Copyright Office Releases Redlines for Draft Compendium

The U.S. Copyright Office today announces the posting of redlines comparing the current version of Compendium of Copyright Office Practices (Third), which was released December 22, 2014, and the public draft of Compendium (Third), which was released June 1, 2017. The redlines are available on the revision history portion of the Compendium webpage. They are intended to assist members of the public in understanding the amendments and revisions contained in the public draft. The Office previously released a list of all sections that have been added, amended, or removed in this update, and a set of release notes providing a brief summary of the substantive revisions. The Office has extended the deadline to provide comments until July 30, 2017. Comments may be submitted on the Office’s website.

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Copyright Office Introduces Online Supplementary Registration

The U.S. Copyright Office announces that, as of July 17, it will for the first time begin accepting applications for supplementary copyright registration—used to correct or amplify information set forth in a basic registration—through the Office’s online registration system. Applicants will generally be required to file applications for supplementary registration online. The Office has also made other changes to the practices relating to supplementary registration, described in a final rule published in the Federal Register today. To help ease the transition to online filing, the Office will provide guidance in updates to the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, as well as an online tutorial.

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Copyright Office Publishes Recent Review Board Decisions

The Copyright Office today announces the launch of an online database of decisions from April 2016 to present by the U.S. Copyright Office Review Board, which hears final administrative appeals of refusals of copyright registration. The decisions are searchable and include an index; new decisions will be added as they are issued. The decisions will be a valuable resource to those seeking a better understanding of how the Copyright Office assesses whether works satisfy the legal and formal requirements for copyright registration. The index is available here.

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Copyright Office Releases an Updated Draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition

Acting Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple Claggett today released a revised draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition. This draft includes the first proposed updates to the Compendium since its release in December 2014. The public draft is available on the Office’s website at https://copyright.gov/comp3/draft.html. It will go into effect on July 3, 2017.

The Compendium is the administrative manual of the Register of Copyrights concerning the mandate and statutory duties of the Copyright Office under Title 17 of the United States Code. See 37 CFR. § 201.2(b)(7). The proposed updates are the result of a comprehensive review of the Office’s practices and procedures. The draft revisions to the registration chapters clarify how and when the Office communicates with applicants and how it handles duplicate claims, deposit requirements, and claims involving multiple works, among other improvements. The update also provides preliminary guidance for claims involving useful articles based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands.

The draft revisions to the recordation chapter provide additional guidance for recording notices of termination and information on the Office’s new electronic system for the designation of agents. The draft update also addresses recent changes in the Office’s regulations, including the “mailbox rule” for requests for reconsideration, new procedures for removing personally identifiable information, and changes made by the Office’s technical amendments. For a full accounting of draft Compendium revisions, read more.

Additionally, the Compendium has been reformatted to improve readability for online and offline users. When the revision is released in final form, it will include improved hyperlinks to provide direct access to legal citations and resources on the Office’s website, as well as improved cross-references between chapters.

Public comments on this draft may be submitted from June 1 to June 30 using the provided form. See www.copyright.gov/comp3/draft.html for more information.

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Copyright Office Adopts Final Rule to Address Disruption of Copyright Office Electronic Systems

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a final rule to address the effect of a disruption or suspension of any Office electronic system on the Office’s receipt of applications, fees, deposits, or other materials. The Copyright Office received six comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, all of which were supportive of the proposed regulation changes. The final rule specifies how the Office will assign effective dates of receipt to materials attempted to be submitted during a disruption or suspension of an Office electronic system. In addition, the final rule specifies how the Office will assign effective dates of receipt when a specific submission that is physically delivered or attempted to be physically delivered to the Office is lost or misplaced in the absence of a declaration of disruption, as might occur during the security screening procedures used for mail that is delivered to the Office.

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Pilot Program for Bulk Submissions of Copyright Registration Applications

Photographers often are also writers or bloggers. So it’s good news that the U.S. Copyright Office has published a public notice announcing a pilot program that will allow for the bulk submission of copyright registration applications in certain limited types of literary works.  Specifically, at this time, the pilot program is limited to claims to single literary works that have a single author, where all content that appears in the work was created and is owned solely by that single author.  Applicants that participate in the pilot will be required to provide author, title, and other pertinent information for each work they submit; upload a copy of each work; and pay the appropriate filing fee.  However they will be able to bypass the Office’s online interface and transmit their claims directly into the electronic registration system instead of filing them on an individual basis.

To participate in the pilot, applicants would have to comply with certain technical requirements.  For example, applicants would need to cooperate with and obtain approval from the Office’s technology staff during each phase, as the Office creates a separate portal into the eCO system for each participant.

The Office is offering this pilot as part of its continuing effort to increase the efficiency of the registration system for both applicants and the Office alike.

The Office may limit the total number of participants based on its available resources, but interested applicants may contact the Office via the form located at https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/bulk-submission.

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Copyright Registration Tip

 

It’s a given that registering your copyrights is a good thing. While the eCO system has made it easier, you sometimes may get stuck in the process.

Which is what happened to me recently. While uploading the deposit copies for a registration, it looked as though I lost my internet connection. Thinking that the files didn’t get submitted, I uploaded them again. When the Copyright Office (“CO”) sent me emails with the “Acknowledgement of Uploaded Deposit,” I realized that I had duplicates.

Uh, oh.

The eCO website states:

Please note: Files cannot be returned or deleted once uploaded. To avoid delays and/or a later effective date of registration, please verify the following before uploading a copy of your work(s):

Since I couldn’t delete the duplicates, I contacted the CO, stating:

When uploading files for a registration, the website appeared to freeze. Therefore, I unintentionally uploaded some files twice. Do I need to fix this or should I close the registration? Thank you!

The CO responded within 3 days:

Duplicate files are not a problem, however after filing, reply with the application case number so we can place a note re this matter.

I closed the registration and gave the CO the application number.

Case closed! Thanks, CO!

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Copyright Office Proposes Amending Regulations to Address Disruption of Copyright Office Electronic Systems

The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend its regulations to address the effect of a disruption or suspension of any Office electronic system on the Office’s receipt of applications, fees, deposits, or other materials.  The amended regulations specify how the Office will assign effective dates of receipt to materials attempted to be submitted during a disruption or suspension of an Office electronic system.  In addition, the proposed rule specifies how the Office will assign effective dates of receipt when a specific submission is lost in the absence of a declaration of disruption, as might occur during the security screening procedures used for mail that is delivered to the Office.

The Office seeks public comments on the proposed regulations that will be considered in promulgating a final rule.

The proposed regulations and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than April 3, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

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Final Rule Adopted to Remove Personally Identifiable Information from Registration Records

The U.S. Copyright Office issued a final rule to allow authors and claimants to replace in or remove from the Office’s online registration catalog personally identifiable information (PII). This rule allows authors, claimants, or their authorized representatives to pay a fee and request the removal of certain PII requested by the Office and collected on registration applications, such as names, home addresses, or personal phone numbers. The PII will be removed from the Office’s Internet-accessible public catalog but retained in the Office’s offline records as required by law. The rule also codifies an existing practice that removes extraneous PII free of charge, such as driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, banking information, and credit card information, whether by the Office’s own volition or upon request by authors, claimants, or their authorized representatives.

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Take Survey to Provide Info on Copyright Registrations

As previously reported, the U.S. Copyright Office is reviewing the rules on group registration of photographs, group registration of contributions to periodicals, and supplementary registration. In response, several photography organizations:

  • American Photographic Artists
  • American Society of Media Photographers
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • North American Nature Photography Association
  • Professional Photographers of America
  • PLUS Coalition

are conducting a 15-question survey to collect, collate, and provide information to the Copyright Office on these important issues. Participate in this survey by midnight EST January 21, 2017, so that the Copyright Office can hear your voice.

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