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NewsNet Issue 749
February 13, 2019
U.S. Copyright Office Publishes Final Rule Amending Freedom of Information Act Practices and Procedures
The Copyright Office has adopted a final rule, effective March 15, 2019, amending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) practices and procedures. In 2017, the Office issued an interim rule, implementing the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The final rule makes minimal amendments to the interim rule in response to public comments and updated guidance from the Department of Justice. Specifically, the updated final rule alerts requesters as to the availability of Office of Government Information Services when providing notice of unusual circumstances and adopts streamlined fee waiver procedures. The regulations provide a clear structure for the required regulatory provisions of FOIA, formalize Office practices of multitrack processing and aggregation, and provide areas of enhanced customer service. The rule and comments are available here.
NewsNet Issue 748
February 13, 2019
U.S. Copyright Office Issues Updated Rule Relating to Group Registration of Newspapers
The U.S. Copyright Office has published a final rule in the Federal Register amending its regulations for the group registration of newspapers. The Office previously updated its newspaper group registration regulations in March 2018, implementing several changes to promote efficiency in the registration process and encourage broader participation in the registration system by reducing the burden on applicants. Among other changes, the rule enabled publishers to register a group of newspapers by submitting an electronic application and a PDF copy of each issue within three months after the publication of the earliest issue in the group.
In response to concerns expressed by some publishers over the burdens presented by the three-month deadline, the Office has amended the regulations to eliminate that requirement. Publishers now will be permitted to submit group registration claims regardless of when their newspaper issues were published. Likewise, publishers may electronically file new applications for claims that were refused because they were filed on a paper form or without a digital deposit, or because they were received after the three-month deadline.
The Office will monitor the effect of this change on registrations and Library of Congress collections. In the meantime, the Office has prepared a number of materials to assist applicants seeking to utilize the newspaper group registration option, including a video tutorial, answers to frequently asked questions, and a circular.
NewsNet Issue 747
February 13, 2019
U.S. Copyright Office Issues Final Rule Establishing Group Registration for Unpublished Works
As part of its efforts to modernize and improve the registration process, the U.S. Copyright Office has adopted a final rule, effective March 15, 2019, that establishes a group registration option for unpublished works. This new rule will allow copyright owners to register up to ten unpublished works for a single filing fee, provided each work has the same author and claimant and is the same administrative class. The rule replaces the option to register unpublished collections. The rule will facilitate efficient examination of unpublished works for copyrightable authorship, create a more robust record of claims, and improve the overall efficiency of the registration process.
Important note for photographers: Today’s rule does not replace the procedure for registering unpublished photographs. Photographers may continue to register up to 750 photos with one application and one filing fee using the group registration option for photographs. For more information, see Circular 42.