Mandatory Deposit Requirement
Mandatory Deposit for Works Published in the U.S.

Although a copyright registration is not required, the Copyright Act establishes a mandatory deposit requirement for works published in the United States. In general, the owner of copyright or the owner of the exclusive right of publication in the work has a legal obligation to deposit in the Copyright Office, within 3 months of publication in the United States, two copies (or in the case of sound recordings, two phonorecords) for the use of the Library of Congress. Failure to make the deposit can result in fines and other penalties but does not affect copyright protection. Certain categories of works are exempt entirely from the mandatory deposit requirements, and the obligation is reduced for certain other categories.

Mandatory Deposit Can Satisfy Registration Requirements

For works published in the United States, a single deposit can be made to satisfy both the deposit requirements and the registration requirements. In order to have this dual effect, the copies or phonorecords must be accompanied by the prescribed application form for copyright registration and the filing fee.

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