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.
• 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.