Originally Posted by HarryT
That's why we have copyright deposit libraries. In the United States, for example, it's a criminal offence not to send the Library of Congress a copy of any copyrighted work. Whether or not they choose to keep it is up to them, but you MUST send them a copy of your eBook.
Online-only publications are exempt. From the US Copyright office's PDF
about mandatory deposit:
Published Electronic Works Available Only Online
Effective February 24, 2010, the Copyright Office adopted an interim regulation governing mandatory deposit of electronic works published in the United States and available only online. The regulation establishes that online-only works are exempt from mandatory deposit until the Copyright Office issues a demand for deposit of copies or phonorecords of such works.
This includes ebooks, blog posts, emailed newsletters... I imagine they were getting swamped by a few diligent organizations' efforts to comply, and someone realized that they don't actually *want* a complete archive of Twitter posts--sent in by random individuals in different formats. (I'm not sure what they do about digital content distributed offline--as in, "it's in my computer; people who visit my home are welcome to download to a flash drive." My first thought was "that's not publication;" but on further consideration, it's no different from "I've printed these books, but you have to come to me to get one.")
Also, the criminal penalties for the ones that *are* required to be deposited, only kick in after a demand-for-deposit. The penalties are for not complying with the demand, not for failure to deposit in the first place:
If the required deposit is not made within three months of the demand, the person or organization obligated to make the deposit is liable for a fine for each work plus the retail price of the copies; if the refusal to comply is willful or repeated, an added fine may be incurred.