eCO Registration System Down

Offline

Over the weekend, as part of routine maintenance, the Library of Congress shut down a data center that hosts a number of U.S. Copyright Office systems, including the online copyright registration system, eCO. The Library of Congress attempted to reopen the data center on Sunday evening, but has been unable to restore access to Copyright Office systems. As result, eCO remains offline, and Copyright Office staff are unable to access internal shared network resources. Until service is restored, you will be unable to use the eCO system to file a copyright registration, and Office staff may be unable to access Office records.

Please note that during this outage, you can still file a copyright registration for your work(s) using a paper registration form. Fillable PDF registration forms are available at http://copyright.gov/forms/. For further information, please contact 202-707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

The Library of Congress is working to resolve the problems as expeditiously as possible, but does not have an estimated time for service resumption. A notification will be sent when service is restored.

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Copyright Office Posts Responses to Visual Arts Notice of Inquiry

From the Illustrators Partnership (posted with permission):

The Copyright Office has posted the responses to its Visual Arts Notice of Inquiry:

http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/comments/

They say they “received a large volume of initial comments,” and unlike previous letters, which they always posted individually, these have been posted in Adobe PDF Portfolio view.

The Copyright Office recommends you download the files rather than viewing in a browser. Go to the link above and you’ll see 7 pdfs. The first, captioned “Direct Initial Comments” contains 358 letters that the Copyright Office regards as directly responsive to the 5 questions they posed about current copyright law. The other letters are available in one of the 6 pdfs titled “General Initial Comments,” and contain 2,244 letters.

Download the pdfs and open them. Be patient: this could take several minutes. An error message may pop up: ignore it and proceed. When the file opens, it may appear to contain only one letter. Go to the menu at the upper left of the pdf portfolio file and click on “Files.” This will open a column with hundreds of names along the left hand side of the window. The letters are listed alphabetically by the author’s first name or organization name. If the letter you’re looking for is not in the “Direct” comments pdf, look for it alphabetically in one of the remaining 6.

Reply Comments are due October 1, 2015

American and foreign artists can both submit their letters online here.

Please be advised: “The Office intends to post the written comments and documentary evidence on its website in the form in which they are received. Parties should keep in mind that any private, confidential, or personally identifiable information appearing in their comment will be accessible to the public.”

Special note to foreign artists: If you are submitting from outside the US, under “State,” please scroll down to the bottom and select “Non U.S.A. Location.”

Read the Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry and Extension of Comment Period.

Read the 2015 Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Report.

This will be an opportunity for you to either endorse those comments you agree with or object to those you don’t. Or if you missed the first deadline, this will be a second chance to weigh in. We hope everyone will review as many of these letters as possible and consider responding.

– Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership

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Limited Time Offer: 30% off of Lynda.com Memberships

30% Off Any lynda.com Memberships
All lynda.com memberships are 30% off starting today, August 18th, through August 24th.

Lynda.com has long been a great resource for photographers. Get access to this great content, including the Photo Attorney courses there, now at an even better price!

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Copyright Office Announces Open Application Period for Ringer Fellowships

 

The Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program offers 18 to 24-month paid fellowships for recent law school graduates and other attorneys in the early stages of their careers. Candidates must have a strong interest in copyright law and a demonstrated record of achievement in law school or in practice.

Ringer Fellows are closely mentored by senior attorneys and work on a range of copyright-related issues, including policy studies and analyses, administrative proceedings, legislative initiatives, litigation matters, and international developments.

Applications for the Ringer Honors Program are being accepted from August 1 through October 15, 2015. For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program page.

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Copyright Office Extends Period for Public Comment on Mass Digitization Pilot Program

The U.S. Copyright Office has extended the deadline to submit written comments in response to its June 9, 2015, Notice of Inquiry regarding a proposed mass digitization “pilot program” for certain copyrighted works. Comments are now due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on October 9, 2015. For more information, including the complete notice and the comment submission form, please see http://copyright.gov/policy/massdigitization/.

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Copyright Office Extends Period for Reply Comments in Notice of Inquiry Regarding Copyright Protection for Certain Visual Works

Good news!

The Copyright Office has published a Federal Register notice extending the deadline for public reply comments that reply to initial comments submitted in connection with the Office’s April 24, 2015, Notice of Inquiry on Copyright Protection for Certain Visual Works. Reply comments are now due on October 1, 2015.

For more information, please see http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/.

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Must Watch: “Everything You Know About Copyright Is About To Change”

Also check the links under the video in the “Show More” area.

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Prime Rights Grab

One of my happiest moments: petting gray whales in Magdalena Bay

One of my happiest moments: petting gray whales in Magdalena Bay

Along with Amazon’s Prime Day, “a one-day shopping event on July 15, 2015, with more deals than Black Friday,” Amazon is hosting a “PrimeLiving Photo Contest.” Amazon invites you to “choose or take a photo of your happiest moment” and to “choose your best photo” to enter. You will have a chance to win $10,000
in Amazon Gift Cards.

Unfortunately, just by submitting your photo, you agree to:

grant[] to Sponsor the non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display the Photo throughout the world in any media, to the extent permitted by applicable law.

and

Sponsor’s use of the entrant’s name, likeness, photograph or image, whether in writing, audio, and/or video, for any purpose, in any media, without compensation or additional consideration to entrant.

It gets worse. If you win, you have to transfer the copyright to your photo to Amazon:

[W]inners will be required to sign and return a “Transfer of Copyright” form as requested by Sponsor. Winners hereby acknowledges and understands that under such Transfer of Copyright form, he/she will be assigning exclusively, irrevocably, and in perpetuity, and on a royalty-free basis to Sponsor (or to Sponsor’s affiliates) all copyright ownership and all other proprietary rights in and to his/her Photo, such that Sponsor (and its affiliates) will have the unrestricted right to edit the Photo in any manner and to use (or not use) the Photo for any and all purposes whatsoever (including, without limitation, the creation of derivative works, and/or any and all other forms of commercial or non-commercial exploitation), regardless of whether or not related to the Contest.

This contest’s rules just might ruin your “happiest moment.”

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Copyright Office Requests Public Comment on Mass Digitization Pilot Program

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a Federal Register notice requesting written comments to assist it in developing draft legislation that would establish a legal framework for certain mass digitization activities. For the past several years, the Office has been exploring ways to facilitate and support mass digitization projects serving the public interest while appropriately balancing the interests and concerns of copyright owners. In its recently issued Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Report, the Office proposed the creation of a limited “pilot program” that would allow certain types of mass digitization projects to be authorized through a system known as extended collective licensing (ECL). The ECL pilot program recommended by the Office would enable users to digitize and provide access to certain works for research and education purposes under conditions to be agreed upon between rightsholder and user representatives.

Because the success of such a system depends on the voluntary involvement of both copyright owners and users, the Office is inviting public comment on several issues concerning the scope and operation of the pilot program. The Office will then seek to facilitate further discussion through stakeholder meetings and, if necessary, additional requests for written comment. Based on this input, the Office will draft a formal legislative proposal for Congress’s consideration.

The Notice of Inquiry is available here. Written comments are due on or before August 10, 2015.

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