The Library of Congress Mandatory Deposit Rule: An Outdated Burden?
Since 1870, the Library of Congress has collected copies of all copyrighted works in print, even though copyright registration itself is now optional. In recent years, small boutique publishers have been producing reproductions of older, uncommon books. These books are “printed-on-demand” one at a time as they are ordered by a customer. Although these are merely reprints, and have not been registered under a new copyright, the U.S. Copyright Office is demanding that copies have to be sent to the Library of Congress. This requirement is a substantial financial burden for a small publisher – is it time to rethink the old rule for a newer business model?
Zvi Rosen is an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law.