WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Copyright Office has amended its ruling that allows the Library of Congress (LOC) to make recordings of unpublished radio, cable, satellite and Internet broadcasts and transmissions to add to its cultural holdings for posterity.
For the rule to apply, such programs must be “fixed” — ie., a copy must have been made at the time of broadcast or transmission but is not published (distributed to the public).
An LOC spokesman says the acquisition rule will apply mainly to “ephemeral” uses, such as talk radio broadcasts. Most broadcasts are “fixed” because they are recorded for in-station, archival use but are not published.
For example, in the past the Copyright Office could not legally record the “McNeil-Lehrer Report,” says the spokesman, “or any program where, at the end of the program, an announcer will say, ‘To purchase a copy of this program …’ [because] that means it is published.”
Copyright owners of material copied by the LOC may use the recorded copy to satisfy the deposit requirement for the transmission program.
The rule also requires the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division of the LOC to post a list of transmission programs that it has recorded on its Web site.