Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on Copyrighted Works
The United States Copyright Office (``Copyright Office'' or ``Office'') is conducting 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 has established a new, streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking. It is also considering petitions for new exemptions to engage in activities not currently permitted by existing exemptions. On June 30, 2017, the Office published a Notice of Inquiry requesting petitions to renew existing exemptions and comments in response to those petitions, as well as petitions for new exemptions to engage in activities not currently permitted by existing exemptions. The Office has carefully considered the comments received in response to that Notice. With this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (``NPRM''), the Office intends to recommend each of the existing exemptions for readoption. This NPRM also initiates three rounds of public comment on the newly-proposed exemptions. Interested parties are invited to make full legal and evidentiary submissions in support of or in opposition to the proposed exemptions, in accordance with the requirements set forth below.
Group Registration of Unpublished Works
The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to create a new group registration option for a limited number of unpublished works. To qualify for this group option, all the works must be created by the same author or the same joint authors, and the author or joint authors must be named as the copyright claimant for each work. The claim to copyright in each work must be the same, and each work must be registered in the same administrative class. In general, applicants will be allowed to include up to five works in each submission. Applicants will be required to submit an online application and upload their works to the electronic registration system, although the Office may waive these requirements in exceptional cases. This new group registration option will replace the current ``unpublished collections'' option, which the Office has determined is an ineffective mechanism for registration of multiple unpublished works; among other things, it allows applicants to register an essentially unlimited number of works. The proposed rule will allow the Office to more easily examine each work for copyrightable authorship, create a more robust record of the claim, and improve the efficiency of the registration process. The Proposed Rule also makes unrelated technical amendments to the ``unit of publication'' regulation.