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Definition Edit

U.S. copyright law Edit

Copyright law requires that copies or phonorecords deposited in the Copyright Office be of the best edition of the work. Section 101 of the 1976 Copyright Act defines the term best edition of a work as

the edition, published in the United States at any time before the date of deposit, that the Library of Congress determines to be most suitable for its purposes.

When two or more editions of the same version of a work have been published, the one of the highest quality is generally considered to be the best edition. In judging quality, the Library of Congress will adhere to the criteria set forth below in all but exceptional circumstances.

Where differences between editions represent variations in copyrightable content, each edition is a separate version, and “best edition” standards based on such differences do not apply. Each such version is a separate work for the purposes of the copyright law.

When the best edition of a work is a machine-readable copy, the following criteria are applied:

A. Computer Programs

1. With documents and other accompanying material rather than without
2. Not copy-protected rather than copy-protected (if copy-protected, then with a backup copy of the disk(s))
3. Format
a. PC-DOS or MS-DOS (or other IBM-compatible formats, such as XENIX)
i. 5¼" diskette(s)
ii. 3½" diskette(s)
iii. Optical media, such as CD-ROM — best edition should adhere to prevailing NISO standards.
b. Apple Macintosh
i. 3½" diskette(s)
ii. Optical media such as CD-ROM — best edition should adhere to prevailing NISO standards.

B. Computerized Information Works, Including Statistical Compendia, Serials, or Reference Works

1. With documentation and other accompanying material rather than without
2. With best edition of accompanying program rather than without
3. Not copy-protected rather than copy-protected (if copy-protected then with a backup copy of the disk(s)).
4. Format
a. PC-DOS or MS-DOS (or other IBM-compatible formats, such as XENIX)
i. Optical media, such as CD-ROM — best edition should adhere to prevailing NISO standards.
ii. 5¼" diskette(s)
iii. 3½" diskette(s)
b. Apple Macintosh
i. Optical media, such as CD-ROM — best edition should adhere to prevailing NISO standards.
ii. 3½" diskette(s).

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