Freedom of Information Act Regulations, 3699-3701 [2019-02181]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES rule, a publisher may register a group of newspapers if the applicant submits the claim using the appropriate electronic application and submits a PDF copy of each issue within three months after the publication of the earliest issue in the group.5 Unlike the paper application, the electronic registration system contains automated validations that enforce this three-month deadline. Since the Office implemented these new requirements, several newspaper publishers have reported difficulty and delays in creating PDF copies. Many publishers have not been able to submit their claims before the three-month deadline. And some publishers have attempted to bypass the validations in the electronic system by submitting a paper application and microfilm copies. The Office has refused to register these claims, because they were submitted on a paper form and with the wrong deposit, or because they were received after the deadline. On average, it takes three months or more to process a paper application and a physical deposit,6 so by the time the Office has issued a refusal, the publisher may not have an opportunity to resubmit their claim on the appropriate form and with an appropriate deposit. To address these problems and ensure that newspaper publishers can obtain the statutory benefits of registration, the Office has decided to eliminate the three-month filing requirement. This will provide more flexibility for applicants, and allow them to register issues that otherwise would be ineligible for registration. The Office will remove the automated validation that prevents publishers from submitting issues that are more than three months old. Beginning on February 18, 2019, publishers will be permitted to submit claims through the electronic registration system, regardless of when their issues were published. Likewise, publishers may electronically resubmit claims that were refused because they were filed on a paper form or without a digital deposit, or because they were received after the three month deadline. To do so, publishers must submit a new application (using the electronic form designated for newspaper issues), a new digital deposit, and a new filing fee. 5 37 CFR 202.4(e). The new deadline was based on the date of publication for the earliest issue in the group (rather than the most recent) for the reasons stated in the notice of proposed rulemaking dated November 6, 2017. See 82 FR at 51377–78. 6 See U.S. Copyright Office, Registration Processing Times, available at https:// www.copyright.gov/registration/docs/processingtimes-faqs.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 The Office will monitor this change to the rule to determine whether it succeeds in incentivizing increased registrations and to ensure that it does not have an adverse effect on the Library’s collections. In the meantime, the Office has prepared a video tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete the electronic application and upload digital copies.7 The help text that accompanies the application also provides answers to frequently asked questions.8 And the Office has published a circular that provides detailed information about the group registration process.9 The Office still encourages publishers to submit their claims within three months of publication, because it may provide certain legal benefits. To seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in an infringement action, publishers must register their issues in a timely manner. Specifically, a publisher typically may seek these remedies if a newspaper issue was registered (i) before the infringement commenced or (ii) within three months after the first publication of that work. See 17 U.S.C. 412. The Office finds there is good cause for adopting this amendment without first publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking, because it is a ‘‘rule[ ] of agency organization, procedure, or practice.’’ 10 It does not adversely ‘‘alter the rights or interests of parties’’—if anything, it eases the requirements for applicants choosing to exercise this option by removing the time restriction on its availability.11 It therefore merely ‘‘alter[s] the manner in which the parties present themselves . . . to the agency.’’ 12 Id. Thus, notice and comment is not required under the Administrative Procedure Act. All other provisions in the current regulation on group registration of newspapers remain unaffected. List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202 Copyright. For the reasons set forth above, the Copyright Office amends 37 CFR part 202 as follows: 7 See Group of Newspaper Issues Tutorial, U.S. Copyright Office, https://www.copyright.gov/eco/ newspaper.mp4. 8 See Help: Group Registration of Newspaper Issues, U.S. Copyright Office, https:// www.copyright.gov/eco/help-newspapers.html. 9 See U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 62A: Group Registration of Newspapers (2018), available at https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ62a.pdf. 10 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). 11 JEM Broad. Co. v. FCC, 22 F.3d 320, 326 (D.C. Cir. 1994); see also 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) (publication 30 days before effective date of substantive rule not required for rule that ‘‘grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction’’). 12 JEM Broad. Co., 22 F.3d at 326. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3699 PART 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT 1. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702. § 202.4 [Amended] 2. Amend § 202.4 by removing paragraph (e)(7). ■ Dated: January 31, 2019. Karyn A. Temple, Acting Register of Copyrights and Director Of the U.S. Copyright Office. Approved by: Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress. [FR Doc. 2019–02186 Filed 2–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410–30–P LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Office 37 CFR Part 203 [Docket No. 2017–1] Freedom of Information Act Regulations U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The U.S. Copyright Office is issuing a final rule that amends its regulations governing its practices and procedures under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The final rule closely follows the February 7, 2017 interim rule, implementing the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The final rule makes limited modifications to align with public comments and to promote further regulatory clarity and customer service. DATES: Effective date: March 15, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regan A. Smith, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, by email at regans@copyright.gov, or by telephone at 202–707–8350; or Catherine Zaller Rowland, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education, by email at crowland@copyright.gov, or by telephone at 202–707–0956. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), section 552 of title 5 of the United States Code, provides a statutory right of access to federal agency records. In part, FOIA establishes procedures by E:\FR\FM\13FER1.SGM 13FER1 3700 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations which a member of the public may request records from a federal agency and the parameters by which an agency must operate when responding to a request from the public. FOIA requires agencies to promulgate regulations addressing the logistical requirements of making requests, fees, and expedited processing 1 while providing areas of discretionary authority. In 2017, the Copyright Office (the ‘‘Office’’) published an Interim Rule 2 in response to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (the ‘‘Act’’),3 which amended FOIA to address a range of procedural issues and required federal agencies subject to FOIA to review and update their regulations. In its interim rule, the Office updated its regulations to conform with the Act, including the Act’s prohibition on charging fees after certain agency failures, specifying a ninety-day period for filing an administrative appeal, and requiring that records be made available in electronic format. The Office also adopted, where appropriate, the template for agency FOIA regulations released by the Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice (DOJ OIP). The template provided a clear structure for the required regulatory provisions, allowed the Office to formalize its multi-track processing practices, and established clear regulatory language to improve customer service.4 In December 2018, the Office also made minor technical changes to its FOIA regulations to reflect the Office’s current organizational structure while updating its licensing regulations relating to section 115 of title 17.5 The Office received comments from two individuals as well as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).6 Having reviewed and carefully considered these comments, the Office now issues a final rule that closely follows the proposed rule, with minor amendments as discussed below. II. Discussion of Comments and Other Considerations khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES A. NARA Record Schedule Technical Correction NARA submitted a technical comment related to § 203.10, Preservation of Records, which referenced General Records Schedule 15 U.S.C. 552 (a)(1), (a)(4)(A)(i), and (a)(6)(E)(i). FR 9505 (Feb. 7, 2017). 3 Public Law 114–185, 130 Stat. 538 (2016). 4 82 FR at 9506 (Feb. 7, 2017). 5 83 FR 63061 at 63064–65 (Dec. 7, 2018). 6 The comments can be found on the Copyright Office’s website at https://www.copyright.gov/ rulemaking/foia2016/. 2 82 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 (GRS) 14. NARA notes that GRS 14 was replaced with a new records schedule, GRS 4.2.7 The final rule incorporates this change. B. Comments From Individuals Both individual commenters wrote in support of the Office’s interim rule as an effort to provide citizens with access to records and improve agency responsiveness to the public. One commenter also voiced a general concern that access to records should not be dependent upon access to technology.8 The Office recognizes that individuals without access to technology can encounter unique obstacles to accessing the Office’s information and records but believes that these concerns are adequately addressed by the Office’s regulations and practices and that no amendments are required to the rule. The Office receives a large number of its FOIA requests from individuals without access to technology, often for records that are already made publicly available by the Office in electronic form. When the Office receives such a request, it responds in writing by mail and includes copies of the requested documents, even if they are otherwise publicly available on the Office’s website at www.copyright.gov. Further, the Office maintains the Public Information Office (PIO), which assists callers and correspondents in accessing information, including by providing printed copies of proactively disclosed records upon request. C. Other Considerations and Technical Changes The Office has made three additional technical changes to the final rule based on its ongoing review of the law and additional guidance made publicly available by DOJ OIP. First, the Office has added language to the rule in § 203.7(c), explaining that the Office will alert requesters as to the availability of mediation services offered by NARA’s Office of Government Information Services when the Office provides notice of unusual circumstances. The interim rule included language explaining that the Office would alert a requester of the dispute resolution services when issuing a denial notification but inadvertently omitted similar language in the rule with regard to notices of delays due to unusual circumstances. The Office’s practices have been to notify requesters of their right to dispute resolution services in both denials and notices of unusual 7 NARA 8 Jenna PO 00000 Comment at 1. Rainey Comment at 1. Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 circumstances, and the final rule now reflects the Office’s practices. Second, the final rule clarifies in § 203.11(j) that only Privacy Act 9 requests are processed under the Office’s Privacy Act fee schedule. The Office makes this technical amendment to clear up any possible confusion about the Privacy Act fee schedule by changing the language to focus on the type of request rather than the requester. Third, the Office has amended § 203.11(k) to adopt the streamlined fee waiver factors published by the DOJ OIP subsequent to the publication of the Office’s interim rule.10 This updated template language improves regulatory clarity but does not materially change the proposed § 203.11(k). Accordingly, for the reasons explained above, the Office has determined that these additional amendments comprise non-substantive, procedural changes not ‘‘alter[ing] the rights or interests of the parties,’’ and thus are not subject to further notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.11 List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 203 Freedom of information. Final Regulations For the reasons set forth above, the Copyright Office adopts the interim rule amending 37 CFR part 203 which was published at 82 FR 9505 on February 7, 2017, as amended by 83 FR 63064 on December 7, 2018, as final with the following changes: PART 203—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 203 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552. 2. Amend § 203.7 by revising paragraph (c)(1)(i) introductory text to read as follows: ■ § 203.7 * Timing of responses to requests. * * (c) * * * 95 * * U.S.C. 552a. Template for Agency FOIA Regulations, https://www.justice.gov/oip/template-agency-foiaregulations (last updated Feb. 22, 2017). 11 See Nat’l Mining Ass’n v. McCarthy, 758 F.3d 243, 250 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (‘‘The critical feature of a procedural rule is that it covers agency actions that do not themselves alter the rights or interests of parties, although it may alter the manner in which the parties present themselves or their viewpoints to the agency.’’) (internal quotation marks omitted); 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) (notice and comment not required for ‘‘interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice’’). 10 See E:\FR\FM\13FER1.SGM 13FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 30 / Wednesday, February 13, 2019 / Rules and Regulations (1)(i) Whenever the Office cannot meet the statutory time limit for processing a request because of ‘‘unusual circumstances,’’ as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Office will notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances and the estimated date of determination, and alert requesters to the availability of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to provide dispute resolution services. Where an extension of time greater than 10 days is required, the Office will give the requester the opportunity to: * * * * * § 203.10 [Amended] 3. Amend § 203.10 by removing ‘‘General Records Schedule 14’’ and adding in its place ‘‘General Records Schedule 4.2’’. ■ 4. Amend § 203.11 by revising paragraphs (j) and (k) to read as follows: ■ § 203.11 Fees. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES * * * * * (j) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The provisions of this section do not apply with respect to the charging of fees for which the copyright law requires a fee to be charged. Requests processed under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, shall be subject to the fee schedule found in § 204.6 of this chapter. Fees for services by the Office in the administration of the copyright law are contained in § 201.3 of this chapter. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to the statutorily-based fee schedule, the Office will inform the requester of the service and appropriate fee. (k) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Requesters may seek a waiver of fees by submitting a written application demonstrating how disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. (2) The Office shall furnish records responsive to a request without charge or at a reduced rate when it determines, based on all available information, that the factors described in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section are satisfied: (i) Disclosure of the requested information would shed light on the operations or activities of the government. The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated. (ii) Disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations or activities. This factor is satisfied when the following criteria are met: (A) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully informative if nothing new would be added to the public’s understanding. (B) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester’s expertise in the subject area as well as the requester’s ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public will be considered. The Office will presume that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration. (iii) The disclosure must not be primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the Office will consider the following criteria: (A) The Office shall identify whether the requester has any commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. A commercial interest includes any commercial, trade, or profit interest. Requesters shall be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration. (B) If there is an identified commercial interest, the Office shall determine whether that is the primary interest furthered by the request. A waiver or reduction of fees is justified when the requirements of paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section are satisfied and any commercial interest is not the primary interest furthered by the request. The Office ordinarily will presume that when a news media requester has satisfied factors in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, the request is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return will not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest. (3) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3701 a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those records. (4) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the Office and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received. Dated: January 28, 2019. Karyn A. Temple, Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. Approved by: Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress. [FR Doc. 2019–02181 Filed 2–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410–30–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R05–OAR–2017–0212; FRL–9989–23– Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Reasonable Further Progress Plan and Other Plan Elements for the Moderate Nonattainment Chicago Area for the 2008 Ozone Standards Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of a revision to the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP) to meet the base year emissions inventory, reasonable further progress (RFP), RFP contingency measure, nitrogen oxides (NOX) reasonably available control technology (RACT), and motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the Wisconsin portion of the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-IndianaWisconsin nonattainment area (Chicago area) for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS or standards). EPA is also finalizing approval of the 2017 and 2018 transportation conformity motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for the Wisconsin portion of the Chicago area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA proposed approval of these attainment planning elements on August 16, 2018, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13FER1.SGM 13FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 13, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3699-3701]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-02181]


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

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 203

[Docket No. 2017-1]


Freedom of Information Act Regulations

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office is issuing a final rule that amends 
its regulations governing its practices and procedures under the 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The final rule closely follows the 
February 7, 2017 interim rule, implementing the FOIA Improvement Act of 
2016. The final rule makes limited modifications to align with public 
comments and to promote further regulatory clarity and customer 
service.

DATES: Effective date: March 15, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regan A. Smith, General Counsel and 
Associate Register of Copyrights, by email at regans@copyright.gov, or 
by telephone at 202-707-8350; or Catherine Zaller Rowland, Associate 
Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and 
Education, by email at crowland@copyright.gov, or by telephone at 202-
707-0956.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), section 552 of title 5 of 
the United States Code, provides a statutory right of access to federal 
agency records. In part, FOIA establishes procedures by

[[Page 3700]]

which a member of the public may request records from a federal agency 
and the parameters by which an agency must operate when responding to a 
request from the public. FOIA requires agencies to promulgate 
regulations addressing the logistical requirements of making requests, 
fees, and expedited processing \1\ while providing areas of 
discretionary authority.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(1), (a)(4)(A)(i), and (a)(6)(E)(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2017, the Copyright Office (the ``Office'') published an Interim 
Rule \2\ in response to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (the 
``Act''),\3\ which amended FOIA to address a range of procedural issues 
and required federal agencies subject to FOIA to review and update 
their regulations. In its interim rule, the Office updated its 
regulations to conform with the Act, including the Act's prohibition on 
charging fees after certain agency failures, specifying a ninety-day 
period for filing an administrative appeal, and requiring that records 
be made available in electronic format. The Office also adopted, where 
appropriate, the template for agency FOIA regulations released by the 
Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice (DOJ OIP). 
The template provided a clear structure for the required regulatory 
provisions, allowed the Office to formalize its multi-track processing 
practices, and established clear regulatory language to improve 
customer service.\4\ In December 2018, the Office also made minor 
technical changes to its FOIA regulations to reflect the Office's 
current organizational structure while updating its licensing 
regulations relating to section 115 of title 17.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ 82 FR 9505 (Feb. 7, 2017).
    \3\ Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 (2016).
    \4\ 82 FR at 9506 (Feb. 7, 2017).
    \5\ 83 FR 63061 at 63064-65 (Dec. 7, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Office received comments from two individuals as well as the 
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).\6\ Having reviewed 
and carefully considered these comments, the Office now issues a final 
rule that closely follows the proposed rule, with minor amendments as 
discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The comments can be found on the Copyright Office's website 
at https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/foia2016/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Discussion of Comments and Other Considerations

A. NARA Record Schedule Technical Correction

    NARA submitted a technical comment related to Sec.  203.10, 
Preservation of Records, which referenced General Records Schedule 
(GRS) 14. NARA notes that GRS 14 was replaced with a new records 
schedule, GRS 4.2.\7\ The final rule incorporates this change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ NARA Comment at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Comments From Individuals

    Both individual commenters wrote in support of the Office's interim 
rule as an effort to provide citizens with access to records and 
improve agency responsiveness to the public. One commenter also voiced 
a general concern that access to records should not be dependent upon 
access to technology.\8\ The Office recognizes that individuals without 
access to technology can encounter unique obstacles to accessing the 
Office's information and records but believes that these concerns are 
adequately addressed by the Office's regulations and practices and that 
no amendments are required to the rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Jenna Rainey Comment at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Office receives a large number of its FOIA requests from 
individuals without access to technology, often for records that are 
already made publicly available by the Office in electronic form. When 
the Office receives such a request, it responds in writing by mail and 
includes copies of the requested documents, even if they are otherwise 
publicly available on the Office's website at www.copyright.gov. 
Further, the Office maintains the Public Information Office (PIO), 
which assists callers and correspondents in accessing information, 
including by providing printed copies of proactively disclosed records 
upon request.

C. Other Considerations and Technical Changes

    The Office has made three additional technical changes to the final 
rule based on its ongoing review of the law and additional guidance 
made publicly available by DOJ OIP. First, the Office has added 
language to the rule in Sec.  203.7(c), explaining that the Office will 
alert requesters as to the availability of mediation services offered 
by NARA's Office of Government Information Services when the Office 
provides notice of unusual circumstances. The interim rule included 
language explaining that the Office would alert a requester of the 
dispute resolution services when issuing a denial notification but 
inadvertently omitted similar language in the rule with regard to 
notices of delays due to unusual circumstances. The Office's practices 
have been to notify requesters of their right to dispute resolution 
services in both denials and notices of unusual circumstances, and the 
final rule now reflects the Office's practices.
    Second, the final rule clarifies in Sec.  203.11(j) that only 
Privacy Act \9\ requests are processed under the Office's Privacy Act 
fee schedule. The Office makes this technical amendment to clear up any 
possible confusion about the Privacy Act fee schedule by changing the 
language to focus on the type of request rather than the requester.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 5 U.S.C. 552a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Third, the Office has amended Sec.  203.11(k) to adopt the 
streamlined fee waiver factors published by the DOJ OIP subsequent to 
the publication of the Office's interim rule.\10\ This updated template 
language improves regulatory clarity but does not materially change the 
proposed Sec.  203.11(k).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See Template for Agency FOIA Regulations, https://www.justice.gov/oip/template-agency-foia-regulations (last updated 
Feb. 22, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, for the reasons explained above, the Office has 
determined that these additional amendments comprise non-substantive, 
procedural changes not ``alter[ing] the rights or interests of the 
parties,'' and thus are not subject to further notice and comment 
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See Nat'l Mining Ass'n v. McCarthy, 758 F.3d 243, 250 (D.C. 
Cir. 2014) (``The critical feature of a procedural rule is that it 
covers agency actions that do not themselves alter the rights or 
interests of parties, although it may alter the manner in which the 
parties present themselves or their viewpoints to the agency.'') 
(internal quotation marks omitted); 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) (notice and 
comment not required for ``interpretative rules, general statements 
of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or 
practice'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 203

    Freedom of information.

Final Regulations

    For the reasons set forth above, the Copyright Office adopts the 
interim rule amending 37 CFR part 203 which was published at 82 FR 9505 
on February 7, 2017, as amended by 83 FR 63064 on December 7, 2018, as 
final with the following changes:

PART 203--FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 203 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552.


0
2. Amend Sec.  203.7 by revising paragraph (c)(1)(i) introductory text 
to read as follows:


Sec.  203.7  Timing of responses to requests.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

[[Page 3701]]

    (1)(i) Whenever the Office cannot meet the statutory time limit for 
processing a request because of ``unusual circumstances,'' as defined 
in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Office will notify the 
requester in writing of the unusual circumstances and the estimated 
date of determination, and alert requesters to the availability of the 
Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to provide dispute 
resolution services. Where an extension of time greater than 10 days is 
required, the Office will give the requester the opportunity to:
* * * * *


Sec.  203.10  [Amended]

0
3. Amend Sec.  203.10 by removing ``General Records Schedule 14'' and 
adding in its place ``General Records Schedule 4.2''.

0
4. Amend Sec.  203.11 by revising paragraphs (j) and (k) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  203.11  Fees.

* * * * *
    (j) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The provisions 
of this section do not apply with respect to the charging of fees for 
which the copyright law requires a fee to be charged. Requests 
processed under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, shall be 
subject to the fee schedule found in Sec.  204.6 of this chapter. Fees 
for services by the Office in the administration of the copyright law 
are contained in Sec.  201.3 of this chapter. In instances where 
records responsive to a request are subject to the statutorily-based 
fee schedule, the Office will inform the requester of the service and 
appropriate fee.
    (k) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Requesters 
may seek a waiver of fees by submitting a written application 
demonstrating how disclosure of the requested information is in the 
public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to 
public understanding of the operations or activities of the government 
and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
    (2) The Office shall furnish records responsive to a request 
without charge or at a reduced rate when it determines, based on all 
available information, that the factors described in paragraphs 
(k)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section are satisfied:
    (i) Disclosure of the requested information would shed light on the 
operations or activities of the government. The subject of the request 
must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal 
Government with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or 
attenuated.
    (ii) Disclosure of the requested information is likely to 
contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations or 
activities. This factor is satisfied when the following criteria are 
met:
    (A) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully 
informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure 
of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same 
or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully 
informative if nothing new would be added to the public's 
understanding.
    (B) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a 
reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as 
opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's 
expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and 
intention to effectively convey information to the public will be 
considered. The Office will presume that a representative of the news 
media will satisfy this consideration.
    (iii) The disclosure must not be primarily in the commercial 
interest of the requester. To determine whether disclosure of the 
requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the 
requester, the Office will consider the following criteria:
    (A) The Office shall identify whether the requester has any 
commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested 
disclosure. A commercial interest includes any commercial, trade, or 
profit interest. Requesters shall be given an opportunity to provide 
explanatory information regarding this consideration.
    (B) If there is an identified commercial interest, the Office shall 
determine whether that is the primary interest furthered by the 
request. A waiver or reduction of fees is justified when the 
requirements of paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section are 
satisfied and any commercial interest is not the primary interest 
furthered by the request. The Office ordinarily will presume that when 
a news media requester has satisfied factors in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) 
and (ii) of this section, the request is not primarily in the 
commercial interest of the requester. Disclosure to data brokers or 
others who merely compile and market government information for direct 
economic return will not be presumed to primarily serve the public 
interest.
    (3) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the 
requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those 
records.
    (4) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when 
the request is first submitted to the Office and should address the 
criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request 
at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or 
on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay 
fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is 
denied, the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to 
the date the fee waiver request was received.

    Dated: January 28, 2019.
Karyn A. Temple,
Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright 
Office.

Approved by:
Carla D. Hayden,
Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2019-02181 Filed 2-12-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 1410-30-P