Limited Publication Law and Legal Definition

Limited publication refers to the communication of a work to a select group. The purpose is to exclude the public and to preserve a common-law copyright.

The term limited publication is defined as “a publication which communicates the contents of a manuscript to a definitely selected group and for a limited purpose, and without the right of diffusion, reproduction, distribution or sale...which does not result in the loss of the author's common-law right to his manuscript, but that the circulation must be restricted both as to persons and purpose." [White v. Kimmell, 193 F.2d 744, 746-747 (9th Cir. 1952)]