Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals, 86634-86643 [2016-28700]

Download as PDF 86634 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 210, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA, 30337. Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify the descriptions of VOR Federal airways V– 16, V–94 and V–124, due to the planned decommissioning of the Jacks Creek, TN, VOR/DME. The proposed route changes are described below. V–16: V–16 extends between Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA. The FAA proposes to modify that portion of the route that reads ‘‘. . . Marvell, AR; Holly Springs, MS; Jacks Creek, TN; Shelbyville, TN . . . .’’ To read as follows: ‘‘. . . Marvell, AR; to Holly Springs, MS. From Shelbyville, TN; . . . .’’ thus eliminating Jacks Creek, TN, from the route. V–94: V–94 extends between Blythe, CA and Bowling Green, KY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Holly Springs, MS, thus eliminating the segments of the route from Holly Springs, MS, through Jacks Creek, TN, to Bowling Green, KY. V–124: V–124 extends between Bonham, TX and Graham, TN. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Gilmore, AR, thus eliminating the segments from Gilmore, AR, through Jacks Creek, TN, to Graham, TN. Domestic VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The VOR Federal airways listed in this document would be subsequently published in the Order. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 Regulatory Notices and Analyses The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Environmental Review This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). The Proposed Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows: Stanfield, AZ, 105° radials; Tucson, AZ; San Simon, AZ; INT San Simon 119° and Columbus, NM, 277° radials; Columbus; El Paso, TX; Salt Flat, TX; Wink, TX; INT Wink 066° and Big Spring, TX, 260° radials; Big Spring; Abilene, TX; Bowie, TX; Bonham, TX; Paris, TX; Texarkana, AR; Pine Bluff, AR; Marvell, AR; to Holly Springs, MS. From Shelbyville, TN; Hinch Mountain, TN; Volunteer, TN; Holston Mountain, TN; Pulaski, VA; Roanoke, VA; Lynchburg, VA; Flat Rock, VA; Richmond, VA; INT Richmond 039° and Patuxent, MD, 228° radials; Patuxent; Smyrna, DE; Cedar Lake, NJ; Coyle, NJ; INT Coyle 036° and Kennedy, NY, 209° radials; Kennedy; INT Kennedy 040° and Calverton, NY 261° radials; Calverton; Norwich, CT; Boston, MA. The airspace within Mexico and the airspace below 2,000 feet MSL outside the United States is excluded. The airspace within Restricted Areas R–5002A, R–5002C, and R– 5002D is excluded during their times of use. The airspace within Restricted Areas R–4005 and R–4006 is excluded. V–94 [Amended] From Blythe, CA, INT Blythe 094° and Gila Bend, AZ, 299° radials; Gila Bend; Stanfield, AZ; 55 miles, 74 miles, 95 MSL, San Simon, AZ; Deming, NM; Newman, TX; Salt Flat, TX; Wink, TX; Midland, TX; Tuscola, TX; Glen Rose, TX; Cedar Creek, TX: Gregg County, TX; Elm Grove, LA; Monroe, LA; Greenville, MS; to Holly Springs, MS. V–124 [Amended] From Bonham, TX, via Paris, TX; Hot Springs, AR; Little Rock, AR; to Gilmore, AR. * * * * * Issued in Washington, DC, on November 22, 2016. Leslie M. Swann, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group. [FR Doc. 2016–28728 Filed 11–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Office 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Design ations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: ■ Paragraph 6010(a) Airways. * * * Domestic VOR Federal * * V–16 [Amended] From Los Angeles, CA; Paradise, CA; Palm Springs, CA; Blythe, CA; Buckeye, AZ; Phoenix, AZ; INT Phoenix 155° and PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 37 CFR Parts 201, 202 [Docket No. 2016–8] Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend the regulation governing the group registration option for contributions to periodicals to reflect certain upgrades that will soon be made to the electronic registration system. The proposed rule will require groups of contributions to be filed through the Office’s electronic registration system. In addition, it will modify the deposit SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS requirement for this option by requiring applicants to submit their contributions in a digital format and to upload those files through the electronic system. The proposed rule will increase the efficiency of the registration process for both the Office and copyright owners alike. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be made in writing and must be received in the U.S. Copyright Office no later than January 3, 2017. ADDRESSES: For reasons of government efficiency, the Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site at http:// copyright.gov/rulemaking/grcp/. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the Internet, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, or Erik Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice, by telephone at 202–707– 8040. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background When Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 1976, it authorized the Register of Copyrights (the ‘‘Register’’) to issue regulations specifying the administrative classes of works for the purpose of seeking a registration, and the nature of the deposit required for each such class. In addition, Congress gave the Register the discretion to allow groups of related works to be registered with one application and one filing fee, a procedure known as ‘‘group registration.’’ See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1). Pursuant to this authority, the Register issued regulations permitting the U.S. Copyright Office (the ‘‘Office’’) to issue group registrations for certain limited categories of works, provided that certain conditions have been met. See generally 37 CFR 202.3(b)(5)–(10). Without prejudice to the Register’s general authority to create group registration options under section 408(c)(1) of the Copyright Act at the Register’s discretion, Congress also specifically directed the Register, under section 408(c)(2), to issue regulations allowing works by the same individual author to be registered as a group, if VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 those works were first published within a twelve-month period as contributions to periodicals (including newspapers).1 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2). In particular, section 408(c)(2) states that ‘‘the Register of Copyrights shall establish regulations specifically permitting a single registration for a group of works by the same individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, including newspapers, within a twelve-month period, on the basis of a single deposit, application, and registration fee, under the following conditions—(A) if the deposit consists of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published; and (B) if the application identifies each work separately, including the periodical containing it and its date of first publication.’’ Id. As the legislative history explains, allowing ‘‘a number of related works to be registered together as a group represent[ed] a needed and important liberalization of the law.’’ H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 154 (1976); S. Rep. No. 94– 473, at 136 (1975). Congress recognized that requiring applicants to submit separate applications for certain types of works may be so burdensome and expensive that authors and copyright owners may forgo registration altogether, since copyright registration is not a prerequisite to copyright protection. Id. If copyright owners do not submit their works for registration under this permissive system, the public record will not contain any information concerning those works. This creates a void in the public record that diminishes the value of the Office’s database. At the same time, when large numbers of works are bundled together in one application, information about the individual works may not be adequately captured. Therefore, group registration options require careful balancing of the need for an accurate public record and the need for an efficient method of facilitating the registration of such works. II. The Current Group Registration Option for Contributions to Periodicals In 1978, the Office issued an interim rule that established a procedure for registering groups of contributions to 1 A bill introduced last year in Congress would maintain the Office’s general authority to create group registration options, but would eliminate the provision specifically directing the Office to establish a group option for contributions to periodicals and specifying the precise requirements for that option. See Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act, H.R. 4241, 114th Cong., § 3(b)(1) (2015). PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 86635 periodicals. See 43 FR 965 (Jan. 5, 1978). This interim rule is largely still in effect today, with the exception of one amendment discussed below. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8). The Office refers to this procedure as a ‘‘group registration for contributions to periodicals’’ or ‘‘GRCP.’’ Applicants may use this option if they satisfy the requirements set forth in the regulation. First, all the contributions must be created by the same individual, and none of them can be a work made for hire. Id. § 202.3(b)(8)(i)(A), (B). Second, all the works must be first published as a contribution to a periodical, and they must be published within a twelvemonth period (e.g., October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015). In other words, the contributions do not have to be published during the same calendar year, but ‘‘the earliest and latest contributions must not have been first published more than twelve months apart.’’ Id. § 202.3(b)(8)(i)(C) n.2. And, third, if the contributions were first published before March 1, 1989, each contribution must contain an appropriate copyright notice. Id. § 202.3(b)(8)(i)(D). The current regulation states that the applicant must complete and submit a paper application using Form TX, Form VA, or Form PA. It also states that the application ‘‘should be filed in the [administrative] class appropriate to the nature of authorship in the majority of the contributions.’’ 2 Id. 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) & n.3. For instance, Form TX should be used if the group primarily contains textual material (such as articles, editorials, essays, etc.), Form VA should be used if the group primarily contains visual material (such as photographs, cartoons, illustrations, etc.), and Form PA should be used if the group primarily contains works of the performing arts (such as music, sound recordings, dramas, etc.). In addition, the applicant must complete and submit an ‘‘adjunct form’’ known as Form GR/ CP, which is specifically designed for providing information about the particular group of contributions that is being registered. Id. § 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(B). In all cases, the application must ‘‘contain the information required by the form and its accompanying instructions.’’ Id. § 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A), (B). The instructions for Form GR/CP state that the application must identify ‘‘each contribution separately, including the periodical containing it and its date 2 There is a limited exception to this rule that is set forth in footnote 3 to the current regulation. As discussed in Section III.A.1 below, that exception is now obsolete. Therefore, the Office is proposing to remove footnote 3 from the regulation. E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 86636 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules of first publication.’’ 3 Form GR/CP (http://copyright.gov/forms/formgr_ tx.pdf). Specifically, applicants are instructed to provide the title of each contribution that is included in the group, the title of the periodical where each contribution was first published, the volume and issue number (if any) and issue date for each periodical, and the page number where each contribution appeared. The instructions for Form GR/CP also state that the applicant must satisfy one other requirement: The copyright claimant for each contribution must be the same person or organization. This requirement does not appear in the current regulation, although it has appeared in the instructions for Form GR/CP since at least July 2012. Under the current regulations there is no limit on the number of contributions that may be registered with the GRCP option. The current regulations also provide that the applicant must submit the contributions in the precise form in which they were first published, and the copies must be submitted in a physical—rather than a digital—form. When the Office established the group option for contributions to periodicals, the regulation stated that the applicant must submit ‘‘one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published.’’ See 43 FR at 967. The Federal Register notice announcing this rule explained that the deposit requirements for this group option ‘‘essentially follow the conditions set forth in [section 408(c)(2) of] the statute.’’ Id. at 966. This imposed a hardship on applicants who did not have a copy of the entire issue or the entire section where the contribution was first published. To address this concern, the Office began granting special relief from the deposit requirements on a case-by-case basis and allowed applicants to submit their works in other formats. See 67 FR 10329 (Mar. 7, 2002). Based on this experience, the Office amended the regulation in 2002 to allow applicants to submit their contributions in any of the following physical formats: (i) One copy of the entire issue of the periodical that contains the contribution; (ii) one copy of the entire section of a newspaper that contains the contribution; (iii) tear sheets or proof copies of the contribution; (iv) a photocopy of the contribution; (v) a 3 This same language appears in section 408(c)(2)(B) of the statute, as well as the legislative history for that provision. H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 155 (1976); S. Rep. No. 94–473, at 137 (1975). VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 photocopy of the entire page from the periodical that contains the contribution; (vi) the entire page from the periodical that contains the contribution, either cut or torn from the periodical; (vii) the contribution cut or torn from the periodical; (viii) photographs or photographic slides of the contribution, provided that the content of the contribution is clear and legible; or (ix) photographs or photographic slides of the entire page from the periodical that contains the contribution, provided that the content of the contribution is clear and legible. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(i)(E); 67 FR at 10329. The Office explained that expanding the list of acceptable formats would be ‘‘broadly consistent’’ ‘‘with the spirit of administrative flexibility Congress indicated the Register had in order to ensure that the deposit requirement was reasonable and nonburdensome for the applicant.’’ 67 FR at 10329 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 150–55 (1976)). It also explained that this would not diminish the quality of the public record, because applicants were expected to provide bibliographic information on Form GR/CP, which could be used to identify the periodicals where the contributions were first published (even if the applicant did not submit a copy of the actual publications). See id. III. The Proposed Rule The Office is proposing to amend the regulation that governs the group registration option for contributions to periodicals (the ‘‘Proposed Rule’’). As explained in greater detail below, the Proposed Rule will make several notable changes to the Office’s GRCP regulation. First, it will improve the efficiency of the GRCP option by requiring applicants to register their contributions through the Office’s electronic registration system (instead of submitting a paper application). Second, it will modify the eligibility criteria for the GRCP option by providing a more specific definition of the term ‘‘periodical,’’ and by specifically requiring the contributions to be owned by the same copyright claimant. Third, it will require applicants to register their contributions either in Class TX or Class VA (but not Class PA), and to identify the date of publication for each contribution and the periodical where each contribution was first published. Fourth, it will modify the deposit requirements for this option by requiring applicants to submit a digital copy of each contribution and to upload these copies through the electronic registration system (instead of submitting a physical copy of each contribution). PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The Proposed Rule also memorializes the Office’s longstanding position regarding the scope of a registration for a group of contributions to periodicals. It also confirms that the Office may refuse to issue a group registration or may cancel a group registration if it determines that a party failed to comply with the requirements for that option.4 Each of these proposals is discussed below. A. Application Requirements 1. Online Registration Once this rule is finalized, it will be possible to register groups of contributions to periodicals through the Office’s electronic registration system. The Office generally has allowed and encouraged applicants to register their works through this system since 2007. When the system was introduced, applicants could submit their works on an individual basis or as part of a collective work or an unpublished collection. See 72 FR 36883, 36884–85 (July 6, 2007). However, applicants could not submit a group registration covering contributions to periodicals, because the system was not designed to take in the information that is required for such a registration. Instead, applicants were required to file their claims with a paper application submitted on Form TX, Form VA, or Form PA, together with Form GR/CP. In February 2015 the Office completed a comprehensive analysis of its electronic registration system with input from technical experts and stakeholders. This analysis will support the Office’s long-term goals of creating both a better interface and a better public record. See U.S. Copyright Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Report and Recommendations of the Technical Upgrades Special Project Team (February 2015), available at http://copyright.gov/docs/technical_ upgrades/usco-technicalupgrades.pdf; see also 78 FR 17722 (Mar. 22, 2013). In December 2015 the Register issued a strategic plan that sets forth the Office’s performance objectives for the next five years. It provides a roadmap for reenvisioning almost all of the services that the Office provides, including how applicants register claims, submit deposits, record documents, share data, and access expert resources. With respect to information technology, the 4 As discussed in Sections III.F and G, this aspect of the Proposed Rule will apply to any group option that the Office creates under Section 408(c)— including the group options for serials, daily newspapers, daily newsletters, photographs, and databases. The Office is not proposing to make any other changes to those group options as part of this rulemaking. E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules plan calls for ‘‘a robust and flexible technology enterprise that is dedicated to the current and future needs of a modern copyright agency.’’ U.S. Copyright Office, Strategic Plan 2016– 2020: Positioning the United States Copyright Office for the Future, at 35 (Dec. 1, 2014) (‘‘Strategic Plan 2016– 2020’’), available at http:// copyright.gov/reports/strategic-plan/ USCO-strategic.pdf. At the direction of Congress,5 the Office also developed a detailed IT plan, and obtained public comments on specific strategies, costs, and timelines for technology objectives. U.S. Copyright Office, Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis (Feb. 29, 2016), available at http://www.copyright.gov/ reports/itplan/technology-report.pdf. In the meantime, the Office has made some enhancements to the current system to benefit authors, the Office, and the public at large. Under the Proposed Rule, applicants will be required to use an online application specifically designed for GRCP as a condition for using this group option. Once the Proposed Rule goes into effect, the Office will no longer accept groups of contributions that are submitted with a paper application on Form TX, Form VA, Form PA, or Form GR/CP. In such cases the Office will ask the applicant to resubmit the claim using the online application, which may change the effective date of registration that is assigned to the claim. The Office invites comment on this proposal, including whether the Office should eliminate the paper applications for GRCP, phase them out after a specified period of time, or continue to offer them for applicants who prefer to use the paperbased system. When completing the online application, applicants will be asked to provide the same information that is currently requested in Form TX, Form VA, and Form GR/CP. Consistent with Section 408(c)(2) of the statute, applicants will be required to provide the title and date of first publication for each contribution in the group, as well as the title of the periodical where each contribution was first published. If an applicant fails to provide this information, the application will not be accepted by the electronic system. In addition, applicants will be given an opportunity to provide the International Standard Serial Number (‘‘ISSN’’) that has been assigned to the periodical (if any), as well as the volume, number, issue date, and relevant page numbers (if any) for the particular issue where the contribution was first published. If 5 H.R. Rep. No. 114–110, at 16–17 (2015). VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 the contributions were published as part of a continuing series of works by the same author, such as an advice column, an editorial column, a cartoon strip, or the like, the applicant will be given an opportunity to provide the title (if any) that may be used to identify the entire series of works. The current regulation states that an applicant may register a group of contributions to periodicals in Class TX, VA, or PA by submitting the appropriate application for that class. 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) & n.3. The Proposed Rule, however, will allow applicants to register their claims only in Class TX or Class VA, and will eliminate the provision that allows a group of contributions to be registered in Class PA. The Office routinely registers contributions to periodicals in Class TX and Class VA, but has no institutional memory of having ever registered a claim in Class PA. Presumably, this is due to the fact that it would be extremely unusual for a musical work, a dramatic work, a choreographic work, a pantomime, a motion picture, or an audiovisual work to be first published as a contribution to a periodical. The Proposed Rule states that applicants should register their claims in Class TX if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of text, and should register their claims in Class VA if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of photographs, illustrations, artwork, or other visual material. A similar provision appears in the current regulation; the Proposed Rule simply reiterates this requirement. As discussed above, the current regulation also contains a limited exception to this rule, which is set forth in footnote 3 to the regulation. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) n.3. The Proposed Rule will eliminate this footnote, because it is obsolete. When Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 1976 it contained a provision known as the ‘‘manufacturing clause,’’ which was set forth in Section 601 of the statute. Briefly stated, that provision prohibited the importation or distribution ‘‘of copies of a work consisting preponderantly of nondramatic literary material that is in the English language,’’ unless that material was ‘‘manufactured in the United States or Canada.’’ 17 U.S.C. 601 (1978) (repealed by Pub. L. 111–295, 4(a), 124 Stat. 3180 (2010)). Footnote 3 to the regulation that governs GRCP contains similar language. It states that ‘‘if any of the contributions consists preponderantly of nondramatic literary material that is in the English language, the basic application for the entire PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 86637 group should be submitted on Form TX.’’ 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) n.3. The reason for this limitation is that when the Office adopted the regulation in 1978, Form TX contained a space that asked the applicant to identify the country where the copies were printed. The Office used this information to determine whether the work was subject to the manufacturing clause. (The Office did not include this space on Form VA or Form PA, because as mentioned above, the manufacturing clause only applied to nondramatic literary works.) The manufacturing clause expired in 1986, Congress removed that provision from the statute in 2010, and as a result, the Office no longer asks for ‘‘country of origin’’ information on Form TX. Public Law 97–215, 96 Stat. 178, 178–79 (1982); Public Law 111–295, 4(a), 124 Stat. 3180, 3180 (2010). Thus, footnote 3 to the current regulation no longer serves any purpose. 2. Supplementary Registration A supplementary registration is a special type of registration that may be used ‘‘to correct an error in a copyright registration or to amplify the information given in a registration,’’ including a registration for a group of related works. 17 U.S.C. 408(d). Specifically, it identifies an error or omission in an existing registration (referred to herein as a ‘‘basic registration’’) and places the corrected information or additional information in the public record. The Office often refers to this type of registration as a ‘‘CA,’’ which stands for ‘‘correction and amplification.’’ The Office is issuing a separate notice of proposed rulemaking (published elsewhere in this volume of the Federal Register, and referred to herein as the ‘‘CA Rulemaking’’) that will modify the regulation that governs this procedure. Under the rule proposed in the CA Rulemaking, applicants will be required to file an online application in order to correct or amplify the information set forth in a basic registration for any work that is capable of being registered through the electronic system, rather than filing a paper application. This online-filing requirement will apply to supplementary registrations for groups of contributions to periodicals—even if those contributions were originally registered with a paper application submitted on Forms TX, VA, and GR/ CP. When the rule proposed in the CA Rulemaking goes into effect, applicants will be required to file an online application in order to correct or amplify a basic registration for a GRCP claim. If an applicant attempts to use a paper application, the Office will ask E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 86638 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules the applicant to resubmit the claim using the online form. The Office is inviting comment on this proposal, including whether the Office should eliminate the paper application for seeking a supplementary registration, phase out this option after a specified period of time, or continue to offer this option for applicants who prefer to use the paper-based system. Comments concerning this proposal should be submitted as part of the CA Rulemaking, and should not be submitted as part of this rulemaking on GRCP. 3. Policy Considerations Supporting Online-Only Registration jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS A substantial majority of the U.S. population has access to the internet,6 and therefore, the Office expects that most authors will be able to use the electronic system.7 That said, the Office recognizes that millions of Americans do not have broadband service, and recognizes that eliminating the paper application may impose a burden on authors who fall within that segment of the population.8 Nevertheless, the Office believes that the benefits of requiring applicants to use the online application outweigh the potential burden on authors who do not have direct access to the internet. Providing title and publication information with a paper application can be tedious and time consuming, especially when applicants submit dozens or even hundreds of contributions in a group registration. Examining these types of claims also imposes substantial burdens on the Office, because the cataloging information for each contribution must be copied from the application and typed into the Office’s electronic system by hand. In some cases, examiners have 6 The Pew Research Center found that 84% of adults use the internet, including 85% of the people in urban and suburban communities and 78% of the people in rural communities. Pew Research Center, Americans’ Internet Access: 2000–2015, at 2, 10 (June 26, 2015), available at http:// www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/06/2015-06-26_ internet-usage-across-demographics-discover_ FINAL.pdf. 7 Approximately 94% of the claims submitted in fiscal year 2015 were filed through the electronic system, while 6% of the claims were submitted on a paper application. 8 The Federal Communications Commission reported that 17% of the population does not have access to a broadband service with connection speeds of twenty-five megabits per second (‘‘mbps’’) for downloads and three mbps for uploads. This figure includes 8% of the people who live in urban areas, 53% of the people in rural areas, and 63% of the people in U.S. territories and Tribal lands. Federal Communications Commission, 2015 Broadband Progress Report 4 (Jan. 29, 2015), available at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ attachmatch/FCC-15-10A1.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 spent an entire day processing a single claim, which has resulted in corresponding delays in issuing certificates of registration. Moreover, the increasing demand on the Office’s limited resources has had an adverse effect on the examination of other types of works within the Literary and Visual Arts Divisions. If an author does not have broadband at home, at the home of a relative, a friend, or a neighbor, or at her place of employment, there are other options for registering a group of contributions to periodicals. If the copyright owner has a tablet or laptop, she could complete and submit the online application at a coffee shop, a bookstore, or any other place where wi-fi or cellular service is available.9 She could log into the electronic system at a public library or other institution that provides computers with Internet access. Alternatively, the author could hire an attorney to submit the application on her behalf, either by paying for the attorney’s services or by obtaining pro bono representation.10 The Office also notes that a number of companies will prepare an application and file it with the Office for a fee. These companies typically provide this service for authors who wish to register a single work, but they could conceivably expand their offering to include groups of contributions to periodicals. Congress gave the Office broad authority to establish the requirements for group registration options. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1). For the foregoing reasons, the Office believes that requiring applicants to submit an online application as a condition for seeking a registration for a group of contributions to periodicals is 9 When filing an application for a supplementary registration there is no need to upload a copy of the work that is covered by the basic registration. Thus, applicants will be able to submit these types of claims with a tablet or other wi-fi enabled device. In some cases, the registration specialist may need to compare the information provided in the application for supplementary registration with the copy of the work that was submitted with the application for the basic registration. For instance, this may be necessary if the supplementary registration changes the publication status of the work or adds additional authors to the registration record. If the Office does not have a copy of the work in its possession, the registration specialist may ask the applicant to submit a replacement copy. See Compendium section 1802.9(C). But in all cases, the replacement copy could be sent by first class mail, courier, or hand delivery; the copy does not need to be uploaded to the electronic system (though this would be an option if the applicant has broadband service). 10 The Office does not require applications to be prepared or submitted by an attorney. In certain special cases the Office may suggest that the copyright owner consider seeking legal advice, but the Office does not furnish the names of copyright attorneys, publishers, agents, or other similar information. See 37 CFR 201.2(a)(2). PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 a reasonable trade-off for improving the overall efficiency of the group registration process. Nonetheless, the Office invites comment on this aspect of the Proposed Rule. B. Eligibility Requirements This section discusses the eligibility requirements for the group option for contributions to periodicals. Applicants that fail to satisfy these requirements will not be permitted to use this option. 1. Restating the Existing Eligibility Requirements The Proposed Rule improves the readability of the regulation by restating the eligibility requirements for this group option, including the requirements involving authorship, work made for hire, first publication, and notice. The changes in language are simply intended to clarify these requirements and do not represent a substantive change in policy. 2. Definition of ‘‘Periodicals’’ The Proposed Rule provides a definition for the term ‘‘periodicals.’’ It states that a periodical is a collective work that is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. It recognizes that each issue of a periodical usually bears the same title, as well as numerical or chronological designations. It also provides examples of works that typically qualify as a periodical, such as newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, bulletins, annuals, the proceedings of societies, and other similar works. This definition has appeared in the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices since December 22, 2014, and is consistent with the Office’s longstanding definition for the term ‘‘serial,’’ which has been in effect since 1991. See U.S. Copyright Office, Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, section 1115.1 (3d ed. 2014) (hereinafter the ‘‘Compendium’’); 37 CFR 202.3(b)(1)(v); 56 FR 7812, 7813 (Feb. 26, 1991). An applicant may be permitted to register articles, blog entries, artwork, photographs, or other contributions that were first published in an electronically printed (‘‘ePrint’’) publication if that publication fits within the regulatory definition of a ‘‘periodical.’’ Specifically, an ePrint publication may be considered a periodical for purposes of registration if it is fixed and distributed online or via email as a selfcontained work, such as a digital version of a tangible newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or similar E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS publication. For example, many companies publish electronic newsletters that contain articles on a particular subject, and distribute these publications to their subscribers either online or via email. An article published in an ePrint newsletter could be considered a contribution to a periodical under the Proposed Rule if each issue of the newsletter is fixed and distributed as a self-contained work and if the content of each issue does not change once it has been distributed. By contrast, a Web site would not be considered a periodical under the Proposed Rule. Web sites are typically updated on a continual basis rather than an established schedule. The updates are not made in successive issues that can be recognized as discrete, selfcontained collective works, and they do not contain numerical or chronological designations that distinguish one update from the next. For these reasons, an applicant could register a group of articles that were first published in the print or ePrint edition of a magazine. Likewise, an applicant could register a group of articles that were first published in a print or ePrint edition of a magazine and simultaneously published on the publisher’s Web site. However, an applicant could not register a group of articles that were published solely on a Web site. The Office is aware of the need for establishing new and updated practices for examining and registering complex or emerging areas of authorship. The Register’s strategic plan calls for the Office to ‘‘[a]ssess special issues relating to registration and deposit protocols for emerging forms of digital dissemination of works across the spectrum of creative industries,’’ and to ‘‘[i]dentify and make appropriate changes to Office policy and procedures in response to . . . emerging business standards.’’ Strategic Plan 2016–2020 at 11. The rule proposed in this notice represents an interim improvement to the current electronic registration system, and is intended to provide a sound foundation for creating other registration options within the next five years. 3. Identifying the Contributions in the Group The Proposed Rule confirms that the application must identify each contribution that is included in the group, including the date of publication for each contribution and the periodical in which it was first published. Although the statute expressly states that this requirement should be included in the regulation, it does not appear in the current rule. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(B). Instead, the regulation VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 states that the application ‘‘shall contain the information required by the form and its accompanying instructions,’’ and in turn, the instructions for Form GR/CP state that this information should be included in the form. 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A); see also United States Copyright Office, Adjunct Application Form GR/CP, available at http:// copyright.gov/forms/formgr_tx.pdf. The Proposed Rule reconciles the regulation with the statute and the Office’s current practices. 4. Ownership Requirements The Proposed Rule confirms that the copyright claimant for each contribution in the group must be the same person or organization. This is in addition to the requirement that the contributions must be created by the same individual, although the author and claimant may be different persons. As noted in Section II, this requirement has appeared in the instructions for Form GR/CP for some time, but it does not appear in the current regulation. The change is simply intended to reconcile the regulation with the Office’s longstanding practices. The Office will continue to register contributions authored by an individual who transferred his or her copyrights to the copyright claimant, provided that the claimant owns all of the exclusive rights in those contributions and provided that the application contains an appropriate transfer statement explaining how the claimant obtained those rights. 5. Number of Contributions in the Group The statute directs the Office to establish a procedure for registering a group of works by the same individual, but it does not specify the total number of works that may be included within each group. Although the statute requires the Register to establish a group registration procedure for contributions to periodicals that are ‘‘all first published as contributions to periodicals, within a twelve-month period,’’ 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2) (emphasis added), that is not the same thing as saying that an author should be permitted to register ‘‘all’’ such contributions with one application and one filing fee. If that is what Congress intended, then presumably it would have directed the Register to establish a procedure for registering ‘‘all’’ works by the same individual author (rather than ‘‘a group of works’’). Id. Although the Office thus has the authority to limit the number of contributions that may be included within each group, it has decided not to impose any limits at this time. Once the PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 86639 Proposed Rule has been implemented, the Office will monitor these group registrations to determine if any restrictions may be warranted in the future. In the meantime, the Office encourages authors to submit their contributions on a quarterly basis (i.e., every three months), instead of submitting them on an annual or semiannual basis. As with any work of authorship, a contribution to a periodical must be registered in a timely manner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in an infringement action. Specifically, an author may seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees if the contribution was registered (i) before the infringement commenced or (ii) within three months after the first publication of that work. 17 U.S.C. 412. To secure these benefits, the Office encourages authors to register their contributions within three months after they were published. By doing so, authors will preserve their ability to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees for any infringements that may occur after the effective date of registration, as well as any infringements that may occur within three months after the publication of each work. For example, if the first contribution in the group was published on June 1, 2016 and the last contribution was published on September 1, 2016, it would be advisable to file a complete application, deposit, and filing fee on or before September 1, 2016. By doing so, the author will preserve his or her ability to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees for any infringements that began after the effective date of registration (i.e., after September 1, 2016), as well as any infringements that began within three months after the date of publication for each contribution in the group. C. Deposit Requirements To register a group of contributions to periodicals under the Proposed Rule applicants must submit a complete copy of each contribution that is included in the group. This will ensure that the Office receives the entire content of each contribution for the purpose of examining, indexing, and documenting the claim. Applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of the entire issue of the periodical in which the contribution was first published. If the contribution was first published in a newspaper, applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of the entire section of the newspaper in which the E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 86640 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules contribution was first published. Both of these options appear in the existing rule and are required to be included by statute. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(A); 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(i)(E). Alternatively, applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of each contribution in the precise form in which it was first published in the periodical. Specifically, applicants may submit a copy of the particular pages within the periodical where the contribution was first published. This provision essentially mirrors regulations that have been in place since 2002 and, as discussed, is necessary to ensure that authors can readily take advantage of the GRCP option. See generally 67 FR 10329. The Register may, consistently with the statutory scheme, accept deposits other than ‘‘one copy of the entire issue of the periodical’’ and ‘‘the entire section in the case of a newspaper’’ for the GRCP option. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(A). As mentioned above, section 408(c) gives the Register broad authority to establish group registration options, and to define the nature of the deposit materials for such registrations. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1) (‘‘The Register of Copyrights is authorized to specify by regulation the administrative classes into which works are to be placed for purposes of deposit and registration, and the nature of the copies or phonorecords to be deposited in the various classes specified. The regulations may require or permit . . . a single registration for a group of related works.’’). Section 408(c)(2), in turn, requires the Register to establish a particular group registration option with the following conditions: ‘‘specifically permitting a single registration for a group of works by the same individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, including newspapers, within a twelve-month period . . . if the deposit consists of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first published.’’ 11 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(A). The Proposed Rule provides that option. Section 408(c)(2) does not, however, limit the Register’s ability to expand the circumstances where group registration of contributions to periodicals would be accepted. Nor does it limit her ability to 11 Similar language appears in the legislative history for this provision. See H.R. Rep. No. 94– 1476, at 154 (1976) (‘‘It is further required that the deposit consist of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution is first published.’’); S. Rep. No. 94–473, at 137 (1975) (same). VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 provide authors of such contributions with additional accommodations to facilitate their use of this group registration option. To the contrary, section 408(c)(2) makes clear that its terms are ‘‘[w]ithout prejudice to the general authority provided under’’ section 408(c)(1) to create group registration options and define the deposit requirements for those options. Id. 408(c)(2). Indeed, to read section 408(c)(2) as limiting the Register’s authority in this regard would be contrary to the overall purpose of the statutory scheme, which was to reduce ‘‘administrative problems’’ and ‘‘unnecessary burdens and expenses on authors and other copyright owners’’ by permitting group registration. H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 154 (1976). Thus, as an exercise of the Register’s general authority in section 408(c)(1), the Office has determined that it may accept formats other than those specifically listed in section 408(c)(2)(A) as deposits for the GRCP option. In all cases applicants will be required to submit a digital copy of each contribution that is included in a group. Specifically, applicants will be required to submit electronic files in Portable Document Format (‘‘PDF’’) or other electronic format specifically approved by the Office. This requirement will apply regardless of whether an applicant submits a copy of an entire issue of a periodical, an entire section of a newspaper, or the specific pages from the periodicals where the contributions were first published. Applicants will be required to upload the digital copies through the electronic registration system. When uploading the files, applicants will be strongly encouraged to save them in a .zip file and then upload the .zip file to the system. In all cases, the size of each uploaded file may not exceed 500 megabytes, although applicants may digitally compress the contributions to comply with this limitation. Under the current regulation, applicants must submit a physical copy of each contribution, such as photographic prints, contact sheets, or slides; camera-ready proof copies; or pages or clippings cut or torn from a newspaper, magazine, or other publication. Under the Proposed Rule, the Office will no longer accept physical copies. Likewise, the Office will not accept digital copies that have been saved onto a disc, a flash drive, or other physical storage device that is delivered to the Office by mail, by courier, or by hand delivery. In all cases, applicants will be required to upload a digital copy of each contribution via the electronic registration system. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Requiring applicants to upload their digital copies to this system will increase the efficiency of the group registration process. Based on the Office’s experience, electronic submissions take less time to process, they are easier to track, and they are less burdensome to store than physical copies. From the applicant’s perspective, electronic submissions should be more convenient and less expensive than submitting digital copies on a physical storage device, and if the claim is approved, the applicant should receive a certificate of registration in a more timely manner. Moving to electronic deposits may also provide copyright owners with certain legal benefits. When the Office registers a group of contributions to periodicals it assigns an effective date of registration to the claim. This determination is based on the date that the Office received the application, the filing fee, and the deposit. When an applicant uploads a digital copy to the electronic system, the Office typically receives the application, the filing fee, and the deposit on the same date. By contrast, when an applicant delivers a physical copy to the Office by mail, courier, or hand delivery, the deposit may not be received for days or even weeks after the date that the application and filing fee were submitted. Requiring applicants to submit a scanned copy of their contributions in the precise form in which they were first published is consistent with the legislative history, which states that ‘‘[a]s a general rule the deposit of more than a tear sheet or similar fraction of a collective work is needed to identify the contribution properly and to show the form in which it was published.’’ H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 153 (1976). It also serves an evidentiary purpose. It gives the examiner an opportunity to compare the deposit with the title, date of publication, issue number, page number, or other information that is set forth in the application (although in practice examiners do not conduct this type of analysis for every contribution in the group). If a particular contribution becomes involved in litigation, the deposit could be used to verify that the contribution was published in a particular periodical on a particular date. Applicants who are unable to submit their contributions in the precise form in which they were first published may request special relief from the deposit requirements. 37 CFR 202.20(d). Likewise, applicants may request special relief if they are unable to submit a digital copy of their contributions or unable to upload them E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules through the electronic system. For information concerning special relief, see section 1508.8 of the Compendium. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS D. Filing Fee Under the Proposed Rule, the applicant will be required to pay the same filing fee that is currently set forth in the Office’s fee schedule, namely $85 per claim. In 2012 the Office conducted a study pursuant to Section 708 of the Copyright Act, which authorizes the Register to establish, adjust, and recover fees for certain services that the Office provides to the public. After reviewing its costs, the Office decided to increase the filing fee for GRCP from $65 to $85, noting that these types of claims are ‘‘laborintensive.’’ 12 U.S. Copyright Office, Proposed Schedule and Analysis of Copyright Fees To Go Into Effect On Or About April 1, 2014, at 17 (Nov. 14, 2013). Section 708(b) authorizes the Register to adjust the fees that the Office charges for certain services (including the fee for seeking a group registration), but before doing so the Register must conduct a study of the costs incurred by the Office for registering claims, recording documents, and providing other services. In conducting this study, the Register must consider the timing of any fee adjustments and the Office’s authority to use the fees consistent with its budget. 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(1). Section 708(b) provides that the Register may adjust these fees no ‘‘more than necessary to cover the reasonable costs incurred by the Copyright Office for . . . [such services], plus a reasonable inflation adjustment to account for any estimated increase in costs.’’ 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(2). It also provides that the Office must submit the proposed fee schedule to Congress, and that the Office may implement the schedule 120 days thereafter unless Congress enacts a law stating that it does not approve the schedule. 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(5). Once the Proposed Rule has been implemented, the Office will monitor the cost of processing GRCP claims to determine if future fee adjustments may be warranted. The Office will use this information in conducting its next fee study. E. The Scope of a Group Registration The Proposed Rule memorializes the Office’s longstanding position regarding the scope of a registration for a group of contributions to periodicals. When the Office issues a group registration it prepares one certificate of registration for the entire group and 12 This increase went into effect on May 1, 2014. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 assigns one registration number to that certificate. The Proposed Rule clarifies that a registration for a group of contributions to periodicals covers each contribution in the group, and each contribution is registered as a separate ‘‘work.’’ This understanding is consistent with the statutory scheme. The legislative history makes clear that group registration was ‘‘a needed and important liberalization of the law [then] in effect,’’ which to that point had required ‘‘separate registrations where related works or parts of a work are published separately.’’ H.R. Rep. No. 94–1476, at 154 (1976). In particular, Congress noted that ‘‘the technical necessity for separate applications and fees has caused copyright owners to forego copyright altogether.’’ Id. Given that context, it would be anomalous for works registered as part of a group registration application to be given lesser protection than if they had been registered through separate applications. For similar reasons, the Proposed Rule also clarifies that when a group of works are registered under GRCP, the group as a whole is not considered a compilation or a collective work. Instead, the group is merely an administrative classification created solely for the purpose of registering multiple contributions with one application and one filing fee. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1) (‘‘Th[e] administrative classification of works has no significance with respect to the subject matter of copyright or the exclusive rights provided by this title.’’). Although an applicant may exercise some judgment in selecting the contributions that are included within a particular group, that decision does not necessarily constitute copyrightable authorship. The selection is based on the regulatory requirements for GRCP, and any coordination or arrangement of the contributions is merely an administrative formality that facilitates the examination of the works. Likewise, the Proposed Rule clarifies that the group is not considered a derivative work. When a group of contributions are combined together for the purpose of facilitating registration those works are not ‘‘recast, transformed, or adapted’’ in any way, and the group as a whole is not ‘‘a work based upon one or more preexisting works’’ because there is no copyrightable authorship in simply following the administrative requirements for GRCP. 17 U.S.C. 101 (definition of ‘‘derivative work’’). F. Refusals To Register The Proposed Rule confirms that the Office may refuse to issue a group PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 86641 registration if it determines that the applicant failed to satisfy the requirements set forth in the statute or regulations.13 17 U.S.C. 410(b) (stating that the Register ‘‘shall refuse registration and shall notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for such refusal’’ ‘‘[i]n any case in which [she] determines that . . . the material deposited does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or that the claim is invalid for any other reason’’). G. Cancellation The Proposed Rule confirms that the Office may cancel a group registration under § 201.7(c)(4) of the regulations if it determines, after the registration has issued, that the requirements for that option were not met. In such cases, the Office will send a written notice to the correspondent and claimant named in the registration at the addresses specified in the registration record. The Office will describe the defect in the registration and will inform the parties that the registration may be cancelled if they fail to resolve the defect in a timely manner. In a related vein, the Proposed Rule makes some clarifying edits to the Office’s cancellation regulation, section 201.7(c)(4). First, it makes clear, consistent with existing Copyright Office practice, that the regulation only provides representative examples of situations where the Office may cancel a registration (rather than an exhaustive list of situations where cancellation may be warranted). Second, the Proposed Rule also removes one of the examples from that list—namely section 201.7(c)(4)(ix), which states that the Office may cancel a registration for a work published after January 1, 1978 if it determines that ‘‘the only claimant given on the application was deceased on the date the application was certified.’’ This is inconsistent with current practices of the Copyright Office. The Office recently conducted a comprehensive review of its internal policies in conjunction with the revision of the Compendium. The Compendium explains that if the Office discovers that the named claimant died before the work was submitted or before it has been approved for registration, the Office may ask the applicant to provide the name of the current claimant. In 13 A similar requirement has appeared in the regulation governing the group registration option for serials since 1990. See 55 FR 50556, 50556–57 (Dec. 7, 1990). That regulation states that the Office may revoke the privilege of registering a group of serials if a publisher fails to comply with the deposit requirement for that option. 37 CFR 203.3(b)(6)(iv). E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 86642 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules such cases, the Office will accept an application filed by or on behalf of the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to a deceased claimant, such as the claimant’s estate, a devisee, or an heir. Likewise, the Office will accept an application that names a deceased author as the copyright claimant if that author is the only party who is eligible to be named as the claimant, as might be the case where no one owns all of the exclusive rights in the work because the author previously transferred those rights to multiple parties. See Compendium section 405.5. H. Technical Amendments The Proposed Rule will move the regulation that governs this group option from section 202.3(b)(8) to section 202.4(h).14 In the future, the Office intends to move all regulations governing the various group options that it has created under section 408(c) of the Copyright Act to section 202.4. This change is intended to improve the readability of the existing regulations, but it does not represent a substantive change in policy. In addition, the Proposed Rule will incorporate the definitions of ‘‘Class TX,’’ ‘‘Class VA,’’ and ‘‘works of the visual arts’’ that are set forth in section 202.3, and it will confirm that the application may be submitted by any of the parties listed in section 202.3(c)(1), namely (i) the author or copyright claimant of those works, (ii) the owner of any of the exclusive rights in those works, or (iii) a duly authorized agent of any author, claimant, or owner of exclusive rights. 37 CFR Part 202 Copyright, Preregistration and registration of claims to copyright. Proposed Regulation For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the U.S. Copyright Office proposes amending 37 CFR parts 201 and 202, as follows: PART 201—GENERAL PROVISIONS 1. Revise the authority citation for part 201 to read as follows: ■ IV. Conclusion Authority: 17 U.S.C. 702. The Proposed Rule will allow broader participation in the registration system, and increase the efficiency of the group registration process. The Office invites public comment on these proposed changes. List of Subjects 2. Amend § 201.3 by revising: paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows: ■ § 201.3 Fees for registration, recordation, and related services, special services, and services performed by the Licensing Division. * 37 CFR Part 201 * * (c) * * * * * Copyright, General provisions. (2) Registration of a claim in a group of contributions to periodicals or a group of database updates. ...................................... * * * * * 3. Amend § 201.7 by: a. In the last sentence in paragraph (c)(4), adding the phrase ‘‘examples of’’ after the phrase ‘‘The following are’’. ■ b. In paragraph (c)(4)(i), removing the semi-colon and add a period in its place. ■ c. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii), removing ‘‘1989,’’ and add in its place ‘‘1989’’ and remove ‘‘notice;’’ and add in its place ‘‘notice.’’ . ■ d. In paragraphs (c)(4)(iii) through (viii), removing the semi-colon and add a period in its place. ■ e. Removing paragraph (c)(4)(ix) and redesignate paragraphs (c)(4)(x) and (xi) as paragraphs (c)(4)(ix) and (x), respectively. ■ f. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(4)(ix), removing the term ‘‘; and ’’ and add a period in its place. ■ g. Adding paragraph (c)(4)(xi). The addition to read as follows: ■ ■ 4. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702. 5. Amend § 202.3 by: a. Revising paragraph (b)(4)(ii). ■ b. Removing and reserving paragraph (b)(8). ■ c. In paragraph (b)(11)(ii), redesignating footnote 4 as footnote 2 (both in the text of paragraph (b)(11)(ii) and in the footnote itself). ■ d. In the text of paragraph (c)(2), removing the reference to footnote ‘‘6’’ and adding in its place a reference to footnote ‘‘3’’, redesignating footnote 5 as footnote 3, and revising newly redesignated footnote 3. The revisions to read as follows: ■ ■ § 202.3 Registration of copyright. * * * * * (c) * * * (4) * * * (xi) The requirements for registering a group of related works under section 408(c) of title 17 of the United States Code have not been met. * * * * * * * * * (b) * * * (4) * * * (ii) In the case of an application for registration made under paragraphs (b)(4) through (10) of this section or under § 202.4, the ‘‘year of creation,’’ ‘‘year of completion,’’ or ‘‘year in which creation of this work was completed’’ means the latest year in which the 14 The Office recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would remove the current text of creation of any copyrightable element was completed. * * * * * (c) * * * (2) * * * 3 In the case of an application to register a group of newspapers, newsletters, or contributions to periodicals under paragraphs (b)(7) or (9) of this section or under § 202.4(h), the deposit shall comply with the respective requirements specified in those paragraphs. * ■ * * * * 7. Revise § 202.4 to read as follows: § 202.4 Group Registration. (a) This section prescribes conditions for issuing a registration for a group of related works under section 408(c) of title 17 of the United States Code. (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the terms collective work, copy, and work made for hire have the meanings set forth in section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code, and the terms claimant, Class TX, Class VA, and works of the visual arts have the meanings set forth in § 202.3(a)(3), (b)(1)(i), and (b)(1)(iii). (c) [Reserved] (d) [Reserved] (e) [Reserved] (f) [Reserved] (g) [Reserved] section 202.4 and reserve that section for later use. See 81 FR 67940, 67942 (Oct. 3, 2016). § 201.7 Cancellation of completed registrations. * jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS PART 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 85 E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 231 / Thursday, December 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules (h) Group registration of contributions to periodicals. Pursuant to the authority granted by 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2), the Register of Copyrights has determined that a group of contributions to periodicals may be registered in Class TX or Class VA with one application, one filing fee, and the required deposit, if the following conditions are met: (1) All the contributions in the group must be created by the same individual. (2) The copyright claimant must be the same person or organization for all the contributions. (3) The contributions must not be works made for hire. (4) Each work must be first published as a contribution to a periodical, and all the contributions must be first published within a twelve-month period (e.g., January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015; February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016). For purposes of this section, a periodical is a collective work that is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. In most cases, each issue will bear the same title, as well as numerical or chronological designations. Examples include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, bulletins, annuals, the proceedings of societies, and other similar works. (5) If any of the contributions were first published before March 1, 1989, those works must bear a separate copyright notice, the notice must contain the copyright owner’s name (or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation for the owner), and the name that appears in each notice must be the same. (6) The applicant must complete and submit the online application designated for a group of contributions to periodicals. The application must identify each contribution that is included in the group, including the date of publication for each contribution and the periodical in which it was first published. The application may be submitted by any of the parties listed in § 202.3(c)(1). The application should be filed in Class TX if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of text, and the application should be filed in Class VA if a majority of the contributions predominantly consist of photographs, illustrations, artwork, or other works of the visual arts. (7) The appropriate filing fee, as required by § 201.3(c) of this chapter, must be included with the application or charged to an active deposit account. (8) The applicant must submit one copy of each contribution that is VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:51 Nov 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 included in the group, either by submitting the entire issue of the periodical where the contribution was first published, the entire section of the newspaper where it was first published, or the specific page(s) from the periodical where the contribution was first published. The contributions must be contained in separate electronic files that comply with § 202.20(b)(2)(iii). The files must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) or other electronic format approved by the Office, and they must be uploaded to the electronic registration system, preferably in a .zip file containing all the files. The file size for each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes; the files may be compressed to comply with this requirement. (i) [Reserved] (j) [Reserved] (k) [Reserved] (l) Refusal to register. The Copyright Office may refuse registration if the applicant fails to satisfy the requirements for registering a group of related works under this section or § 202.3(b)(5)–(7), (9), or (10). (m) Cancellation. If the Copyright Office issues a registration for a group of related works and subsequently determines that the requirements for that group option have not been met, and if the claimant fails to cure the deficiency after being notified by the Office, the registration may be cancelled in accordance with § 201.7 of this chapter. (n) The scope of a group registration. When the Office issues a group registration under paragraph (h) of this section, the registration covers each work in the group and each work is registered as a separate work. For purposes of registration, the group as a whole is not considered a compilation, a collective work, or a derivative work under sections 101, 103(b), or 504(c)(1) of title 17 of the United States Code. Dated: November 22, 2016. Sarang V. Damle, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights. [FR Doc. 2016–28700 Filed 11–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410–30–P LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Office 37 CFR Parts 201, 202 [Docket No. 2016–10] Group Registration of Photographs U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ACTION: 86643 Notice of proposed rulemaking. The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to update its regulations governing group registration options for photographers to encourage broader participation in the registration system, increase the efficiency of the registration process, and create a more robust record of the claim. First, the Office has created new online registration applications specifically designed for group registrations of published photographs and group registrations of unpublished photographs. The proposed rule would require applicants to use these online applications, in lieu of any existing paper application. Applicants will be allowed to include up to 750 photographs with each application. Second, the proposal would eliminate less-efficient forms of registering photographs that have been adopted over the years—namely, the pilot program permitting group registration of published photographs using the electronic application designed for registering a single work, and the option of registering a number of unpublished photographs as an ‘‘unpublished collection.’’ The pilot program for photographic databases will remain in effect. Third, the proposed rule will update the deposit requirement for group registrations of photographs and photographic databases by requiring applicants to submit their works in digital form. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be made in writing and must be received in the U.S. Copyright Office no later than January 3, 2017. ADDRESSES: For reasons of government efficiency, the Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site at http:// www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/groupphotographs/. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the Internet, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, or Erik Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice, at 202–707–8040. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Copyright Office (the ‘‘Office’’) is proposing to amend the regulation that SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01DEP1.SGM 01DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 231 (Thursday, December 1, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 86634-86643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28700]


=======================================================================
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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

 Copyright Office

37 CFR Parts 201, 202

[Docket No. 2016-8]


Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals

AGENCY: U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend the regulation 
governing the group registration option for contributions to 
periodicals to reflect certain upgrades that will soon be made to the 
electronic registration system. The proposed rule will require groups 
of contributions to be filed through the Office's electronic 
registration system. In addition, it will modify the deposit

[[Page 86635]]

requirement for this option by requiring applicants to submit their 
contributions in a digital format and to upload those files through the 
electronic system. The proposed rule will increase the efficiency of 
the registration process for both the Office and copyright owners 
alike.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be made in writing and must 
be received in the U.S. Copyright Office no later than January 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES: For reasons of government efficiency, the Copyright Office 
is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of 
public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be 
submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions 
for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site 
at http://copyright.gov/rulemaking/grcp/. If electronic submission of 
comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the 
Internet, please contact the Office using the contact information below 
for special instructions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register 
of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, or Erik 
Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice, by 
telephone at 202-707-8040.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    When Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 1976, it authorized the 
Register of Copyrights (the ``Register'') to issue regulations 
specifying the administrative classes of works for the purpose of 
seeking a registration, and the nature of the deposit required for each 
such class. In addition, Congress gave the Register the discretion to 
allow groups of related works to be registered with one application and 
one filing fee, a procedure known as ``group registration.'' See 17 
U.S.C. 408(c)(1). Pursuant to this authority, the Register issued 
regulations permitting the U.S. Copyright Office (the ``Office'') to 
issue group registrations for certain limited categories of works, 
provided that certain conditions have been met. See generally 37 CFR 
202.3(b)(5)-(10).
    Without prejudice to the Register's general authority to create 
group registration options under section 408(c)(1) of the Copyright Act 
at the Register's discretion, Congress also specifically directed the 
Register, under section 408(c)(2), to issue regulations allowing works 
by the same individual author to be registered as a group, if those 
works were first published within a twelve-month period as 
contributions to periodicals (including newspapers).\1\ 17 U.S.C. 
408(c)(2). In particular, section 408(c)(2) states that ``the Register 
of Copyrights shall establish regulations specifically permitting a 
single registration for a group of works by the same individual author, 
all first published as contributions to periodicals, including 
newspapers, within a twelve-month period, on the basis of a single 
deposit, application, and registration fee, under the following 
conditions--(A) if the deposit consists of one copy of the entire issue 
of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a newspaper, 
in which each contribution was first published; and (B) if the 
application identifies each work separately, including the periodical 
containing it and its date of first publication.'' Id.
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    \1\ A bill introduced last year in Congress would maintain the 
Office's general authority to create group registration options, but 
would eliminate the provision specifically directing the Office to 
establish a group option for contributions to periodicals and 
specifying the precise requirements for that option. See Copyright 
Office for the Digital Economy Act, H.R. 4241, 114th Cong., Sec.  
3(b)(1) (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the legislative history explains, allowing ``a number of related 
works to be registered together as a group represent[ed] a needed and 
important liberalization of the law.'' H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 154 
(1976); S. Rep. No. 94-473, at 136 (1975). Congress recognized that 
requiring applicants to submit separate applications for certain types 
of works may be so burdensome and expensive that authors and copyright 
owners may forgo registration altogether, since copyright registration 
is not a prerequisite to copyright protection. Id. If copyright owners 
do not submit their works for registration under this permissive 
system, the public record will not contain any information concerning 
those works. This creates a void in the public record that diminishes 
the value of the Office's database. At the same time, when large 
numbers of works are bundled together in one application, information 
about the individual works may not be adequately captured. Therefore, 
group registration options require careful balancing of the need for an 
accurate public record and the need for an efficient method of 
facilitating the registration of such works.

II. The Current Group Registration Option for Contributions to 
Periodicals

    In 1978, the Office issued an interim rule that established a 
procedure for registering groups of contributions to periodicals. See 
43 FR 965 (Jan. 5, 1978). This interim rule is largely still in effect 
today, with the exception of one amendment discussed below. See 37 CFR 
202.3(b)(8). The Office refers to this procedure as a ``group 
registration for contributions to periodicals'' or ``GRCP.'' Applicants 
may use this option if they satisfy the requirements set forth in the 
regulation. First, all the contributions must be created by the same 
individual, and none of them can be a work made for hire. Id. Sec.  
202.3(b)(8)(i)(A), (B). Second, all the works must be first published 
as a contribution to a periodical, and they must be published within a 
twelve-month period (e.g., October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015). 
In other words, the contributions do not have to be published during 
the same calendar year, but ``the earliest and latest contributions 
must not have been first published more than twelve months apart.'' Id. 
Sec.  202.3(b)(8)(i)(C) n.2. And, third, if the contributions were 
first published before March 1, 1989, each contribution must contain an 
appropriate copyright notice. Id. Sec.  202.3(b)(8)(i)(D).
    The current regulation states that the applicant must complete and 
submit a paper application using Form TX, Form VA, or Form PA. It also 
states that the application ``should be filed in the [administrative] 
class appropriate to the nature of authorship in the majority of the 
contributions.'' \2\ Id. 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) & n.3. For instance, Form 
TX should be used if the group primarily contains textual material 
(such as articles, editorials, essays, etc.), Form VA should be used if 
the group primarily contains visual material (such as photographs, 
cartoons, illustrations, etc.), and Form PA should be used if the group 
primarily contains works of the performing arts (such as music, sound 
recordings, dramas, etc.). In addition, the applicant must complete and 
submit an ``adjunct form'' known as Form GR/CP, which is specifically 
designed for providing information about the particular group of 
contributions that is being registered. Id. Sec.  202.3(b)(8)(ii)(B).
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    \2\ There is a limited exception to this rule that is set forth 
in footnote 3 to the current regulation. As discussed in Section 
III.A.1 below, that exception is now obsolete. Therefore, the Office 
is proposing to remove footnote 3 from the regulation.
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    In all cases, the application must ``contain the information 
required by the form and its accompanying instructions.'' Id. Sec.  
202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A), (B). The instructions for Form GR/CP state that the 
application must identify ``each contribution separately, including the 
periodical containing it and its date

[[Page 86636]]

of first publication.'' \3\ Form GR/CP (http://copyright.gov/forms/formgr_tx.pdf). Specifically, applicants are instructed to provide the 
title of each contribution that is included in the group, the title of 
the periodical where each contribution was first published, the volume 
and issue number (if any) and issue date for each periodical, and the 
page number where each contribution appeared. The instructions for Form 
GR/CP also state that the applicant must satisfy one other requirement: 
The copyright claimant for each contribution must be the same person or 
organization. This requirement does not appear in the current 
regulation, although it has appeared in the instructions for Form GR/CP 
since at least July 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ This same language appears in section 408(c)(2)(B) of the 
statute, as well as the legislative history for that provision. H.R. 
Rep. No. 94-1476, at 155 (1976); S. Rep. No. 94-473, at 137 (1975).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the current regulations there is no limit on the number of 
contributions that may be registered with the GRCP option. The current 
regulations also provide that the applicant must submit the 
contributions in the precise form in which they were first published, 
and the copies must be submitted in a physical--rather than a digital--
form.
    When the Office established the group option for contributions to 
periodicals, the regulation stated that the applicant must submit ``one 
copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in 
the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution was first 
published.'' See 43 FR at 967. The Federal Register notice announcing 
this rule explained that the deposit requirements for this group option 
``essentially follow the conditions set forth in [section 408(c)(2) of] 
the statute.'' Id. at 966. This imposed a hardship on applicants who 
did not have a copy of the entire issue or the entire section where the 
contribution was first published. To address this concern, the Office 
began granting special relief from the deposit requirements on a case-
by-case basis and allowed applicants to submit their works in other 
formats. See 67 FR 10329 (Mar. 7, 2002).
    Based on this experience, the Office amended the regulation in 2002 
to allow applicants to submit their contributions in any of the 
following physical formats: (i) One copy of the entire issue of the 
periodical that contains the contribution; (ii) one copy of the entire 
section of a newspaper that contains the contribution; (iii) tear 
sheets or proof copies of the contribution; (iv) a photocopy of the 
contribution; (v) a photocopy of the entire page from the periodical 
that contains the contribution; (vi) the entire page from the 
periodical that contains the contribution, either cut or torn from the 
periodical; (vii) the contribution cut or torn from the periodical; 
(viii) photographs or photographic slides of the contribution, provided 
that the content of the contribution is clear and legible; or (ix) 
photographs or photographic slides of the entire page from the 
periodical that contains the contribution, provided that the content of 
the contribution is clear and legible. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(i)(E); 67 
FR at 10329. The Office explained that expanding the list of acceptable 
formats would be ``broadly consistent'' ``with the spirit of 
administrative flexibility Congress indicated the Register had in order 
to ensure that the deposit requirement was reasonable and non-
burdensome for the applicant.'' 67 FR at 10329 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 
94-1476, at 150-55 (1976)). It also explained that this would not 
diminish the quality of the public record, because applicants were 
expected to provide bibliographic information on Form GR/CP, which 
could be used to identify the periodicals where the contributions were 
first published (even if the applicant did not submit a copy of the 
actual publications). See id.

III. The Proposed Rule

    The Office is proposing to amend the regulation that governs the 
group registration option for contributions to periodicals (the 
``Proposed Rule''). As explained in greater detail below, the Proposed 
Rule will make several notable changes to the Office's GRCP regulation. 
First, it will improve the efficiency of the GRCP option by requiring 
applicants to register their contributions through the Office's 
electronic registration system (instead of submitting a paper 
application). Second, it will modify the eligibility criteria for the 
GRCP option by providing a more specific definition of the term 
``periodical,'' and by specifically requiring the contributions to be 
owned by the same copyright claimant. Third, it will require applicants 
to register their contributions either in Class TX or Class VA (but not 
Class PA), and to identify the date of publication for each 
contribution and the periodical where each contribution was first 
published. Fourth, it will modify the deposit requirements for this 
option by requiring applicants to submit a digital copy of each 
contribution and to upload these copies through the electronic 
registration system (instead of submitting a physical copy of each 
contribution).
    The Proposed Rule also memorializes the Office's longstanding 
position regarding the scope of a registration for a group of 
contributions to periodicals. It also confirms that the Office may 
refuse to issue a group registration or may cancel a group registration 
if it determines that a party failed to comply with the requirements 
for that option.\4\
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    \4\ As discussed in Sections III.F and G, this aspect of the 
Proposed Rule will apply to any group option that the Office creates 
under Section 408(c)--including the group options for serials, daily 
newspapers, daily newsletters, photographs, and databases. The 
Office is not proposing to make any other changes to those group 
options as part of this rulemaking.
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    Each of these proposals is discussed below.

A. Application Requirements

1. Online Registration
    Once this rule is finalized, it will be possible to register groups 
of contributions to periodicals through the Office's electronic 
registration system. The Office generally has allowed and encouraged 
applicants to register their works through this system since 2007. When 
the system was introduced, applicants could submit their works on an 
individual basis or as part of a collective work or an unpublished 
collection. See 72 FR 36883, 36884-85 (July 6, 2007). However, 
applicants could not submit a group registration covering contributions 
to periodicals, because the system was not designed to take in the 
information that is required for such a registration. Instead, 
applicants were required to file their claims with a paper application 
submitted on Form TX, Form VA, or Form PA, together with Form GR/CP.
    In February 2015 the Office completed a comprehensive analysis of 
its electronic registration system with input from technical experts 
and stakeholders. This analysis will support the Office's long-term 
goals of creating both a better interface and a better public record. 
See U.S. Copyright Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer, 
Report and Recommendations of the Technical Upgrades Special Project 
Team (February 2015), available at http://copyright.gov/docs/technical_upgrades/usco-technicalupgrades.pdf; see also 78 FR 17722 
(Mar. 22, 2013). In December 2015 the Register issued a strategic plan 
that sets forth the Office's performance objectives for the next five 
years. It provides a roadmap for re-envisioning almost all of the 
services that the Office provides, including how applicants register 
claims, submit deposits, record documents, share data, and access 
expert resources. With respect to information technology, the

[[Page 86637]]

plan calls for ``a robust and flexible technology enterprise that is 
dedicated to the current and future needs of a modern copyright 
agency.'' U.S. Copyright Office, Strategic Plan 2016-2020: Positioning 
the United States Copyright Office for the Future, at 35 (Dec. 1, 2014) 
(``Strategic Plan 2016-2020''), available at http://copyright.gov/reports/strategic-plan/USCO-strategic.pdf. At the direction of 
Congress,\5\ the Office also developed a detailed IT plan, and obtained 
public comments on specific strategies, costs, and timelines for 
technology objectives. U.S. Copyright Office, Provisional Information 
Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis (Feb. 29, 2016), 
available at http://www.copyright.gov/reports/itplan/technology-report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ H.R. Rep. No. 114-110, at 16-17 (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the meantime, the Office has made some enhancements to the 
current system to benefit authors, the Office, and the public at large. 
Under the Proposed Rule, applicants will be required to use an online 
application specifically designed for GRCP as a condition for using 
this group option. Once the Proposed Rule goes into effect, the Office 
will no longer accept groups of contributions that are submitted with a 
paper application on Form TX, Form VA, Form PA, or Form GR/CP. In such 
cases the Office will ask the applicant to resubmit the claim using the 
online application, which may change the effective date of registration 
that is assigned to the claim. The Office invites comment on this 
proposal, including whether the Office should eliminate the paper 
applications for GRCP, phase them out after a specified period of time, 
or continue to offer them for applicants who prefer to use the paper-
based system.
    When completing the online application, applicants will be asked to 
provide the same information that is currently requested in Form TX, 
Form VA, and Form GR/CP. Consistent with Section 408(c)(2) of the 
statute, applicants will be required to provide the title and date of 
first publication for each contribution in the group, as well as the 
title of the periodical where each contribution was first published. If 
an applicant fails to provide this information, the application will 
not be accepted by the electronic system. In addition, applicants will 
be given an opportunity to provide the International Standard Serial 
Number (``ISSN'') that has been assigned to the periodical (if any), as 
well as the volume, number, issue date, and relevant page numbers (if 
any) for the particular issue where the contribution was first 
published. If the contributions were published as part of a continuing 
series of works by the same author, such as an advice column, an 
editorial column, a cartoon strip, or the like, the applicant will be 
given an opportunity to provide the title (if any) that may be used to 
identify the entire series of works.
    The current regulation states that an applicant may register a 
group of contributions to periodicals in Class TX, VA, or PA by 
submitting the appropriate application for that class. 37 CFR 
202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) & n.3. The Proposed Rule, however, will allow 
applicants to register their claims only in Class TX or Class VA, and 
will eliminate the provision that allows a group of contributions to be 
registered in Class PA. The Office routinely registers contributions to 
periodicals in Class TX and Class VA, but has no institutional memory 
of having ever registered a claim in Class PA. Presumably, this is due 
to the fact that it would be extremely unusual for a musical work, a 
dramatic work, a choreographic work, a pantomime, a motion picture, or 
an audiovisual work to be first published as a contribution to a 
periodical.
    The Proposed Rule states that applicants should register their 
claims in Class TX if a majority of the contributions predominantly 
consist of text, and should register their claims in Class VA if a 
majority of the contributions predominantly consist of photographs, 
illustrations, artwork, or other visual material. A similar provision 
appears in the current regulation; the Proposed Rule simply reiterates 
this requirement.
    As discussed above, the current regulation also contains a limited 
exception to this rule, which is set forth in footnote 3 to the 
regulation. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) n.3. The Proposed Rule will 
eliminate this footnote, because it is obsolete.
    When Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 1976 it contained a 
provision known as the ``manufacturing clause,'' which was set forth in 
Section 601 of the statute. Briefly stated, that provision prohibited 
the importation or distribution ``of copies of a work consisting 
preponderantly of nondramatic literary material that is in the English 
language,'' unless that material was ``manufactured in the United 
States or Canada.'' 17 U.S.C. 601 (1978) (repealed by Pub. L. 111-295, 
4(a), 124 Stat. 3180 (2010)). Footnote 3 to the regulation that governs 
GRCP contains similar language. It states that ``if any of the 
contributions consists preponderantly of nondramatic literary material 
that is in the English language, the basic application for the entire 
group should be submitted on Form TX.'' 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A) n.3. 
The reason for this limitation is that when the Office adopted the 
regulation in 1978, Form TX contained a space that asked the applicant 
to identify the country where the copies were printed. The Office used 
this information to determine whether the work was subject to the 
manufacturing clause. (The Office did not include this space on Form VA 
or Form PA, because as mentioned above, the manufacturing clause only 
applied to nondramatic literary works.)
    The manufacturing clause expired in 1986, Congress removed that 
provision from the statute in 2010, and as a result, the Office no 
longer asks for ``country of origin'' information on Form TX. Public 
Law 97-215, 96 Stat. 178, 178-79 (1982); Public Law 111-295, 4(a), 124 
Stat. 3180, 3180 (2010). Thus, footnote 3 to the current regulation no 
longer serves any purpose.
2. Supplementary Registration
    A supplementary registration is a special type of registration that 
may be used ``to correct an error in a copyright registration or to 
amplify the information given in a registration,'' including a 
registration for a group of related works. 17 U.S.C. 408(d). 
Specifically, it identifies an error or omission in an existing 
registration (referred to herein as a ``basic registration'') and 
places the corrected information or additional information in the 
public record. The Office often refers to this type of registration as 
a ``CA,'' which stands for ``correction and amplification.''
    The Office is issuing a separate notice of proposed rulemaking 
(published elsewhere in this volume of the Federal Register, and 
referred to herein as the ``CA Rulemaking'') that will modify the 
regulation that governs this procedure. Under the rule proposed in the 
CA Rulemaking, applicants will be required to file an online 
application in order to correct or amplify the information set forth in 
a basic registration for any work that is capable of being registered 
through the electronic system, rather than filing a paper application. 
This online-filing requirement will apply to supplementary 
registrations for groups of contributions to periodicals--even if those 
contributions were originally registered with a paper application 
submitted on Forms TX, VA, and GR/CP. When the rule proposed in the CA 
Rulemaking goes into effect, applicants will be required to file an 
online application in order to correct or amplify a basic registration 
for a GRCP claim. If an applicant attempts to use a paper application, 
the Office will ask

[[Page 86638]]

the applicant to resubmit the claim using the online form.
    The Office is inviting comment on this proposal, including whether 
the Office should eliminate the paper application for seeking a 
supplementary registration, phase out this option after a specified 
period of time, or continue to offer this option for applicants who 
prefer to use the paper-based system. Comments concerning this proposal 
should be submitted as part of the CA Rulemaking, and should not be 
submitted as part of this rulemaking on GRCP.
3. Policy Considerations Supporting Online-Only Registration
    A substantial majority of the U.S. population has access to the 
internet,\6\ and therefore, the Office expects that most authors will 
be able to use the electronic system.\7\ That said, the Office 
recognizes that millions of Americans do not have broadband service, 
and recognizes that eliminating the paper application may impose a 
burden on authors who fall within that segment of the population.\8\ 
Nevertheless, the Office believes that the benefits of requiring 
applicants to use the online application outweigh the potential burden 
on authors who do not have direct access to the internet.
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    \6\ The Pew Research Center found that 84% of adults use the 
internet, including 85% of the people in urban and suburban 
communities and 78% of the people in rural communities. Pew Research 
Center, Americans' Internet Access: 2000-2015, at 2, 10 (June 26, 
2015), available at http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/06/2015-06-26_internet-usage-across-demographics-discover_FINAL.pdf.
    \7\ Approximately 94% of the claims submitted in fiscal year 
2015 were filed through the electronic system, while 6% of the 
claims were submitted on a paper application.
    \8\ The Federal Communications Commission reported that 17% of 
the population does not have access to a broadband service with 
connection speeds of twenty-five megabits per second (``mbps'') for 
downloads and three mbps for uploads. This figure includes 8% of the 
people who live in urban areas, 53% of the people in rural areas, 
and 63% of the people in U.S. territories and Tribal lands. Federal 
Communications Commission, 2015 Broadband Progress Report 4 (Jan. 
29, 2015), available at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-10A1.pdf.
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    Providing title and publication information with a paper 
application can be tedious and time consuming, especially when 
applicants submit dozens or even hundreds of contributions in a group 
registration. Examining these types of claims also imposes substantial 
burdens on the Office, because the cataloging information for each 
contribution must be copied from the application and typed into the 
Office's electronic system by hand. In some cases, examiners have spent 
an entire day processing a single claim, which has resulted in 
corresponding delays in issuing certificates of registration. Moreover, 
the increasing demand on the Office's limited resources has had an 
adverse effect on the examination of other types of works within the 
Literary and Visual Arts Divisions.
    If an author does not have broadband at home, at the home of a 
relative, a friend, or a neighbor, or at her place of employment, there 
are other options for registering a group of contributions to 
periodicals. If the copyright owner has a tablet or laptop, she could 
complete and submit the online application at a coffee shop, a 
bookstore, or any other place where wi-fi or cellular service is 
available.\9\ She could log into the electronic system at a public 
library or other institution that provides computers with Internet 
access. Alternatively, the author could hire an attorney to submit the 
application on her behalf, either by paying for the attorney's services 
or by obtaining pro bono representation.\10\ The Office also notes that 
a number of companies will prepare an application and file it with the 
Office for a fee. These companies typically provide this service for 
authors who wish to register a single work, but they could conceivably 
expand their offering to include groups of contributions to 
periodicals.
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    \9\ When filing an application for a supplementary registration 
there is no need to upload a copy of the work that is covered by the 
basic registration. Thus, applicants will be able to submit these 
types of claims with a tablet or other wi-fi enabled device. In some 
cases, the registration specialist may need to compare the 
information provided in the application for supplementary 
registration with the copy of the work that was submitted with the 
application for the basic registration. For instance, this may be 
necessary if the supplementary registration changes the publication 
status of the work or adds additional authors to the registration 
record. If the Office does not have a copy of the work in its 
possession, the registration specialist may ask the applicant to 
submit a replacement copy. See Compendium section 1802.9(C). But in 
all cases, the replacement copy could be sent by first class mail, 
courier, or hand delivery; the copy does not need to be uploaded to 
the electronic system (though this would be an option if the 
applicant has broadband service).
    \10\ The Office does not require applications to be prepared or 
submitted by an attorney. In certain special cases the Office may 
suggest that the copyright owner consider seeking legal advice, but 
the Office does not furnish the names of copyright attorneys, 
publishers, agents, or other similar information. See 37 CFR 
201.2(a)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Congress gave the Office broad authority to establish the 
requirements for group registration options. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1). For 
the foregoing reasons, the Office believes that requiring applicants to 
submit an online application as a condition for seeking a registration 
for a group of contributions to periodicals is a reasonable trade-off 
for improving the overall efficiency of the group registration process. 
Nonetheless, the Office invites comment on this aspect of the Proposed 
Rule.

B. Eligibility Requirements

    This section discusses the eligibility requirements for the group 
option for contributions to periodicals. Applicants that fail to 
satisfy these requirements will not be permitted to use this option.
1. Restating the Existing Eligibility Requirements
    The Proposed Rule improves the readability of the regulation by 
restating the eligibility requirements for this group option, including 
the requirements involving authorship, work made for hire, first 
publication, and notice. The changes in language are simply intended to 
clarify these requirements and do not represent a substantive change in 
policy.
2. Definition of ``Periodicals''
    The Proposed Rule provides a definition for the term 
``periodicals.'' It states that a periodical is a collective work that 
is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in 
successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. It 
recognizes that each issue of a periodical usually bears the same 
title, as well as numerical or chronological designations. It also 
provides examples of works that typically qualify as a periodical, such 
as newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, bulletins, annuals, 
the proceedings of societies, and other similar works. This definition 
has appeared in the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices since 
December 22, 2014, and is consistent with the Office's longstanding 
definition for the term ``serial,'' which has been in effect since 
1991. See U.S. Copyright Office, Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office 
Practices, section 1115.1 (3d ed. 2014) (hereinafter the 
``Compendium''); 37 CFR 202.3(b)(1)(v); 56 FR 7812, 7813 (Feb. 26, 
1991).
    An applicant may be permitted to register articles, blog entries, 
artwork, photographs, or other contributions that were first published 
in an electronically printed (``ePrint'') publication if that 
publication fits within the regulatory definition of a ``periodical.'' 
Specifically, an ePrint publication may be considered a periodical for 
purposes of registration if it is fixed and distributed online or via 
email as a self-contained work, such as a digital version of a tangible 
newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or similar

[[Page 86639]]

publication. For example, many companies publish electronic newsletters 
that contain articles on a particular subject, and distribute these 
publications to their subscribers either online or via email. An 
article published in an ePrint newsletter could be considered a 
contribution to a periodical under the Proposed Rule if each issue of 
the newsletter is fixed and distributed as a self-contained work and if 
the content of each issue does not change once it has been distributed.
    By contrast, a Web site would not be considered a periodical under 
the Proposed Rule. Web sites are typically updated on a continual basis 
rather than an established schedule. The updates are not made in 
successive issues that can be recognized as discrete, self-contained 
collective works, and they do not contain numerical or chronological 
designations that distinguish one update from the next. For these 
reasons, an applicant could register a group of articles that were 
first published in the print or ePrint edition of a magazine. Likewise, 
an applicant could register a group of articles that were first 
published in a print or ePrint edition of a magazine and simultaneously 
published on the publisher's Web site. However, an applicant could not 
register a group of articles that were published solely on a Web site.
    The Office is aware of the need for establishing new and updated 
practices for examining and registering complex or emerging areas of 
authorship. The Register's strategic plan calls for the Office to 
``[a]ssess special issues relating to registration and deposit 
protocols for emerging forms of digital dissemination of works across 
the spectrum of creative industries,'' and to ``[i]dentify and make 
appropriate changes to Office policy and procedures in response to . . 
. emerging business standards.'' Strategic Plan 2016-2020 at 11. The 
rule proposed in this notice represents an interim improvement to the 
current electronic registration system, and is intended to provide a 
sound foundation for creating other registration options within the 
next five years.
3. Identifying the Contributions in the Group
    The Proposed Rule confirms that the application must identify each 
contribution that is included in the group, including the date of 
publication for each contribution and the periodical in which it was 
first published. Although the statute expressly states that this 
requirement should be included in the regulation, it does not appear in 
the current rule. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(B). Instead, the regulation 
states that the application ``shall contain the information required by 
the form and its accompanying instructions,'' and in turn, the 
instructions for Form GR/CP state that this information should be 
included in the form. 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(ii)(A); see also United States 
Copyright Office, Adjunct Application Form GR/CP, available at http://copyright.gov/forms/formgr_tx.pdf. The Proposed Rule reconciles the 
regulation with the statute and the Office's current practices.
4. Ownership Requirements
    The Proposed Rule confirms that the copyright claimant for each 
contribution in the group must be the same person or organization. This 
is in addition to the requirement that the contributions must be 
created by the same individual, although the author and claimant may be 
different persons. As noted in Section II, this requirement has 
appeared in the instructions for Form GR/CP for some time, but it does 
not appear in the current regulation. The change is simply intended to 
reconcile the regulation with the Office's longstanding practices. The 
Office will continue to register contributions authored by an 
individual who transferred his or her copyrights to the copyright 
claimant, provided that the claimant owns all of the exclusive rights 
in those contributions and provided that the application contains an 
appropriate transfer statement explaining how the claimant obtained 
those rights.
5. Number of Contributions in the Group
    The statute directs the Office to establish a procedure for 
registering a group of works by the same individual, but it does not 
specify the total number of works that may be included within each 
group. Although the statute requires the Register to establish a group 
registration procedure for contributions to periodicals that are ``all 
first published as contributions to periodicals, within a twelve-month 
period,'' 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2) (emphasis added), that is not the same 
thing as saying that an author should be permitted to register ``all'' 
such contributions with one application and one filing fee. If that is 
what Congress intended, then presumably it would have directed the 
Register to establish a procedure for registering ``all'' works by the 
same individual author (rather than ``a group of works''). Id.
    Although the Office thus has the authority to limit the number of 
contributions that may be included within each group, it has decided 
not to impose any limits at this time. Once the Proposed Rule has been 
implemented, the Office will monitor these group registrations to 
determine if any restrictions may be warranted in the future.
    In the meantime, the Office encourages authors to submit their 
contributions on a quarterly basis (i.e., every three months), instead 
of submitting them on an annual or semi-annual basis. As with any work 
of authorship, a contribution to a periodical must be registered in a 
timely manner to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees in an 
infringement action. Specifically, an author may seek statutory damages 
and attorney's fees if the contribution was registered (i) before the 
infringement commenced or (ii) within three months after the first 
publication of that work. 17 U.S.C. 412. To secure these benefits, the 
Office encourages authors to register their contributions within three 
months after they were published. By doing so, authors will preserve 
their ability to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees for any 
infringements that may occur after the effective date of registration, 
as well as any infringements that may occur within three months after 
the publication of each work. For example, if the first contribution in 
the group was published on June 1, 2016 and the last contribution was 
published on September 1, 2016, it would be advisable to file a 
complete application, deposit, and filing fee on or before September 1, 
2016. By doing so, the author will preserve his or her ability to seek 
statutory damages and attorney's fees for any infringements that began 
after the effective date of registration (i.e., after September 1, 
2016), as well as any infringements that began within three months 
after the date of publication for each contribution in the group.

C. Deposit Requirements

    To register a group of contributions to periodicals under the 
Proposed Rule applicants must submit a complete copy of each 
contribution that is included in the group. This will ensure that the 
Office receives the entire content of each contribution for the purpose 
of examining, indexing, and documenting the claim.
    Applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of 
the entire issue of the periodical in which the contribution was first 
published. If the contribution was first published in a newspaper, 
applicants may satisfy this requirement by submitting one copy of the 
entire section of the newspaper in which the

[[Page 86640]]

contribution was first published. Both of these options appear in the 
existing rule and are required to be included by statute. 17 U.S.C. 
408(c)(2)(A); 37 CFR 202.3(b)(8)(i)(E).
    Alternatively, applicants may satisfy this requirement by 
submitting one copy of each contribution in the precise form in which 
it was first published in the periodical. Specifically, applicants may 
submit a copy of the particular pages within the periodical where the 
contribution was first published. This provision essentially mirrors 
regulations that have been in place since 2002 and, as discussed, is 
necessary to ensure that authors can readily take advantage of the GRCP 
option. See generally 67 FR 10329.
    The Register may, consistently with the statutory scheme, accept 
deposits other than ``one copy of the entire issue of the periodical'' 
and ``the entire section in the case of a newspaper'' for the GRCP 
option. 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(A). As mentioned above, section 408(c) 
gives the Register broad authority to establish group registration 
options, and to define the nature of the deposit materials for such 
registrations. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1) (``The Register of Copyrights is 
authorized to specify by regulation the administrative classes into 
which works are to be placed for purposes of deposit and registration, 
and the nature of the copies or phonorecords to be deposited in the 
various classes specified. The regulations may require or permit . . . 
a single registration for a group of related works.''). Section 
408(c)(2), in turn, requires the Register to establish a particular 
group registration option with the following conditions: ``specifically 
permitting a single registration for a group of works by the same 
individual author, all first published as contributions to periodicals, 
including newspapers, within a twelve-month period . . . if the deposit 
consists of one copy of the entire issue of the periodical, or of the 
entire section in the case of a newspaper, in which each contribution 
was first published.'' \11\ 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2)(A). The Proposed Rule 
provides that option. Section 408(c)(2) does not, however, limit the 
Register's ability to expand the circumstances where group registration 
of contributions to periodicals would be accepted. Nor does it limit 
her ability to provide authors of such contributions with additional 
accommodations to facilitate their use of this group registration 
option. To the contrary, section 408(c)(2) makes clear that its terms 
are ``[w]ithout prejudice to the general authority provided under'' 
section 408(c)(1) to create group registration options and define the 
deposit requirements for those options. Id. 408(c)(2). Indeed, to read 
section 408(c)(2) as limiting the Register's authority in this regard 
would be contrary to the overall purpose of the statutory scheme, which 
was to reduce ``administrative problems'' and ``unnecessary burdens and 
expenses on authors and other copyright owners'' by permitting group 
registration. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 154 (1976). Thus, as an 
exercise of the Register's general authority in section 408(c)(1), the 
Office has determined that it may accept formats other than those 
specifically listed in section 408(c)(2)(A) as deposits for the GRCP 
option.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Similar language appears in the legislative history for 
this provision. See H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 154 (1976) (``It is 
further required that the deposit consist of one copy of the entire 
issue of the periodical, or of the entire section in the case of a 
newspaper, in which each contribution is first published.''); S. 
Rep. No. 94-473, at 137 (1975) (same).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In all cases applicants will be required to submit a digital copy 
of each contribution that is included in a group. Specifically, 
applicants will be required to submit electronic files in Portable 
Document Format (``PDF'') or other electronic format specifically 
approved by the Office. This requirement will apply regardless of 
whether an applicant submits a copy of an entire issue of a periodical, 
an entire section of a newspaper, or the specific pages from the 
periodicals where the contributions were first published.
    Applicants will be required to upload the digital copies through 
the electronic registration system. When uploading the files, 
applicants will be strongly encouraged to save them in a .zip file and 
then upload the .zip file to the system. In all cases, the size of each 
uploaded file may not exceed 500 megabytes, although applicants may 
digitally compress the contributions to comply with this limitation.
    Under the current regulation, applicants must submit a physical 
copy of each contribution, such as photographic prints, contact sheets, 
or slides; camera-ready proof copies; or pages or clippings cut or torn 
from a newspaper, magazine, or other publication. Under the Proposed 
Rule, the Office will no longer accept physical copies. Likewise, the 
Office will not accept digital copies that have been saved onto a disc, 
a flash drive, or other physical storage device that is delivered to 
the Office by mail, by courier, or by hand delivery. In all cases, 
applicants will be required to upload a digital copy of each 
contribution via the electronic registration system.
    Requiring applicants to upload their digital copies to this system 
will increase the efficiency of the group registration process. Based 
on the Office's experience, electronic submissions take less time to 
process, they are easier to track, and they are less burdensome to 
store than physical copies. From the applicant's perspective, 
electronic submissions should be more convenient and less expensive 
than submitting digital copies on a physical storage device, and if the 
claim is approved, the applicant should receive a certificate of 
registration in a more timely manner.
    Moving to electronic deposits may also provide copyright owners 
with certain legal benefits. When the Office registers a group of 
contributions to periodicals it assigns an effective date of 
registration to the claim. This determination is based on the date that 
the Office received the application, the filing fee, and the deposit. 
When an applicant uploads a digital copy to the electronic system, the 
Office typically receives the application, the filing fee, and the 
deposit on the same date. By contrast, when an applicant delivers a 
physical copy to the Office by mail, courier, or hand delivery, the 
deposit may not be received for days or even weeks after the date that 
the application and filing fee were submitted.
    Requiring applicants to submit a scanned copy of their 
contributions in the precise form in which they were first published is 
consistent with the legislative history, which states that ``[a]s a 
general rule the deposit of more than a tear sheet or similar fraction 
of a collective work is needed to identify the contribution properly 
and to show the form in which it was published.'' H.R. Rep. No. 94-
1476, at 153 (1976). It also serves an evidentiary purpose. It gives 
the examiner an opportunity to compare the deposit with the title, date 
of publication, issue number, page number, or other information that is 
set forth in the application (although in practice examiners do not 
conduct this type of analysis for every contribution in the group). If 
a particular contribution becomes involved in litigation, the deposit 
could be used to verify that the contribution was published in a 
particular periodical on a particular date.
    Applicants who are unable to submit their contributions in the 
precise form in which they were first published may request special 
relief from the deposit requirements. 37 CFR 202.20(d). Likewise, 
applicants may request special relief if they are unable to submit a 
digital copy of their contributions or unable to upload them

[[Page 86641]]

through the electronic system. For information concerning special 
relief, see section 1508.8 of the Compendium.

D. Filing Fee

    Under the Proposed Rule, the applicant will be required to pay the 
same filing fee that is currently set forth in the Office's fee 
schedule, namely $85 per claim.
    In 2012 the Office conducted a study pursuant to Section 708 of the 
Copyright Act, which authorizes the Register to establish, adjust, and 
recover fees for certain services that the Office provides to the 
public. After reviewing its costs, the Office decided to increase the 
filing fee for GRCP from $65 to $85, noting that these types of claims 
are ``labor-intensive.'' \12\ U.S. Copyright Office, Proposed Schedule 
and Analysis of Copyright Fees To Go Into Effect On Or About April 1, 
2014, at 17 (Nov. 14, 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ This increase went into effect on May 1, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 708(b) authorizes the Register to adjust the fees that the 
Office charges for certain services (including the fee for seeking a 
group registration), but before doing so the Register must conduct a 
study of the costs incurred by the Office for registering claims, 
recording documents, and providing other services. In conducting this 
study, the Register must consider the timing of any fee adjustments and 
the Office's authority to use the fees consistent with its budget. 17 
U.S.C. 708(b)(1). Section 708(b) provides that the Register may adjust 
these fees no ``more than necessary to cover the reasonable costs 
incurred by the Copyright Office for . . . [such services], plus a 
reasonable inflation adjustment to account for any estimated increase 
in costs.'' 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(2). It also provides that the Office must 
submit the proposed fee schedule to Congress, and that the Office may 
implement the schedule 120 days thereafter unless Congress enacts a law 
stating that it does not approve the schedule. 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(5).
    Once the Proposed Rule has been implemented, the Office will 
monitor the cost of processing GRCP claims to determine if future fee 
adjustments may be warranted. The Office will use this information in 
conducting its next fee study.

E. The Scope of a Group Registration

    The Proposed Rule memorializes the Office's longstanding position 
regarding the scope of a registration for a group of contributions to 
periodicals.
    When the Office issues a group registration it prepares one 
certificate of registration for the entire group and assigns one 
registration number to that certificate. The Proposed Rule clarifies 
that a registration for a group of contributions to periodicals covers 
each contribution in the group, and each contribution is registered as 
a separate ``work.'' This understanding is consistent with the 
statutory scheme. The legislative history makes clear that group 
registration was ``a needed and important liberalization of the law 
[then] in effect,'' which to that point had required ``separate 
registrations where related works or parts of a work are published 
separately.'' H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 154 (1976). In particular, 
Congress noted that ``the technical necessity for separate applications 
and fees has caused copyright owners to forego copyright altogether.'' 
Id. Given that context, it would be anomalous for works registered as 
part of a group registration application to be given lesser protection 
than if they had been registered through separate applications.
    For similar reasons, the Proposed Rule also clarifies that when a 
group of works are registered under GRCP, the group as a whole is not 
considered a compilation or a collective work. Instead, the group is 
merely an administrative classification created solely for the purpose 
of registering multiple contributions with one application and one 
filing fee. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1) (``Th[e] administrative 
classification of works has no significance with respect to the subject 
matter of copyright or the exclusive rights provided by this title.''). 
Although an applicant may exercise some judgment in selecting the 
contributions that are included within a particular group, that 
decision does not necessarily constitute copyrightable authorship. The 
selection is based on the regulatory requirements for GRCP, and any 
coordination or arrangement of the contributions is merely an 
administrative formality that facilitates the examination of the works.
    Likewise, the Proposed Rule clarifies that the group is not 
considered a derivative work. When a group of contributions are 
combined together for the purpose of facilitating registration those 
works are not ``recast, transformed, or adapted'' in any way, and the 
group as a whole is not ``a work based upon one or more preexisting 
works'' because there is no copyrightable authorship in simply 
following the administrative requirements for GRCP. 17 U.S.C. 101 
(definition of ``derivative work'').

F. Refusals To Register

    The Proposed Rule confirms that the Office may refuse to issue a 
group registration if it determines that the applicant failed to 
satisfy the requirements set forth in the statute or regulations.\13\ 
17 U.S.C. 410(b) (stating that the Register ``shall refuse registration 
and shall notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for such 
refusal'' ``[i]n any case in which [she] determines that . . . the 
material deposited does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or 
that the claim is invalid for any other reason'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ A similar requirement has appeared in the regulation 
governing the group registration option for serials since 1990. See 
55 FR 50556, 50556-57 (Dec. 7, 1990). That regulation states that 
the Office may revoke the privilege of registering a group of 
serials if a publisher fails to comply with the deposit requirement 
for that option. 37 CFR 203.3(b)(6)(iv).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

G. Cancellation

    The Proposed Rule confirms that the Office may cancel a group 
registration under Sec.  201.7(c)(4) of the regulations if it 
determines, after the registration has issued, that the requirements 
for that option were not met. In such cases, the Office will send a 
written notice to the correspondent and claimant named in the 
registration at the addresses specified in the registration record. The 
Office will describe the defect in the registration and will inform the 
parties that the registration may be cancelled if they fail to resolve 
the defect in a timely manner.
    In a related vein, the Proposed Rule makes some clarifying edits to 
the Office's cancellation regulation, section 201.7(c)(4). First, it 
makes clear, consistent with existing Copyright Office practice, that 
the regulation only provides representative examples of situations 
where the Office may cancel a registration (rather than an exhaustive 
list of situations where cancellation may be warranted). Second, the 
Proposed Rule also removes one of the examples from that list--namely 
section 201.7(c)(4)(ix), which states that the Office may cancel a 
registration for a work published after January 1, 1978 if it 
determines that ``the only claimant given on the application was 
deceased on the date the application was certified.'' This is 
inconsistent with current practices of the Copyright Office.
    The Office recently conducted a comprehensive review of its 
internal policies in conjunction with the revision of the Compendium. 
The Compendium explains that if the Office discovers that the named 
claimant died before the work was submitted or before it has been 
approved for registration, the Office may ask the applicant to provide 
the name of the current claimant. In

[[Page 86642]]

such cases, the Office will accept an application filed by or on behalf 
of the person or organization that owns all of the exclusive rights 
that initially belonged to a deceased claimant, such as the claimant's 
estate, a devisee, or an heir. Likewise, the Office will accept an 
application that names a deceased author as the copyright claimant if 
that author is the only party who is eligible to be named as the 
claimant, as might be the case where no one owns all of the exclusive 
rights in the work because the author previously transferred those 
rights to multiple parties. See Compendium section 405.5.

H. Technical Amendments

    The Proposed Rule will move the regulation that governs this group 
option from section 202.3(b)(8) to section 202.4(h).\14\ In the future, 
the Office intends to move all regulations governing the various group 
options that it has created under section 408(c) of the Copyright Act 
to section 202.4. This change is intended to improve the readability of 
the existing regulations, but it does not represent a substantive 
change in policy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The Office recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking 
that would remove the current text of section 202.4 and reserve that 
section for later use. See 81 FR 67940, 67942 (Oct. 3, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the Proposed Rule will incorporate the definitions of 
``Class TX,'' ``Class VA,'' and ``works of the visual arts'' that are 
set forth in section 202.3, and it will confirm that the application 
may be submitted by any of the parties listed in section 202.3(c)(1), 
namely (i) the author or copyright claimant of those works, (ii) the 
owner of any of the exclusive rights in those works, or (iii) a duly 
authorized agent of any author, claimant, or owner of exclusive rights.

IV. Conclusion

    The Proposed Rule will allow broader participation in the 
registration system, and increase the efficiency of the group 
registration process. The Office invites public comment on these 
proposed changes.

List of Subjects

37 CFR Part 201

    Copyright, General provisions.

37 CFR Part 202

    Copyright, Preregistration and registration of claims to copyright.

Proposed Regulation

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the U.S. Copyright 
Office proposes amending 37 CFR parts 201 and 202, as follows:

PART 201--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
1. Revise the authority citation for part 201 to read as follows:

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 702.

0
2. Amend Sec.  201.3 by revising: paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  201.3   Fees for registration, recordation, and related services, 
special services, and services performed by the Licensing Division.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

 
 
 
(2) Registration of a claim in a group of contributions               85
 to periodicals or a group of database updates..........
 

* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  201.7 by:
0
a. In the last sentence in paragraph (c)(4), adding the phrase 
``examples of'' after the phrase ``The following are''.
0
b. In paragraph (c)(4)(i), removing the semi-colon and add a period in 
its place.
0
c. In paragraph (c)(4)(ii), removing ``1989,'' and add in its place 
``1989'' and remove ``notice;'' and add in its place ``notice.'' .
0
d. In paragraphs (c)(4)(iii) through (viii), removing the semi-colon 
and add a period in its place.
0
e. Removing paragraph (c)(4)(ix) and redesignate paragraphs (c)(4)(x) 
and (xi) as paragraphs (c)(4)(ix) and (x), respectively.
0
f. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(4)(ix), removing the term ``; 
and '' and add a period in its place.
0
g. Adding paragraph (c)(4)(xi).
    The addition to read as follows:


Sec.  201.7   Cancellation of completed registrations.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (xi) The requirements for registering a group of related works 
under section 408(c) of title 17 of the United States Code have not 
been met.
* * * * *

PART 202--PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT

0
4. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702.

0
5. Amend Sec.  202.3 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (b)(4)(ii).
0
b. Removing and reserving paragraph (b)(8).
0
c. In paragraph (b)(11)(ii), redesignating footnote 4 as footnote 2 
(both in the text of paragraph (b)(11)(ii) and in the footnote itself).
0
d. In the text of paragraph (c)(2), removing the reference to footnote 
``6'' and adding in its place a reference to footnote ``3'', 
redesignating footnote 5 as footnote 3, and revising newly redesignated 
footnote 3.
    The revisions to read as follows:


Sec.  202.3   Registration of copyright.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (ii) In the case of an application for registration made under 
paragraphs (b)(4) through (10) of this section or under Sec.  202.4, 
the ``year of creation,'' ``year of completion,'' or ``year in which 
creation of this work was completed'' means the latest year in which 
the creation of any copyrightable element was completed.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *

    \3\ In the case of an application to register a group of 
newspapers, newsletters, or contributions to periodicals under 
paragraphs (b)(7) or (9) of this section or under Sec.  202.4(h), 
the deposit shall comply with the respective requirements specified 
in those paragraphs.

* * * * *
0
7. Revise Sec.  202.4 to read as follows:


Sec.  202.4   Group Registration.

    (a) This section prescribes conditions for issuing a registration 
for a group of related works under section 408(c) of title 17 of the 
United States Code.
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the terms collective 
work, copy, and work made for hire have the meanings set forth in 
section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code, and the terms 
claimant, Class TX, Class VA, and works of the visual arts have the 
meanings set forth in Sec.  202.3(a)(3), (b)(1)(i), and (b)(1)(iii).
    (c) [Reserved]
    (d) [Reserved]
    (e) [Reserved]
    (f) [Reserved]
    (g) [Reserved]

[[Page 86643]]

    (h) Group registration of contributions to periodicals. Pursuant to 
the authority granted by 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(2), the Register of 
Copyrights has determined that a group of contributions to periodicals 
may be registered in Class TX or Class VA with one application, one 
filing fee, and the required deposit, if the following conditions are 
met:
    (1) All the contributions in the group must be created by the same 
individual.
    (2) The copyright claimant must be the same person or organization 
for all the contributions.
    (3) The contributions must not be works made for hire.
    (4) Each work must be first published as a contribution to a 
periodical, and all the contributions must be first published within a 
twelve-month period (e.g., January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015; 
February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016). For purposes of this 
section, a periodical is a collective work that is issued or intended 
to be issued on an established schedule in successive issues that are 
intended to be continued indefinitely. In most cases, each issue will 
bear the same title, as well as numerical or chronological 
designations. Examples include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, 
journals, bulletins, annuals, the proceedings of societies, and other 
similar works.
    (5) If any of the contributions were first published before March 
1, 1989, those works must bear a separate copyright notice, the notice 
must contain the copyright owner's name (or an abbreviation by which 
the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative 
designation for the owner), and the name that appears in each notice 
must be the same.
    (6) The applicant must complete and submit the online application 
designated for a group of contributions to periodicals. The application 
must identify each contribution that is included in the group, 
including the date of publication for each contribution and the 
periodical in which it was first published. The application may be 
submitted by any of the parties listed in Sec.  202.3(c)(1). The 
application should be filed in Class TX if a majority of the 
contributions predominantly consist of text, and the application should 
be filed in Class VA if a majority of the contributions predominantly 
consist of photographs, illustrations, artwork, or other works of the 
visual arts.
    (7) The appropriate filing fee, as required by Sec.  201.3(c) of 
this chapter, must be included with the application or charged to an 
active deposit account.
    (8) The applicant must submit one copy of each contribution that is 
included in the group, either by submitting the entire issue of the 
periodical where the contribution was first published, the entire 
section of the newspaper where it was first published, or the specific 
page(s) from the periodical where the contribution was first published. 
The contributions must be contained in separate electronic files that 
comply with Sec.  202.20(b)(2)(iii). The files must be submitted in 
Portable Document Format (PDF) or other electronic format approved by 
the Office, and they must be uploaded to the electronic registration 
system, preferably in a .zip file containing all the files. The file 
size for each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes; the files 
may be compressed to comply with this requirement.
    (i) [Reserved]
    (j) [Reserved]
    (k) [Reserved]
    (l) Refusal to register. The Copyright Office may refuse 
registration if the applicant fails to satisfy the requirements for 
registering a group of related works under this section or Sec.  
202.3(b)(5)-(7), (9), or (10).
    (m) Cancellation. If the Copyright Office issues a registration for 
a group of related works and subsequently determines that the 
requirements for that group option have not been met, and if the 
claimant fails to cure the deficiency after being notified by the 
Office, the registration may be cancelled in accordance with Sec.  
201.7 of this chapter.
    (n) The scope of a group registration. When the Office issues a 
group registration under paragraph (h) of this section, the 
registration covers each work in the group and each work is registered 
as a separate work. For purposes of registration, the group as a whole 
is not considered a compilation, a collective work, or a derivative 
work under sections 101, 103(b), or 504(c)(1) of title 17 of the United 
States Code.

    Dated: November 22, 2016.
Sarang V. Damle,
General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights.
[FR Doc. 2016-28700 Filed 11-30-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 1410-30-P