May 24, 2022

GPO Requests Feedback on Plan to Provide Copyright Information in GPO Bibliographic Records

From the GPO/FDLP:

GPO has formulated a plan to implement Depository Library Council (DLC) Recommendation No. 1 (Fall 2017) of providing copyright information in the bibliographic records created by GPO in support of the Federal Depository Library Program and the Cataloging and Indexing Program, as mandated by Title 44 of the U.S. Code.

Based on the research conducted and the review of rights/copyright statements from other Federal agencies, such as the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian Institution, and Digital Public Library of America, GPO intends to add a general copyright statement in the MARC 542 field, Information Relating to Copyright Status in Bibliographic Records.

The 542 field will also include a link to a new section on the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) About page that will provide additional copyright and use information. A screenshot of a test record and the text of the additional copyright and use information are provided here.

The general copyright statement will read:

Works of the U.S. Government are not subject to copyright protection pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 105. This work may contain copyrighted material used with permission of the copyright owner. Learn more at the CGP’s About page.

The date of implementation is set for October 1, 2018, when the general statement will be added to all new CGP records. The new copyright field will be available in records distributed through the CGP on GitHub repository, Cataloging Record Distribution Program, Z39.50, OCLC, and other commercial vendors of GPO’s bibliographic data.

Existing bibliographic records in the CGP created prior to the implementation will be globally updated with the 542 field. Possible exceptions may include the Historic Shelflist Project records. GPO will also work with OCLC on a global update of GPO’s records in OCLC.

We would appreciate your feedback on this plan. We hope to submit the final recommendation to the DLC by September 1, 2018. If you have questions or comments, please send them to Fang Gao and Stephen Kharfen by August 1, 2018.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.