Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on Copyrighted Works
The United States Copyright Office is initiating the seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (``DMCA''), concerning possible temporary exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. In this proceeding, the Copyright Office is establishing a new, streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking. If renewed, those current exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2018October 2021). Members of the public seeking the renewal of current exemptions should submit petitions as described below; parties opposing such renewal will then have the opportunity to file comments in response. The Office is also accepting petitions for new exemptions to engage in activities not currently permitted by existing exemptions, which may include proposals that expand upon a current exemption. Those petitions, and any renewal petitions that are meaningfully opposed, will be considered pursuant to a more comprehensive rulemaking process similar to that used for the sixth rulemaking (i.e., three rounds of written comment, followed by public hearings).
The United States Copyright Office is modernizing its registration practices to increase the efficiency of the registration process for both the Office and copyright owners. To further these efforts, this final rule adopts modifications to the Office's procedures for supplementary registration. Specifically, the Office adopts a new rule that, in most cases, requires applicants to submit an online application in order to correct or amplify the information set forth in a basic registration. In addition, the Office is amending the regulation to codify and update certain practices that are set forth in the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition and to improve the readability of the regulation.
The U.S. Copyright Office is issuing an interim rule that memorializes its special procedure for examining secure tests. The interim rule also includes a new workflow that will increase the efficiency of these examinations. Going forward, applicants must submit an online application, upload a redacted copy of the entire test to the electronic registration system, and complete and submit a brief questionnaire about the test. If the work appears to be eligible for the secure test process, the Office will contact the applicant and schedule an appointment to deliver the test to the Office in person. On the appointed date, the applicant must bring a copy of the application and a complete unredacted copy of the actual test. In addition, the applicant must bring a copy of the redacted version of the test, and a signed declaration confirming that this copy is identical to the redacted copy that was uploaded to the electronic registration system. If the Office confirms that the work qualifies as a secure test, it will examine the test as a whole to determine if it contains sufficient copyrightable authorship. If the Office registers the secure test, the registration will be effective as of the date that the Office received the application, filing fee, and the redacted copy of the entire test in proper form through the electronic registration system. The Office welcomes public comment on the interim rule.