neither brought to the attention of the court nor ruled upon, are not to be considered as having been so decided as to constitute precedents.”).
Nor does the Copyright Office’s 2001 DMCA Report, also relied on by the district court in this case, explicitly suggest that the definition of “fixed” does not contain a duration requirement. However, as noted above, it does suggest that an embodiment is fixed “[u]nless a reproduction manifests itself so fleetingly that it cannot be copied, perceived or communicated.” DMCA Report, supra, at 111. As we have stated, to determine whether a work is “fixed” in a given medium, the statutory language directs us to ask not only 1) whether a work is “embodied” in that medium, but also 2) whether it is embodied in the medium “for a period of more than transitory duration.” According to the Copyright Office, if the work is capable of being copied from that medium for any amount of time, the answer to both questions is “yes.” The problem with this interpretation is that it reads the “transitory duration” language out of the statute.
We assume, as the parties do, that the Copyright Office’s pronouncement deserves only Skidmore deference, deference based on its “power to persuade.” Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134, 140 (1944). And because the Office’s interpretation does not explain why Congress would include language in a definition if it intended courts to ignore that language, we are not