Work vs. An Offer to Distribute the Work

1907 Distributing the Work vs. An Offer to Distribute the Work


The statute states that a work is published when copies or phonorecords are distributed to the public. It also states that offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for the purpose of further distribution, public performance, or public display constitutes publication. See 17 U.S.C. § 101 (definition of “publication”). In other words, publication occurs when either of these conditions has been met.


Examples:


• Distributing copies of a photograph to the public constitutes publication (even if the copies were offered solely for private display).


• Offering to distribute copies of a lithograph to a number of galleries for the purpose of public display constitutes publication, but offering the same copies to a group of individuals solely for private display does not.