Note: The item discussed below is a preprint version of a “notice of inquiry” that will be formally published tomorrow in the Federal Register.
UPDATE May 17, 206
The published version (in the Federal Register) of the Notice of Inquiry is linked and embedded below. The comment period ends on July 18, 2016.
From the Summary:
In 2010, the U.S. Copyright Office, acting pursuant to section 407 of title 17 and following a public rulemaking process, adopted an interim rule governing mandatory deposit of electronic works that are not available in a physical format. The interim rule refers to such works as “electronic works published in the United States and available only online” (or “online-only works”). The interim rule created a limited exception to the Register’s longstanding regulatory exemption that online-only works are not subject to mandatory deposit requirements. It also established best edition criteria and regulations as to electronic serials requested pursuant to section 407. The Library has adopted policies for the use of such materials, including limiting public access to deposited works to dedicated terminals located at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. These policies were anticipated and discussed during the rulemaking process, but are not memorialized in the regulations.
[Our emphasis] The Library of Congress is now interested in extending the interim rule to apply to online-only books and sound recordings.
Because over six years have passed since the interim rule was adopted, and because the interim rule was intended to inform a more permanent solution and rule, the Copyright Office is initiating a notice of inquiry to further guide its work in this area. The Copyright Office seeks feedback from affected communities regarding the experience with mandatory deposit of electronic serials, generally, as well as comments pertaining to the potential application of mandatory deposit to online-only books and sound recordings, specifically. Based on this feedback, the Office will solicit further written comments and/or invite stakeholder meetings before moving to a rulemaking process.
Direct to Notice of Inquiry (PDF)