Determination of Rates and Terms for Preexisting Subscription Services and Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services
The Copyright Royalty Judges publish their ruling on regulatory interpretation that was referred to them by the United States District Court for the District Of Columbia. The regulation at issue is about gross revenue exclusions that a satellite digital audio radio service may use when calculating royalty payments owed to SoundExchange, a collective for copyright owners, for digital transmissions of sound recordings pursuant to a statutory license. The Judges find that Sirius XM properly interpreted the regulation to apply to pre-'72 sound recordings and that it improperly excluded certain revenues from its Gross Revenues royalty base.
Cost of Living Adjustment to Satellite Carrier Compulsory License Royalty Rates
The Copyright Royalty Judges announce a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.0% in the royalty rates satellite carriers pay for a compulsory license under the Copyright Act. The COLA is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index from October 2016 to October 2017.
Cost of Living Adjustment to Royalty Rates for Webcaster Statutory License
The Copyright Royalty Judges announce a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in the royalty rates that commercial and noncommercial noninteractive webcasters pay for eligible transmissions pursuant to the statutory licenses for the public performance of and for the making of ephemeral reproductions of sound recordings.
Procedural Regulations for the Copyright Royalty Board Regarding Electronic Filing of Claims; Corrections
On June 13, 2017, the Copyright Royalty Judges revised their rules regarding filing of claims. That document inadvertently added a requirement that filers of joint DART claims include addresses and email addresses for all claimants. Interested parties filed a petition to amend asking the Judges to remove the requirement because the proposed rule did not include it. This document corrects the final regulations to remove the requirement.
The U.S. Copyright Office is issuing an update to its interim rule, issued June 12, 2017, governing registration of secure tests. Based on the initial comments received on that interim rule, the Office has determined that there is an immediate need to establish a new group registration option for secure test questions and answers and other related materials (referred to as ``test items'') that are stored in an electronic database, test bank, or other medium of expression. This interim rule incorporates most of the same procedures that the Office adopted in its recent interim rule on secure tests and adds additional procedures for group registration. To seek a group registration, applicants will be required to submit an online application, upload a redacted copy of the individual test items to the electronic registration system, and complete and submit a brief questionnaire. If, based on the answers to the questionnaire, the test items appear to be eligible for the group registration option, the Office will contact the applicant and schedule an appointment to deliver these materials 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 items. In addition, the applicant must bring a redacted copy of the test items, and a signed declaration confirming that this copy is identical to the redacted copy that was uploaded to the electronic registration system. The Office will examine each test item to determine if it contains sufficient copyrightable authorship. If the Office registers the claim, the registration will cover each test item as a separate work of authorship, and the registration will be effective as of the date the Office initially received the application, filing fee, and the redacted copy of the test items in proper form through the electronic registration system. To be clear, the previous interim rule otherwise remains in effect, and applicants may continue to use that rule to register individual secure tests. The Office welcomes public comment on both this interim rule and the June 12, 2017 interim rule.
Modernizing Copyright Recordation
The United States Copyright Office is issuing an interim rule amending its regulations governing recordation of transfers of copyright ownership, other documents pertaining to a copyright, and notices of termination. The interim rule adopts a number of the regulatory updates proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking published on May 18, 2017.
Fees for Electronic Recordation and Notices of Intention To Obtain a Compulsory License
The U.S. Copyright Office is publishing a final rule establishing a separate, lower filing fee for recording documents when they are submitted with an electronic title list. Separately, the Office is noting a policy change, effective on the same date as the final rule, to require the payment of fees for the filing of all notices of intention to obtain a compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords, including those that are filed in the Office after failed delivery to the copyright owner.
Group Registration of Unpublished Works: Extension of Comment Period
The U.S. Copyright Office is extending the deadlines for the submission of written comments in response to its October 12, 2017 notice of proposed rulemaking, regarding the creation of a new group registration option for unpublished works to replace the existing ``unpublished collections'' registration option. In this document, the Office also clarifies that the new group registration option is not intended for group registration of unpublished photographs; that is the subject of a separate proposed rulemaking, which would permit submission of up to 750 photographs on one application.
Determination of Rates and Terms for Public Broadcasting (PB III)
The Copyright Royalty Judges solicit comments on proposed rates and terms for use of certain works in connection with noncommercial broadcasting for the period commencing January 1, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2022.
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.