Copyright Publication Requirements

Publication is no longer the key to obtaining a federal copyright, but it is important to note that:

works that are published in the United States are subject to mandatory deposit with the Library of Congress,

publication of a work can affect the limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner that are set forth in Sections 107 through 121 of the Copyright Act,

the year of publication may determine the duration of copyright protection for anonymous and pseudonymous works (when the author’s identity is not revealed in the records of the Copyright Office) and for works made for hire,

deposit requirements for registration of published works differ from those for registration of unpublished works,

a published work may bear a notice of copyright to identify the year of publication and the name of the copyright owner and to inform the public that the work is protected by copyright (e.g., © 2012 John Doe).  Copies of works published before March 1, 1989, must bear the notice or risk loss of copyright protection.

If you have a question about publication requirements, askme at