Mandatory Deposit (Copyright) Law and Legal Definition

Copies of all works under copyright protection that are published in the U.S. are required to be deposited with the Copyright Office within three months of the date of first publication. A deposit is usually one copy if unpublished or two copies if published of the work to be registered for copyright. In certain cases such as works of the visual arts, identifying material such as a photograph may be used instead. The deposit is sent with the application and fee and becomes the property of the Library of Congress.