[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 9, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27125-27126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11107]


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POSTAL SERVICE

39 CFR Part 111


Periodicals--Recognition of Distribution of Periodicals via 
Electronic Copies

AGENCY: Postal Service\TM\.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Postal Service will revise the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]) 707.6 
to permit limited reporting of electronic copies of Periodicals 
publications to satisfy the circulation standards for Periodicals 
qualification. Standards require that at least 50% of the circulated 
copies be distributed to those who subscribe to a general publication 
or request a Requester publication.

DATES: Effective Date: May 9, 2012.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On, February 3, 2012, the Postal Service 
published a Federal Register proposed rule Periodicals--Recognition of 
Distribution of Periodicals via Electronic Copies (77 FR 5470-5471) 
revising DMM 707.6 by adding optional reporting of electronic copies of 
Periodicals publications as a legitimate form of distribution. 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 Requester category, may 
be counted toward the publication's eligibility for Periodicals prices.
    Efforts to identify the conditions that allow electronic copies of 
Periodicals to be counted with other distribution outside the mails 
have been ongoing. 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 
subscriber's desire to read news immediately upon publication.

Comments

    We received 28 comments. One included a survey conducted by the 
National Newspaper Association requesting feedback from publishers of 
small circulation publications. 27 individuals and all who responded to 
the survey approved this modification and recommended immediate 
adoption. One commenter expressed concern stating that this change does 
not clearly state the conditions of continuing eligibility. Additional 
language has been added to our proposed standards to clarify 
eligibility requirements.
    The Postal Service adopts the following changes 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 amended as follows:

 PART 111--[AMENDED]

0
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.

0
2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) as follows:

[[Page 27126]]

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

* * * * *

700 Special Standards

* * * * *

707 Periodicals

* * * * *

6.0 Qualification Categories

6.1 General Publications

* * * * *

6.1.2 Circulation Standards

    General publications must meet these circulation standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise the first sentence in f as follows:]
    f. At least 50% of a publication's distribution must be to persons 
who have paid above a nominal price. (For explanation of how electronic 
copies may be included, see 6.5.) * * *
* * * * *

6.4 Requester Publications

* * * * *

6.4.2 Circulation Standards

    Requester publications must meet these circulation standards:
* * * * *
    [Revise item b as follows:]
    b. Subscription copies of the publications that are paid for or 
promised to be paid for, including those at or below a nominal price, 
may be included in the determination of whether the 50% request 
requirement is met. (For explanation of how electronic copies may be 
included, see 6.5.)
* * * * *
    [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 may be counted toward an 
approved or pending general or requester publication's eligibility for 
Periodicals prices. The following conditions additionally apply:
    a. Electronic copies that may be counted toward a publication's 
eligibility for Periodicals prices:
    1. Must be paid at a price above nominal rate for publications 
approved in the General category; or
    2. Must be requested in writing or by electronic correspondence for 
publications approved in the Requester category.
    b. Electronic copies of a Periodicals publication for which access 
is offered free 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 distributed to paying subscribers or requesters, as 
applicable. Up to 10% of the distributed copies used to qualify or 
remain eligible for Periodicals prices may be copies that are paid or 
requested to be sent electronically.
    d. If less than 60% of a Periodicals publication's total 
circulation consists of printed copies distributed to paying 
subscribers or requesters, as applicable, annual Postal eligibility 
audits must be conducted by a certified audit bureau.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy and Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-11107 Filed 5-8-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-12-P