17 USC 601
Manufacture, importation and public distribution of certain copies
This document contains one section of the U.S. Copyright Act (found in Title 17 of the United States Code). This page was last updated in October 2005. All of the sections of the Copyright Act are listed on the Index page.
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(a)Prior to July 1, 1986, and except as provided by subsection (b), the importation into or public distribution in the United States of copies of a work consisting preponderantly of nondramatic literary material that is in the English language and is protected under this title is prohibited unless the portions consisting of such material have been manufactured in the United States or Canada.
(b)The provisions of subsection (a) do not apply--
(1)where, on the date when importation is sought or public distribution in the United States is made, the author of any substantial part of such material is neither a national nor a domiciliary of the United States or, if such author is a national of the United States, he or she has been domiciled outside the United States for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding that date; in the case of a work made for hire, the exemption provided by this clause does not apply unless a substantial part of the work was prepared for an employer or other person who is not a national or domiciliary of the United States or a domestic corporation or enterprise;
(2)where the United States Customs Service is presented with an import statement issued under the seal of the Copyright Office, in which case a total of no more than two thousand copies of any one such work shall be allowed entry; the import statement shall be issued upon request to the copyright owner or to a person designated by such owner at the time of registration for the work under section 408 [17 USC 408] or at any time thereafter;
(3)where importation is sought under the authority or for the use, other than in schools, of the Government of the United States or of any State or political subdivision of a State;
(4)where importation, for use and not for sale, is sought--
(A)by any person with respect to no more than one copy of any work at any one time;
(B)by any person arriving from outside the United States, with respect to copies forming part of such person's personal baggage; or
(C)by an organization operated for scholarly, educational, or religious purposes and not for private gain, with respect to copies intended to form a part of its library;
(5)where the copies are reproduced in raised characters for the use of the blind; or
(6)where, in addition to copies imported under clauses (3) and (4) of this subsection, no more than two thousand copies of any one such work, which have not been manufactured in the United States or Canada, are publicly distributed in the United States; or
(7)where, on the date when importation is sought or public distribution in the United States is made--
(A)the author of any substantial part of such material is an individual and receives compensation for the transfer or license of the right to distribute the work in the United States; and
(B)the first publication of the work has previously taken place outside the United States under a transfer or license granted by such author to a transferee or licensee who was not a national or domiciliary of the United States or a domestic corporation or enterprise; and
(C)there has been no publication of an authorized edition of the work of which the copies were manufactured in the United States; and
(D)the copies were reproduced under a transfer or license granted by such author or by the transferee or licensee of the right of first publication as mentioned in subclause (B), and the transferee or the licensee of the right of reproduction was not a national or domiciliary of the United States or a domestic corporation or enterprise.
(c)The requirement of this section that copies be manufactured in the United States or Canada is satisfied if--
(1)in the case where the copies are printed directly from type that has been set, or directly from plates made from such type, the setting of the type and the making of the plates have been performed in the United States or Canada; or
(2)in the case where the making of plates by a lithographic or photoengraving process is a final or intermediate step preceding the printing of the copies, the making of the plates has been performed in the United States or Canada; and
(3)in any case, the printing or other final process of producing multiple copies and any binding of the copies have been performed in the United States or Canada.
(d)Importation or public distribution of copies in violation of this section does not invalidate protection for a work under this title. However, in any civil action or criminal proceeding for infringement of the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute copies of the work, the infringer has a complete defense with respect to all of the nondramatic literary material comprised in the work and any other parts of the work in which the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute copies are owned by the same person who owns such exclusive rights in the nondramatic literary material, if the infringer proves--
(1)that copies of the work have been imported into or publicly distributed in the United States in violation of this section by or with the authority of the owner of such exclusive rights; and
(2)that the infringing copies were manufactured in the United States or Canada in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c); and
(3)that the infringement was commenced before the effective date of registration for an authorized edition of the work, the copies of which have been manufactured in the United States or Canada in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c).