Information Technology Upgrades for a Twenty-First Century Copyright Office, 10672-10674 [2016-04423]

Download as PDF 10672 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2016 / Notices Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the 1,3-Butadiene Standard information collection requirements codified in regulations 29 CFR 1910.1051. The purpose of this standard and its information collection requirements is to provide protection for workers from the adverse health effects associated with occupational exposure to 1,3butadiene. The information collections involve maintaining specified monitoring results, training, and medical surveillance records; providing notifications to workers; providing notifications to other employers at multi-employer worksites; establishing written compliance exposure goal, respirator, and emergency plans; respirator filter element labeling; and reporting information to Government officials under certain circumstances. Occupational Safety and Health Act sections 2(b)(9), 6, and 8(c) authorize this information collection. See 29 U.S.C. 651(b)(9), 655, and 657. This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1218–0170. OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on February 29, 2016. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. The DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2015 (80 FR 65246). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:18 Feb 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1218–0170. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: DOL–OSHA. Title of Collection: 1,3-Butadiene Standard. OMB Control Number: 1218–0170. Affected Public: Private Sector— businesses or other for-profits. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 50. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 3,649. Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 915 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $112,808. Dated: February 24, 2016. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–04479 Filed 2–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P copyright system. As further directed by Congress, the Register is seeking public comments to help inform the Office on the funding strategy and implementation timeline for the IT Plan. DATES: Written comments must be received no later than March 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. ADDRESSES: 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/policy/itupgrade/ index.html. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Rowland, Senior Advisor to the Register of Copyrights, or Regan A. Smith, Associate General Counsel, by email at itcomments@loc.gov, or by telephone at (202) 707–8350. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Technology is the cornerstone of a modern copyright system, and the need to modernize the Office’s technological infrastructure has been well documented. The Office has engaged in four years of deliberative assessment and public review to establish the framework for a modernized IT system to more efficiently serve the needs of authors, users of copyrighted works, and the general public.1 Congress also has taken note; for example, during the copyright review process, the House Judiciary Committee expressed concern that the Office’s technology needed to be upgraded to respond to the needs of copyright owners and users,2 and the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office [Docket No. 2016–2] Information Technology Upgrades for a Twenty-First Century Copyright Office U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. ACTION: Notice of inquiry. AGENCY: The U.S. Copyright Office has prepared a Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan (‘‘IT Plan’’) at the direction of Congress that details necessary IT upgrades to transform the Office to better meet the needs of the current and future SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1 See, e.g., Register of Copyrights, Priorities and Special Projects of the United States Copyright Office 13 (2011); Technical Upgrades to Registration and Recordation Functions in Docket No. 2013–2, 78 FR 17722 (Mar. 22, 2013); Oversight of the U.S. Copyright Office: Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Judiciary, 114th Cong. 3 (statement of Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director of the United States Copyright Office) (describing suggestions regarding IT modernization received from the public in connection with its technical upgrades study); Robert Brauneis, Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence, U.S. Copyright Office, Transforming Document Recordation at the United States Copyright Office, (2015), available at http://www.copyright.gov/docs/recordation/; Office of the Chief Information Officer, Report and Recommendations of the Technical Upgrades Special Project Team (2015) (‘‘Technical Upgrades Report’’). 2 See, e.g., U.S. Copyright Office: Its Functions and Resources, Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th Cong. at 2 (2015) (statement of E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2016 / Notices House Committee on Administration recently conducted a hearing entitled ‘‘Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community.’’ 3 The copyright community also has weighed in, stressing the importance of technology to the national copyright system and noting that the Office currently does not have what it needs to run the copyright system sufficiently.4 The Office’s December 1, 2015 Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016–2020 (‘‘Strategic Plan,’’ available at http://copyright.gov/ reports/strategic-plan/USCOstrategic.pdf) 5 provides a vision of overall Office modernization, including the necessary integration of legal, business, and technical components. Accordingly, in its report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015, the House Committee on Appropriations noted: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES The Committee fully understands the importance of the Copyright Office as it Chairman Goodlatte) (‘‘Burdened by a lack of funds and dependent upon the vastly different technology needs of the Library of Congress, the Copyright Office has been unable to respond to the needs of the copyright community, harming copyright owners and users alike.’’); id. at 3 (statement of Ranking Member Conyers) (‘‘[T]he Office’s recordation system continues to be a cumbersome and costly process that requires manual examination and data entry. In addition, the functionality of the Office’s databases and the usability of the Office’s Web site must be improved. Further, the security of deposited digital works must be strengthened, and the copyright community needs a system which provides a more usable and searchable public record of copyrighted material . . . . The Copyright Office is aware of the need to modernize so that it can adapt to everevolving technology and the needs of the copyright community.’’). 3 Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community: Ensuring the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress Are Able to Meet the Demands of the Digital Age: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Administration, 114th Cong. (2015). 4 See, e.g., U.S. Copyright Office: Its Functions and Resources at 24 (statement of Lisa A. Dunner, Partner, Dunner Law PLLC, on behalf of the Section of Intell. Prop. L. of the Am. Bar Ass’n) (‘‘The Copyright Office needs a sophisticated, efficient IT system responsive to its needs and those of its users.’’); id. at 43 (statement of Nancy J. Mertzel, Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Stern LLP, on behalf of the Am. Intell. Prop. L. Ass’n) (‘‘As the [Copyright Office’s] technical upgrades report explains, ‘[t]he Office’s technology infrastructure impacts all of the Office’s key services and is the single greatest factor in its ability to administer copyright registration, recordation services, and statutory licenses effectively.’ Yet, the Copyright Office does not control its technology. Rather, it is controlled by the Library of Congress, and housed on the Library’s servers. In fact, even equipment purchased by the Copyright Office with its appropriated funds, is controlled by the Library. Additionally, the Office is dependent upon the Library’s IT staff. However, the Library IT staff has other responsibilities, and is not well-versed in the needs of the copyright community. AIPLA urges this Committee to explore ways to give the Copyright Office greater autonomy over its IT infrastructure and services.’’ (citations omitted)). 5 Register of Copyrights, Positioning the United States Copyright Office for the Future, 18 (December 1, 2015). VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:18 Feb 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 relates to creativity and commercial artistic activity not only within the United States but also on a world-wide basis. In order to serve the copyright owners and the copyright community in the 21st century, a robust modern information technology (IT) operation will be necessary. The $1.5 million provided in fiscal year 2015 began the effort to determine the requirements for a modern IT environment. With the planning underway, the Committee directs the Register of Copyrights to report, to the Committee on Appropriation and relevant Authorizing Committees of the House on a detailed plan on necessary IT upgrades, with a cost estimate, that are required for a 21st century copyright organization.6 Additionally, the House Committee on Appropriations directed the Office to seek public comment regarding a funding strategy and an implementation timeline for the IT Plan.7 After significant review and analysis, the Office has delivered a provisional IT Plan (available at www.copyright.gov/ reports/itplan), and now seeks public input concerning these issues. While this Federal Register Notice is not a substitute for the details set forth in the IT Plan, a brief summary of the plan is provided below. The IT Plan is flexible in that it may be implemented according to a variety of governance protocols, approvals, and controls between the Copyright Office and larger Library of Congress; it does, however, depart from the status quo in which the Copyright Office manages software applications and the Library of Congress manages underlying IT systems. A. Modernizing the Copyright Office’s Information Technology The IT Plan is a companion to the Strategic Plan, which envisions modernization of the Office as a comprehensive undertaking that addresses: The national copyright system’s IT, data, and infrastructure needs; business, regulatory and legal issues under the Office’s care; and related potential changes to the copyright laws of the United States.8 The major changes necessary to effectively examine, register, protect, document, and license copyright interests and make useful information available in the digital age cannot be accomplished in the current technology state. The IT Plan heeds the Strategic Plan’s underlying call for the Copyright Office of the twenty-first century to be lean, nimble, results-driven, and futurefocused, and translates those themes into a comprehensive and exhaustive 7 H. Rep. 114–110, 114th Cong. (2015). of Copyrights, Positioning the United States Copyright Office for the Future, 18 (December 1, 2015). 8 Register PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10673 technology modernization plan. The IT Plan would establish an IT system that meets the current and future needs of a modern copyright agency by minimizing costly infrastructure needs, embracing cloud services, and utilizing mobile technologies. It prioritizes data integrity and security controls, and decreases risk by spreading projects among multiple partners or vendors. Under the plan, the Office would phase out legacy systems and assume a clean-slate, carefully targeted strategy in moving forward. The IT Plan assumes that modernization must be managed from within the Copyright Office, relying upon individuals who work alongside of, and are fully accountable to, the Office’s legal and operational experts. Together, the Strategic Plan and the IT Plan provide for a modernization approach that will transform copyright administration in the United States. Customers will be able to transact with the Office easily, quickly, and from anywhere at any time, using any number of consumer platforms to secure copyrights and access data, including licensing or public domain information. Systems will be designed to yield quick, authoritative results, encouraging participation, partnerships, and commerce. Such a modern Office will offer a rich public record that is easily accessible by all, providing enormous benefit to copyright authors and owners, consumers, services, users, and anyone else with an interest in the national copyright system. The implementation of a modern IT system will require careful planning and coordination during the transition period, as required under applicable federal practices. The IT Plan makes a core assumption that modernization requires, and will receive, singular attention and focus. Assuming this dedicated, full-time commitment to modernization, the IT Plan proposes a five-year implementation timeline that projects that users will experience meaningful differences in services within three years. The five-year timeline is divided into four sequential phases, during which new initiatives will be implemented while the Office maintains continuity of services. These phases may overlap as appropriate for mission-critical services; for example, a modernized recordation system could be completed in advance of an integrated system of records program. Generally speaking, the four phases include: • Phase 0: The initial phase is dedicated to establishing the IT operating model, processes, and planning necessary for success in the future phases. This includes E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 10674 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 40 / Tuesday, March 1, 2016 / Notices establishing a project management office and adopting a transition plan to facilitate migration to a cloud-based system, while retaining necessary support from current vendors. Core IT governance and procedures will be adopted during this phase, and market analysis of potential vendors completed. • Phase 1: The Office would assume interim control of existing IT systems and coordinate support for legacy systems. Phase 1 also would: Build core infrastructure and stand up the key back-office and desktop capabilities necessary to run IT operations; migrate the national recordation system to its target electronic platform; and continue design on solutions for additional core applications and services. • Phase 2: This phase includes full deployment of the remaining core mission Office applications. The existing registration system will be replaced in a way that improves user experience and includes a highly secure, certified digital repository, with appropriately serious attention to protecting electronically transmitted deposits. Existing copyright data would be migrated to a cloud-based system of records, linking registration with recordation data. Effective data management would facilitate efficient updating of records, promoting data accuracy. The Office would have the capability of directly interacting with outside organizations to share relevant data through APIs, thus facilitating business investment and entrepreneurship. By the end of Phase 2, the Office would have full control over its IT management, and some legacy support agreements could be phased out. • Phase 3: In Phase 3, the Office would be fully transitioned to its new environment. Focus will turn toward enhancing core Office services with continuous improvement. The CIO will identify future desired technology investments to increase service capabilities. At the conclusion of the four phases, the Office IT will operate within a steady state environment. Operations and maintenance will continue, with performance of existing services assessed relative to identified benchmarks. At the same time, the Office would continue to engage with stakeholders to identify potential new capabilities and services. Within this phased framework, there are a variety of ways to proceed with development. The Office is interested in maximizing flexible opportunities for outside entities to efficiently aid the effort. The Office would expect to leverage the experience of expert VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:18 Feb 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 contractors for short-term projects, consider traditional contracting, consider no-cost contracting, and review other alternatives as well. B. Funding a Modern Information Technology System Creating a more flexible and robust IT system will require the Office to fund both capital and operating expenses, not only during the five-year IT Plan, but on an ongoing basis. Currently, the Office has two main funding sources: (1) Fees paid by individual authors, corporate entities, and other customers; and (2) annual appropriated dollars reflecting the value of the Office’s mission to entrepreneurs, the public, and the economy. Historically, fees have made up the lion’s share of the Office’s basic budget, ranging from 59% to 67% in the past five years. Congress decides, in the course of the federal budget authorization, how much income the Office may use to cover its costs. Thus, the Office may spend incoming fees, but only up to the amount authorized by Congress. Tax dollars comprise a smaller, but critical, part of the Office’s budget and reflect the value of the Office’s services to the general public— for example, by providing the public with a searchable database of copyright registration and ownership information. The Office also has a small reserve account, which includes any fees that exceeded the Office’s annual spending limit, de-obligated prior year funds, and other fees authorized for expenditure but not spent. The reserve fund, however, is not a revolving fund account and is subject to congressional review every year. The Office is considering changes to the structure overall, including the option to migrate costs previously categorized as capital expenses to operating expenses in order to fund infrastructure improvements, as reflected in the IT Plan. Since 1997, the Office has conducted studies every several years to assess and set appropriate fees for its services. The analysis is governed by section 708 of the Copyright Act, which specifies various services for which the Office may charge fees and provides that the Register may adjust these fees to ‘‘not 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.’’ 9 Additionally, fees for core services must be ‘‘fair and equitable and give due consideration to the objectives of the copyright system.’’ 9 17 PO 00000 U.S.C. 708(b)(2). Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 These objectives include the value of copyright registration and recordation, and registration must remain relatively affordable to encourage applications, which are voluntary. The Office most recently adjusted its fees in 2014, when it issued a revised fee schedule that increased some fees, reduced others, and introduced a reduced fee for individual authors of single works. The Office fee-setting is an iterative regulatory process. In assessing its fees, the Office need not assume ‘‘one size fits all’’; indeed, the more flexible the IT of the Office, the more likely the Office can institute practices and regulations that meet the targeted needs of applicants, e.g., software developers or photographers or digital filmmakers. II. Subjects of Inquiry To assess both how to implement and fund a modern copyright IT system, the Office is interested in public comment on the following subjects: 1. Please comment on the proposed five-year timeline for IT modernization based on the phases set forth in detail in the IT Plan, which incorporate best practices of the federal government. 2. Should the modernization be funded from fees, appropriated dollars, or a combination of both, and, if both, is there an ideal formula or ratio? 3. What authorities or flexibilities, if any, should be included in 17 U.S.C. 708 regarding whether and how the Office may recover its reasonable costs of operation (including in the aggregate as opposed to based upon individual services), differentiate between customers or users, and/or fund future investments, not only as to the five-year plan but on an ongoing basis? 4. Should the Copyright Office fund capital and operating expenses differently? If so, how? 5. Please identify anything else that the Copyright Office should consider in relation to the funding strategy, benefits, or implementation of IT modernization. Dated: February 25, 2016. Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office. [FR Doc. 2016–04423 Filed 2–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410–30–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (16–018)] NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education; Meeting National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\01MRN1.SGM 01MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10672-10674]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04423]


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

U.S. Copyright Office

[Docket No. 2016-2]


Information Technology Upgrades for a Twenty-First Century 
Copyright Office

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

ACTION: Notice of inquiry.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office has prepared a Provisional 
Information Technology Modernization Plan (``IT Plan'') at the 
direction of Congress that details necessary IT upgrades to transform 
the Office to better meet the needs of the current and future copyright 
system. As further directed by Congress, the Register is seeking public 
comments to help inform the Office on the funding strategy and 
implementation timeline for the IT Plan.

DATES: Written comments must be received no later than March 31, 2016 
at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

ADDRESSES: 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/policy/itupgrade/index.html. If electronic submission of comments is 
not feasible, please contact the Office using the contact information 
below for special instructions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Rowland, Senior Advisor to 
the Register of Copyrights, or Regan A. Smith, Associate General 
Counsel, by email at itcomments@loc.gov, or by telephone at (202) 707-
8350.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Technology is the cornerstone of a modern copyright system, and the 
need to modernize the Office's technological infrastructure has been 
well documented. The Office has engaged in four years of deliberative 
assessment and public review to establish the framework for a 
modernized IT system to more efficiently serve the needs of authors, 
users of copyrighted works, and the general public.\1\ Congress also 
has taken note; for example, during the copyright review process, the 
House Judiciary Committee expressed concern that the Office's 
technology needed to be upgraded to respond to the needs of copyright 
owners and users,\2\ and the

[[Page 10673]]

House Committee on Administration recently conducted a hearing entitled 
``Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community.'' \3\ The 
copyright community also has weighed in, stressing the importance of 
technology to the national copyright system and noting that the Office 
currently does not have what it needs to run the copyright system 
sufficiently.\4\ The Office's December 1, 2015 Strategic Plan for 
Fiscal Years 2016-2020 (``Strategic Plan,'' available at http://copyright.gov/reports/strategic-plan/USCO-strategic.pdf) \5\ provides a 
vision of overall Office modernization, including the necessary 
integration of legal, business, and technical components.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See, e.g., Register of Copyrights, Priorities and Special 
Projects of the United States Copyright Office 13 (2011); Technical 
Upgrades to Registration and Recordation Functions in Docket No. 
2013-2, 78 FR 17722 (Mar. 22, 2013); Oversight of the U.S. Copyright 
Office: Hearing Before the H. Subcomm. on Judiciary, 114th Cong. 3 
(statement of Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director 
of the United States Copyright Office) (describing suggestions 
regarding IT modernization received from the public in connection 
with its technical upgrades study); Robert Brauneis, Abraham L. 
Kaminstein Scholar in Residence, U.S. Copyright Office, Transforming 
Document Recordation at the United States Copyright Office, (2015), 
available at http://www.copyright.gov/docs/recordation/; Office of 
the Chief Information Officer, Report and Recommendations of the 
Technical Upgrades Special Project Team (2015) (``Technical Upgrades 
Report'').
    \2\ See, e.g., U.S. Copyright Office: Its Functions and 
Resources, Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th Cong. 
at 2 (2015) (statement of Chairman Goodlatte) (``Burdened by a lack 
of funds and dependent upon the vastly different technology needs of 
the Library of Congress, the Copyright Office has been unable to 
respond to the needs of the copyright community, harming copyright 
owners and users alike.''); id. at 3 (statement of Ranking Member 
Conyers) (``[T]he Office's recordation system continues to be a 
cumbersome and costly process that requires manual examination and 
data entry. In addition, the functionality of the Office's databases 
and the usability of the Office's Web site must be improved. 
Further, the security of deposited digital works must be 
strengthened, and the copyright community needs a system which 
provides a more usable and searchable public record of copyrighted 
material . . . . The Copyright Office is aware of the need to 
modernize so that it can adapt to ever-evolving technology and the 
needs of the copyright community.'').
    \3\ Improving Customer Service for the Copyright Community: 
Ensuring the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress Are Able 
to Meet the Demands of the Digital Age: Hearing Before the H. Comm. 
on Administration, 114th Cong. (2015).
    \4\ See, e.g., U.S. Copyright Office: Its Functions and 
Resources at 24 (statement of Lisa A. Dunner, Partner, Dunner Law 
PLLC, on behalf of the Section of Intell. Prop. L. of the Am. Bar 
Ass'n) (``The Copyright Office needs a sophisticated, efficient IT 
system responsive to its needs and those of its users.''); id. at 43 
(statement of Nancy J. Mertzel, Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Stern LLP, 
on behalf of the Am. Intell. Prop. L. Ass'n) (``As the [Copyright 
Office's] technical upgrades report explains, `[t]he Office's 
technology infrastructure impacts all of the Office's key services 
and is the single greatest factor in its ability to administer 
copyright registration, recordation services, and statutory licenses 
effectively.' Yet, the Copyright Office does not control its 
technology. Rather, it is controlled by the Library of Congress, and 
housed on the Library's servers. In fact, even equipment purchased 
by the Copyright Office with its appropriated funds, is controlled 
by the Library. Additionally, the Office is dependent upon the 
Library's IT staff. However, the Library IT staff has other 
responsibilities, and is not well-versed in the needs of the 
copyright community. AIPLA urges this Committee to explore ways to 
give the Copyright Office greater autonomy over its IT 
infrastructure and services.'' (citations omitted)).
    \5\ Register of Copyrights, Positioning the United States 
Copyright Office for the Future, 18 (December 1, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, in its report accompanying the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2015, the House Committee on Appropriations 
noted:

    The Committee fully understands the importance of the Copyright 
Office as it relates to creativity and commercial artistic activity 
not only within the United States but also on a world-wide basis. In 
order to serve the copyright owners and the copyright community in 
the 21st century, a robust modern information technology (IT) 
operation will be necessary. The $1.5 million provided in fiscal 
year 2015 began the effort to determine the requirements for a 
modern IT environment. With the planning underway, the Committee 
directs the Register of Copyrights to report, to the Committee on 
Appropriation and relevant Authorizing Committees of the House on a 
detailed plan on necessary IT upgrades, with a cost estimate, that 
are required for a 21st century copyright organization.\6\

    Additionally, the House Committee on Appropriations directed the 
Office to seek public comment regarding a funding strategy and an 
implementation timeline for the IT Plan.\7\ After significant review 
and analysis, the Office has delivered a provisional IT Plan (available 
at www.copyright.gov/reports/itplan), and now seeks public input 
concerning these issues. While this Federal Register Notice is not a 
substitute for the details set forth in the IT Plan, a brief summary of 
the plan is provided below. The IT Plan is flexible in that it may be 
implemented according to a variety of governance protocols, approvals, 
and controls between the Copyright Office and larger Library of 
Congress; it does, however, depart from the status quo in which the 
Copyright Office manages software applications and the Library of 
Congress manages underlying IT systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ H. Rep. 114-110, 114th Cong. (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Modernizing the Copyright Office's Information Technology

    The IT Plan is a companion to the Strategic Plan, which envisions 
modernization of the Office as a comprehensive undertaking that 
addresses: The national copyright system's IT, data, and infrastructure 
needs; business, regulatory and legal issues under the Office's care; 
and related potential changes to the copyright laws of the United 
States.\8\ The major changes necessary to effectively examine, 
register, protect, document, and license copyright interests and make 
useful information available in the digital age cannot be accomplished 
in the current technology state.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Register of Copyrights, Positioning the United States 
Copyright Office for the Future, 18 (December 1, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The IT Plan heeds the Strategic Plan's underlying call for the 
Copyright Office of the twenty-first century to be lean, nimble, 
results-driven, and future-focused, and translates those themes into a 
comprehensive and exhaustive technology modernization plan. The IT Plan 
would establish an IT system that meets the current and future needs of 
a modern copyright agency by minimizing costly infrastructure needs, 
embracing cloud services, and utilizing mobile technologies. It 
prioritizes data integrity and security controls, and decreases risk by 
spreading projects among multiple partners or vendors. Under the plan, 
the Office would phase out legacy systems and assume a clean-slate, 
carefully targeted strategy in moving forward. The IT Plan assumes that 
modernization must be managed from within the Copyright Office, relying 
upon individuals who work alongside of, and are fully accountable to, 
the Office's legal and operational experts.
    Together, the Strategic Plan and the IT Plan provide for a 
modernization approach that will transform copyright administration in 
the United States. Customers will be able to transact with the Office 
easily, quickly, and from anywhere at any time, using any number of 
consumer platforms to secure copyrights and access data, including 
licensing or public domain information. Systems will be designed to 
yield quick, authoritative results, encouraging participation, 
partnerships, and commerce. Such a modern Office will offer a rich 
public record that is easily accessible by all, providing enormous 
benefit to copyright authors and owners, consumers, services, users, 
and anyone else with an interest in the national copyright system.
    The implementation of a modern IT system will require careful 
planning and coordination during the transition period, as required 
under applicable federal practices. The IT Plan makes a core assumption 
that modernization requires, and will receive, singular attention and 
focus. Assuming this dedicated, full-time commitment to modernization, 
the IT Plan proposes a five-year implementation timeline that projects 
that users will experience meaningful differences in services within 
three years. The five-year timeline is divided into four sequential 
phases, during which new initiatives will be implemented while the 
Office maintains continuity of services. These phases may overlap as 
appropriate for mission-critical services; for example, a modernized 
recordation system could be completed in advance of an integrated 
system of records program. Generally speaking, the four phases include:
     Phase 0: The initial phase is dedicated to establishing 
the IT operating model, processes, and planning necessary for success 
in the future phases. This includes

[[Page 10674]]

establishing a project management office and adopting a transition plan 
to facilitate migration to a cloud-based system, while retaining 
necessary support from current vendors. Core IT governance and 
procedures will be adopted during this phase, and market analysis of 
potential vendors completed.
     Phase 1: The Office would assume interim control of 
existing IT systems and coordinate support for legacy systems. Phase 1 
also would: Build core infrastructure and stand up the key back-office 
and desktop capabilities necessary to run IT operations; migrate the 
national recordation system to its target electronic platform; and 
continue design on solutions for additional core applications and 
services.
     Phase 2: This phase includes full deployment of the 
remaining core mission Office applications. The existing registration 
system will be replaced in a way that improves user experience and 
includes a highly secure, certified digital repository, with 
appropriately serious attention to protecting electronically 
transmitted deposits. Existing copyright data would be migrated to a 
cloud-based system of records, linking registration with recordation 
data. Effective data management would facilitate efficient updating of 
records, promoting data accuracy. The Office would have the capability 
of directly interacting with outside organizations to share relevant 
data through APIs, thus facilitating business investment and 
entrepreneurship. By the end of Phase 2, the Office would have full 
control over its IT management, and some legacy support agreements 
could be phased out.
     Phase 3: In Phase 3, the Office would be fully 
transitioned to its new environment. Focus will turn toward enhancing 
core Office services with continuous improvement. The CIO will identify 
future desired technology investments to increase service capabilities.
    At the conclusion of the four phases, the Office IT will operate 
within a steady state environment. Operations and maintenance will 
continue, with performance of existing services assessed relative to 
identified benchmarks. At the same time, the Office would continue to 
engage with stakeholders to identify potential new capabilities and 
services.
    Within this phased framework, there are a variety of ways to 
proceed with development. The Office is interested in maximizing 
flexible opportunities for outside entities to efficiently aid the 
effort. The Office would expect to leverage the experience of expert 
contractors for short-term projects, consider traditional contracting, 
consider no-cost contracting, and review other alternatives as well.

B. Funding a Modern Information Technology System

    Creating a more flexible and robust IT system will require the 
Office to fund both capital and operating expenses, not only during the 
five-year IT Plan, but on an ongoing basis.
    Currently, the Office has two main funding sources: (1) Fees paid 
by individual authors, corporate entities, and other customers; and (2) 
annual appropriated dollars reflecting the value of the Office's 
mission to entrepreneurs, the public, and the economy. Historically, 
fees have made up the lion's share of the Office's basic budget, 
ranging from 59% to 67% in the past five years. Congress decides, in 
the course of the federal budget authorization, how much income the 
Office may use to cover its costs. Thus, the Office may spend incoming 
fees, but only up to the amount authorized by Congress. Tax dollars 
comprise a smaller, but critical, part of the Office's budget and 
reflect the value of the Office's services to the general public--for 
example, by providing the public with a searchable database of 
copyright registration and ownership information. The Office also has a 
small reserve account, which includes any fees that exceeded the 
Office's annual spending limit, de-obligated prior year funds, and 
other fees authorized for expenditure but not spent. The reserve fund, 
however, is not a revolving fund account and is subject to 
congressional review every year. The Office is considering changes to 
the structure overall, including the option to migrate costs previously 
categorized as capital expenses to operating expenses in order to fund 
infrastructure improvements, as reflected in the IT Plan.
    Since 1997, the Office has conducted studies every several years to 
assess and set appropriate fees for its services. The analysis is 
governed by section 708 of the Copyright Act, which specifies various 
services for which the Office may charge fees and provides that the 
Register may adjust these fees to ``not 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.'' \9\ Additionally, fees for core services 
must be ``fair and equitable and give due consideration to the 
objectives of the copyright system.'' These objectives include the 
value of copyright registration and recordation, and registration must 
remain relatively affordable to encourage applications, which are 
voluntary. The Office most recently adjusted its fees in 2014, when it 
issued a revised fee schedule that increased some fees, reduced others, 
and introduced a reduced fee for individual authors of single works.
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    \9\ 17 U.S.C. 708(b)(2).
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    The Office fee-setting is an iterative regulatory process. In 
assessing its fees, the Office need not assume ``one size fits all''; 
indeed, the more flexible the IT of the Office, the more likely the 
Office can institute practices and regulations that meet the targeted 
needs of applicants, e.g., software developers or photographers or 
digital filmmakers.

II. Subjects of Inquiry

    To assess both how to implement and fund a modern copyright IT 
system, the Office is interested in public comment on the following 
subjects:
    1. Please comment on the proposed five-year timeline for IT 
modernization based on the phases set forth in detail in the IT Plan, 
which incorporate best practices of the federal government.
    2. Should the modernization be funded from fees, appropriated 
dollars, or a combination of both, and, if both, is there an ideal 
formula or ratio?
    3. What authorities or flexibilities, if any, should be included in 
17 U.S.C. 708 regarding whether and how the Office may recover its 
reasonable costs of operation (including in the aggregate as opposed to 
based upon individual services), differentiate between customers or 
users, and/or fund future investments, not only as to the five-year 
plan but on an ongoing basis?
    4. Should the Copyright Office fund capital and operating expenses 
differently? If so, how?
    5. Please identify anything else that the Copyright Office should 
consider in relation to the funding strategy, benefits, or 
implementation of IT modernization.

    Dated: February 25, 2016.
Maria A. Pallante,
Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office.
[FR Doc. 2016-04423 Filed 2-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 1410-30-P