Washington, DC asked in Copyright for District of Columbia

Q: Does a printed book retain the copyright year of the online book?

I edit the United States Code. If the online Code is published in 2019 but the printed volume is not published until 2020, should the printed volume's copyright year remain 2019?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD

A: If the printed version appearing in 2020 is the same as the 2019 version, then it sounds like they are the same work just offered in another format, such a hardback book and a paperback. If there are changes between the 2 versions, you could note two copyright dates in the later version. You speak of "editing" the US Code. Not sure I understand what you mean by that. Are you creating new content that comments in someway upon the Code? Best to speak with local copyright counsel or in-house counsel for the best way to proceed.

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