[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5470-5471]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2374]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Periodicals--Recognition of Distribution of Periodicals via 
Electronic Copies

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service proposes to revise the Mailing Standards of 
the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 
707.6, to allow publishers who use electronic distribution methods to 
report such circulation as paid or requested distribution, as 
applicable.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 5, 2012. Early 
comments are encouraged.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Product 
Classification, U.S. Postal Service[supreg], 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260-5015. You may inspect and photocopy all 
written comments at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW., 11th Floor N, Washington, DC by appointment only between the 
hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 1-202-268-
2906 in advance. Email comments, containing the name and address of the 
commenter, may be sent to: Product Classification@usps.gov, with a 
subject line of ``epublications.'' Faxed comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Thomas at (202) 268-8069.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Recent advances in technology allow 
distribution of Periodicals publications through various electronic 
media channels. According to the standards that govern the Periodicals 
class, all paid circulation for publications authorized in the General 
category, and all requested circulation for publications authorized in 
the Requestor category may be counted toward the publication's 
eligibility for Periodicals prices.
    Efforts to identify the conditions that would allow electronic 
copies of Periodicals (e-pubs) to be counted with other distribution 
outside the mails have been ongoing for the past two years. During that 
time, the transition from traditional printed copies of Periodicals to 
electronic copies of the same publications has grown. Many factors 
contributed to this migration including the proliferation of electronic 
reading devices and the desire of subscribers to read news immediately 
upon publication.
    The proposed effective date is September 30, 2012.
    Although we are exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C. of 553(b), (c)] regarding 
proposed rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410(a), we invite public comments on 
the following proposed revisions to Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), incorporated by 
reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 111--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552(a); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-
1737; 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 
3403-3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.

    2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), as follows:

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual (DMM)

* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

707 Periodicals

* * * * *

6.0 Qualification Categories

6.1 General Publication

* * * * *

6.1.2 Circulation Standards

    General publications must meet these circulation standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise the first sentence in item 6.1.2c as follows:]
    Persons whose subscriptions are obtained at a nominal price and 
those whose copies bear an alternative form of address (except as 
allowed for electronic copies in 6.5) must not be included in the 
legitimate list of subscribers. * * *
* * * * *

6.4 Requester Publications

* * * * *

6.4.2 Circulation Standards

    Requester publications must meet these circulation standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise the second sentence in 6.4.2e as follows:]
    e. * * * Copies addressed using an alternative address format 
(except as

[[Page 5471]]

allowed for electronic copies under 6.5) are not considered requested 
copies, and persons are not considered to have requested the 
publication if their copies are addressed in that manner.
* * * * *
    [Renumber current 6.5 through 6.6 as new 6.6 through 6.7 and add 
new 6.5 as follows:]

6.5 Electronic Copies

    Copies of Periodicals publications distributed through email or by 
accessing a password protected Web site (e-pubs) may be counted toward 
an approved or pending general or requester publications' eligibility 
for Periodicals prices. The following conditions additionally apply:
    a. Copies of e-pubs that may be counted toward a publications 
eligibility for Periodicals prices:
    1. Must be paid at a price above nominal rate for publications 
approved in the General category.
    2. Must be requested in writing or by electronic correspondence for 
publications approved in the Requester category.
    b. Access to electronic copies of a Periodicals publication offered 
in conjunction with printed copies of the same issues may not be 
counted when determining total circulation for the publication.
    c. At least 40% of the total circulation of each issue must consist 
of printed copies.
    d. Publications for which at least 60% of total circulation 
consists of printed copies to subscribers or requesters, as applicable, 
will be exempt from annual circulation audits.
    e. If less than 60% of a Periodicals publication's total 
circulation consists of printed copies distributed to subscribers or 
requesters, as applicable, annual Postal audits must be conducted by a 
certified audit bureau
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 if our 
proposal is adopted.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy and Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-2374 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P