Group Registration of Newspapers
The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend its regulation governing the group registration option for newspapers. The proposed rule will make a number of changes to reflect current Office practices, promote efficiency of the registration process, and encourage broader participation in the registration system by reducing the burden on applicants. Specifically, the proposed rule revises the definition of ``newspaper issues'' and clarifies that the group registration option is available to any qualifying ``newspaper issue.'' The proposed rule will require applicants to file an online application rather than a paper application, and upload a complete digital copy of each issue through the electronic registration system instead of submitting them in physical form. The Library of Congress intends to incorporate digital copies of newspapers received by the Office under this group registration option, and provide public access to them, subject to certain restrictions set forth in the proposed rule. Applicants may continue to submit their issues on microfilm (in addition to submitting digital files) on a voluntary basis if the microfilm is received by December 31, 2019. After that date, the microfilm option will be phased out. The proposed rule will clarify that each newspaper issue in the group must be a new collective work and a work made for hire, that the author and copyright claimant for each issue must be the same person or organization, and will clarify the scope of protection for newspaper issues, compared to individual components appearing within those issues. In addition, the proposed rule will require applicants to submit a full month of issues, and submit their claims within three months after the publication of the earliest issue in the group. The Office invites public comment on these proposed changes.