2116.5 (B) Alternative Deposit Material
When only archival copies or phonorecords of the work as first published are available at the time of renewal registration, an applicant may provide an explanation of why it is difficult to meet the deposit requirement. The U.S. Copyright Office will consider on a case-by-case basis whether alternative deposit material is acceptable. If approved, the alternative deposit material should be described on Form RE/Addendum.
20 The Office adopted this requirement when the Copyright Act of 1976 went into effect. 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (1)(ii). This represented a change in policy from the Copyright Act of 1909, which provided that copyright could be secured by the act of publication with notice, after which it required “prompt” deposit of “two complete copies of the best edition thereof then published” for U.S. works and “one complete copy of the best edition then published” for works of foreign origin. To register a work for the original term under the 1909 Act, the Office required two complete copies of the best edition then published for U.S. works, and one complete copy of the best edition so published for works of foreign origin if a registration fee was paid, or two such copies if a catalog card was submitted in lieu of the fee.
NOTE: When a work is selected by the Library of Congress for its collections the Office generally will require that the deposit requirement be met (i.e., alternative deposit material and identifying material will not be accepted), or the Office may accept a reproduction of the work in an archival-quality format under a grant of special relief.