[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 51 (Wednesday, March 16, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-6122]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: March 16, 1994]


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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 201

[Docket No. 93-13A]

 

Procedures for Copyright Restoration of Certain Motion Pictures 
and Their Contents in Accordance With the North American Free Trade 
Agreement

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Interim regulation with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Copyright Office is issuing interim regulations to 
establish procedures governing the filing of Statements of Intent for 
the restoration of copyright protection in the United States for 
certain motion pictures and their contents in accordance with the North 
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the statute implementing it. 
The NAFTA Implementation Act authorizes the Copyright Office to 
establish procedures whereby potential copyright owners of eligible 
works who file a complete and timely Statement of Intent with the 
Copyright Office on or before December 31, 1994, will have copyright 
protection restored effective January 1, 1995.

DATES: These interim regulations are effective March 16, 1994. Comments 
should be in writing and received on or before May 16, 1994.

ADDRESSES: If sent by mail, fifteen copies of written comments should 
be addressed to: Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, 
Washington, DC 20024. If hand delivered, fifteen copies should be 
brought to: Office of the Copyright General Counsel, James Madison 
Memorial Building, room 407, First and Independence Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20024. In order to ensure prompt receipt of these time 
sensitive documents, the Office recommends that the comments be 
delivered by private messenger service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Schwartz, Policy Planning 
Advisor, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540. 
Telephone: (202) 707-8350. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 10, 1994, the Copyright Office 
notified the public of the provisions in NAFTA with regard to the 
restoration of copyright protection for certain works, 59 FR 1408 
(1994). To be eligible for copyright restoration, a motion picture or 
any work included in a motion picture either:
    1. Must have been first fixed in Mexico or Canada and entered the 
public domain in the United States because of first publication 
anywhere on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, without 
the required copyright notice;
    2. Or, regardless of where it was fixed, must have entered the 
public domain in the United States because of first publication in 
Mexico or Canada on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, 
without the required copyright notice.
    Further, for copyright to be restored in an eligible work, a 
complete and timely Statement of Intent must be filed with the 
Copyright Office by the potential copyright owner or an authorized 
agent.
    These interim regulations set out the procedures that potential 
copyright owners must follow if they wish to have copyright protection 
for their works restored in the United States. To restore copyright, 
potential copyright owners must file Statements of Intent with the 
Copyright Office on or before December 31, 1994, and these Statements 
must contain the information set out in these regulations. The 
regulations also detail the procedures the Copyright Office will use to 
process Statements of Intent and create a record for the public.

I. Background

    The North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 
January 1, 1994. The NAFTA Agreement and the NAFTA Implementation Act 
(Pub. L. 103-182) provide for the restoration of copyright for certain 
works that are currently in the public domain in the United States. New 
section 104 sets out the conditions for restoring protection:
    Classes of works eligible. Two types of works are eligible for 
copyright restoration: (1) Motion pictures; and (2) works included in 
motion pictures (such as an underlying work--a novel or play on which a 
motion picture was based--or the original screenplay or original 
musical score of a motion picture).
    Dates of publication and public domain status. To be eligible for 
restoration, the motion picture, or the work included in a motion 
picture, must meet two criteria: (1) The work must have been first 
published on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989; and 
(2) the work must have fallen into the public domain in the United 
States because, at the time of its first publication, it failed to meet 
the requirements of the U.S. copyright law for publication with notice 
of copyright (17 U.S.C. 401, 402, 403, 405) as they existed at that 
time.
    Place of first fixation or publication. Assuming they meet the 
other criteria, the following two kinds of works are eligible for 
copyright restoration: (1) Published works that were first fixed in 
Canada or Mexico, regardless of where they were first published; and 
(2) works first published in Mexico or Canada, regardless of where they 
were first fixed. A motion picture, or a work included in a motion 
picture, meeting these requirements is entitled to receive copyright 
protection under title 17 for the remainder of the term of copyright 
protection to which it would have been entitled in the United States 
had it been published with the required notice. 17 U.S.C. 
104A(a)(1993).
    Potential copyright owners of qualifying works must file a 
Statement of Intent with the Copyright Office between January 1, 1994 
(the date on which the Agreement entered into force), and December 31, 
1994, to notify the public of their intent to restore copyright 
protection for these works in the United States. After January 1, 1995, 
the Copyright Office will publish in the Federal Register a list of the 
works which are determined to be properly qualified for protection and 
for which complete Statements of Intent have been filed. The 
restoration of copyright protection for eligible works will be 
effective on January 1, 1995.
    The new section 17 U.S.C. 104A(c) created by the NAFTA 
Implementation Act gives a one year exemption to U.S. nationals or 
domiciliaries who made or acquired copies of a motion picture or its 
contents before December 8, 1993, the date of enactment of the 
implementing act. These individuals or entities may continue to sell, 
distribute, or perform publicly such works without liability for a 
period of one year following the Copyright Office's publication in the 
Federal Register of the list of works for which Statements of Intent 
have been received.
    The copyright restoration provisions apply to a ``motion picture'' 
or any work included in a motion picture. Section 101 of title 17 
defines motion pictures to include audiovisual works consisting of a 
series of related images which, when shown in succession, impart an 
impression of motion, together with accompanying sounds, if any. Thus, 
for example, the restoration provisions apply to feature films, short 
films, documentaries, silent films, television films, television 
series, and television programs, as well as works contained in these 
``motion pictures.''
    To be eligible for copyright restoration, a motion picture or any 
work included in a motion picture either:
    1. Must have been first fixed1 in Mexico or Canada and entered 
the public domain in the United States because of first 
publication2 anywhere on or after January 1, 1978, and before 
March 1, 1989, without the required copyright notice;
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    \1\See 17 U.S.C. 101. For example, a ``fixed'' motion picture 
would be completed and embodied in a copy, such as on film stock or 
videotape. Also see the definitions provided in these interim 
regulations.
    \2\See 17 U.S.C. 101. The place of first publication would be 
the place where copies were first sold, leased, loaned or offered 
for sale, by for example, the distribution of videotape copies or 
film prints. Also, see the definitions provided in these interim 
regulations.
    Also, see Article 3(4) of the Berne Convention for the 
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works which permits simultaneous 
publication, that is, within 30 days of its first publication if 
published in two or more countries. For example, if a motion picture 
was first published (between January 1, 1978 and March 1, 1989) 
within 30 days in two countries, and one of these countries is 
Mexico or Canada, it would be eligible for the NAFTA copyright 
restoration.
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    2. Or, regardless of where it was fixed, must have entered the 
public domain in the United States because of first publication in 
Mexico or Canada on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, 
without the required copyright notice.
    Further, for copyright to be restored in an eligible work, a 
complete and timely Statement of Intent must be filed with the 
Copyright Office by the potential copyright owner or an authorized 
agent.
    Although the Copyright Office has authority to charge a fee for the 
processing of NAFTA Statements of Intent under 17 U.S.C. 708, it has 
decided not to do so at this time. However, it reserves the right to 
charge a fee in the future if the Office's duties are broadened under 
the NAFTA or a similar agreement.
    The filing of an effective Statement of Intent will not give any of 
the legal benefits or presumptions that a voluntary copyright 
registration now provides under U.S. copyright law. The Statement of 
Intent is submitted only for the purposes of the NAFTA copyright 
restoration provisions. Any work for which copyright is restored may be 
registered on and after January 1, 1995, in accordance with title 17, 
upon the submission of the proper copyright application, filing fee, 
and an appropriate deposit of the work. The Copyright Office will not 
accept applications for copyright registration for these works before 
January 1, 1995; only Statements of Intent may be filed before then.
    After January 1, 1995, the Copyright Office encourages potential 
copyright owners to make a voluntary copyright registration to obtain 
the legal and commercial advantages made available by registration. 
These include certain evidentiary benefits; availability of statutory 
damages; and the creation of a complete registration record in the 
Copyright Office's online database.

II. Explanation of Interim Regulations

Procedures for Filing an Effective Statement of Intent

    Potential copyright owners or their agents must file Statements of 
Intent with the Copyright Office on or before December 31, 1994, in 
order for a Statement to be effective. No fee is required. The 
Statement of Intent must be in English and should be typed or clearly 
printed by hand on 8\1/2\-inch by 11-inch white paper. To be complete, 
a Statement of Intent must contain all of the information required in 
items 1 through 6 below, including the entire ``certification 
statement'' and the signature of the potential copyright owner or 
authorized agent.
    A complete Statement should clearly indicate at the top of the 
first page that the potential copyright owner is submitting: A 
Statement of Intent to restore copyright protection in the United 
States in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement 
(NAFTA). All statements must be mailed to the Copyright Office at: 
Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 
20024.
    All of the information required in items 1 through 6 below must be 
contained in a Statement of Intent. Otherwise the Copyright Office will 
correspond with the party submitting the Statement to correct 
omissions. Should that party continue to fail to include any of the 
required items (1 through 6), copyright restoration cannot be effected 
for that particular work. In addition to the required information, the 
Office encourages the potential copyright owner to provide other 
``optional'' information that should be useful in providing information 
to the public about any work for which copyright is restored.
    The required and optional information for a Statement of Intent is:
(1) Title (Required Information)
    The title of the work or works for which copyright restoration is 
sought. If multiple works are listed in a single Statement of Intent, 
each individual work must be clearly and separately identified in items 
1 through 6 of the Statement. For series and episodes, these titles 
must be clearly identified by a title or number.
    Explanation of item #1: Only motion pictures and their contents (as 
defined in 17 U.S.C. 104A and 101) are eligible for copyright 
restoration. Potential copyright owners can submit the titles of any 
number of works for which they are seeking restoration on a single 
Statement of Intent. Assuming that the exploitation of the contents in 
a motion picture was legally authorized at the time the motion picture 
was made, submission of the title of the motion picture will suffice 
for the restoration of copyright protection for the works included in 
it.
    Optional information for item #1 includes alternative titles (for 
example, the American release title of a motion picture if different 
from the foreign title); the original producer and/or director of the 
motion picture; and the format or physical description of the work as 
first published (for example, running time, number of reels, and 
whether the work is on film, videotape, videodisc, or another medium). 
This descriptive material will help identify similarly titled films or 
rereleases.
(2) Nation of First Fixation (Required Information)
    Explanation of item #2: To be eligible for copyright restoration a 
work must have been first fixed in Mexico or Canada, or, if first fixed 
in any other nation, it must have been first published in Mexico or 
Canada. For example, a work may be eligible for restoration if it was 
first fixed before 1978 in the United States but later published in 
Mexico or Canada between January 1, 1978, and March 1, 1989.
    Optional information for item #2 would include the year date of 
first fixation.
(3) Nation of First Publication (Required Information)
    Explanation of item #3: To be eligible for copyright restoration 
the work must have been first published in Mexico or Canada if it was 
first fixed in a nation other than Mexico or Canada. If a work remains 
unpublished in 1994, the NAFTA copyright restoration provisions are not 
applicable because the work is already protected under the copyright 
law of the United States regardless of the nationality or domicile of 
its author. The duration of unpublished works is governed by 17 U.S.C. 
302 and 303.
(4) Date of First Publication (Required Information)
    Explanation of item #4: To be eligible for copyright restoration a 
work must have been first published on or after January 1, 1978, and 
before March 1, 1989, and must have entered the public domain in the 
United States for failure to comply with the copyright notice 
requirements of the U.S. Copyright Code. For example, the date of first 
publication would be the date of a film's release, or the date of its 
first offering for rental or sale.
(5) Name and Address (Required Information)
    The name and mailing address of the potential copyright owner of 
work, and a telephone and telefax number, if available.
    Explanation of item #5: The name and mailing address (the telephone 
and telefax numbers, if available) of the potential copyright owner 
will be used to create a readily available public record at the Library 
of Congress. This information will serve to identify the copyright 
owner of works for which copyright has been restored, to provide notice 
to the public that these works will have copyright protection for the 
remainder of their term, and to facilitate licensing and other uses of 
these works by the general public.
    Optional information for item #5 would include the name of the 
original copyright owner of the work, if it is different from the 
potential copyright owner; and for works contained in motion pictures, 
the potential owner or owners of those works, if different from the 
potential copyright owner submitting a Statement of Intent. Separate 
Statements of Intent may be submitted by the potential copyright 
owner(s) of the underlying works, if different from the owner of the 
motion picture.
(6) Certification Statement and Signature (Required Information)
    The following dated certification statement must be included in its 
entirety along with the signature of the potential copyright owner or 
authorized agent:

    I hereby certify that each of the above titled works was first 
fixed or first published in Mexico or Canada and entered the public 
domain in the United States of America because it was first 
published on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, 
without the notice required by the copyright law of the United 
States of America then in effect. I certify that the information 
given herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and 
understand that any knowing or willful falsification of material 
facts may result in criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. 1001.

    Explanation of item #6: The entire certification statement must be 
reproduced on each Statement of Intent to attest that the person 
signing the statement understands the copyright restoration provisions 
and the consequences of false statements of material facts. A complete 
Statement of Intent must be signed and dated by the potential copyright 
owner or an authorized agent.

III. Sample Statement of Intent

    As an Appendix, the Copyright Office provides a sample Statement of 
Intent which may be used by potential copyright owners or their 
authorized agents. This Appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal 
Regulations. The sample Statement includes both the required 
information that must be provided for the Statement of Intent to be 
effective and the additional optional information which is not 
required. If provided, the optional information, clearly identified in 
this sample, will greatly enhance the Copyright Office records. The 
Office encourages potential copyright owners to use this suggested 
format for their submissions to ensure that all necessary information 
is provided and to avoid correspondence.

IV. Copyright Office Procedures for Handling Statements of Intent

    A timely Statement of Intent will be reviewed by the Copyright 
Office for the required information listed in items 1 through 6. If the 
Statement does not give the required information, the Copyright Office 
will ask the potential copyright owner or authorized agent to submit 
the missing information. Complete and timely Statements of Intent will 
be entered into the Copyright Office's records and will be readily 
accessible to the public. The Copyright Office will publish a list of 
all the titles of eligible works for which effective Statements of 
Intent have been made in the Federal Register as soon as possible after 
January 1, 1995, and will make it available to the public after that 
date. Statements of Intent submitted after December 31, 1994, will not 
be accepted for inclusion in the Copyright Office's database or for the 
Federal Register notice in 1995. Copyright restoration is automatic and 
requires no further action by the Copyright Office.

Appendix

Statement of Intent To Restore Copyright Protection in the United 
States in Accordance With the North American Free Trade Agreement 
(NAFTA)

  1. Title of work(s):-------------------------------------------------
(For multiple works complete items 1 through 6 for each separate 
work.)
  1a. Include series and episode title(s)/number(s), if any------------
    1b. If this Statement does not cover the entire motion picture, 
specify the underlying work covered, e.g., screenplay, music, etc.
  1c. (Optional) Alternative titles (for example, U.S. release title, 
if different from foreign title)---------------------------------------
  1d. (Optional) Original producer and/or director---------------------
  1e. (Optional) Format or physical description of work as first 
published (running time, reels, etc.)______----------------------------
    Film______ Videotape______ Videodisc______ Other (describe)
    2. Nation of first fixation--Mexico (  ) Canada (  ) Other 
nation (specify):______
  2a. (Optional) Year of first fixation:______-------------------------
    3. Nation of first publication--Mexico (  ) Canada (  ) Other 
nation (specify):______
  4. Date of first publication:----------------------------------------
    (month/day/year)
    5. Name and mailing address of potential copyright owner of 
work:
  Name:----------------------------------------------------------------
  Address:-------------------------------------------------------------
(Street or Post Office Box, City/State, Country)
    Telephone______ Telefax______
    6. Certification and Signature: I hereby certify that each of 
the above titled works was first fixed or first published in Mexico 
or Canada and entered the public domain in the United States of 
America because it was first published on or after January 1, 1978, 
and before March 1, 1989, without the notice required by the 
copyright law of the United States of America then in effect. I 
certify that the information given herein is true and correct to the 
best of my knowledge, and understand that any knowing or willful 
falsification of material facts may result in criminal liability 
under 18 U.S.C. 1001.
    Signature: __________ Date: __________
(Potential copyright owner or authorized agent)

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 201

    Copyright, Restoration of copyright for certain works in accordance 
with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Interim Regulations

    For the reasons set out in the Preamble, section 37 CFR chapter II 
is amended in the manner set forth below.

PART 201--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 201 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Sec. 702, 90 Stat. 2541; 17 U.S.C. 702; Sec. 201.31 
is also issued under Public Law 103-182, 107 Stat. 2115.

    2. A new Sec. 201.31 is added to read as follows:


Sec. 201.31  Procedures for copyright restoration in the United States 
for certain motion pictures and their contents in accordance with the 
North American Free Trade Agreement.

    (a) General. This section prescribes the procedures for submission 
of Statements of Intent pertaining to the restoration of copyright 
protection in the United States for certain motion pictures and works 
embodied therein as required in 17 U.S.C. 104A(a). On or after January 
3, 1995, the Copyright Office will publish in the Federal Register a 
list of works for which potential copyright owners have filed a 
complete and timely Statement of Intent with the Copyright Office.
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
    (1) Effective filing. To be effective a Statement of Intent must be 
complete and timely.
    (2) Eligible work means any motion picture that was first fixed or 
published in Mexico or Canada, and any work included in such motion 
picture that was first fixed or published with this motion picture, if 
the work entered the public domain in the United States because it was 
first published on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, 
without the notice required by 17 U.S.C. 401, 402, or 403, the absence 
of which has not been excused by the operation of 17 U.S.C. 405, as 
such sections were in effect during that period.
    (3) Fixed means a work `fixed' in a tangible medium of expression 
when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority 
of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be 
perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more 
than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, 
that are being transmitted, is `fixed' for purposes of this title if a 
fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its 
transmission. 17 U.S.C. 101
    (4) Potential copyright owner means the person who would have owned 
any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright in the United 
States in a work eligible for copyright restoration under NAFTA, if the 
work had not fallen into the public domain for failure to comply with 
the statutory notice requirements in effect at the time of first 
publication, or any successor in interest to such a person.
    (5) Published means distribution of copies of a work to the public 
by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or 
lending. The offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for 
purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public 
display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a 
work does not of itself constitute publication.
    (c) Forms. The Copyright Office does not provide Statement of 
Intent forms for the use of potential copyright owners who want to 
restore copyright protection in eligible works.
    (d) Requirements for effective Statements of Intent. (1) The 
document should be clearly designated as a ``Statement of Intent to 
restore copyright protection in the United States in accordance with 
the North American Free Trade Agreement''.
    (2) Statements of Intent must include: (i) The title(s) of the 
work(s) for which copyright restoration is sought; (ii) nation of first 
fixation; (iii) nation of first publication; (iv) date of first 
publication; (v) name and mailing address (and telephone and telefax, 
if available) of the potential copyright owner of the work; (vi) the 
following certification (in its entirety); signed and dated by the 
potential copyright owner or authorized agent:

    I hereby certify that each of the above titled works was first 
fixed or first published in Mexico or Canada and entered the public 
domain in the United States of America because it was first 
published on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, 
without the notice required by the copyright law of the United 
States of America then in effect. I certify that the information 
given herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and 
understand that any knowing or willful falsification of material 
facts may result in criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. 1001.

    (3) Statements of Intent must be received in the Copyright Office 
on or before December 31, 1994.
    (4) Statements of Intent must be in English and either typed or 
legibly printed by hand, on 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch white paper.
    (e) Fee. The Copyright Office is not requiring a fee for the 
processing of Statements of Intent.
    (f) Effective date of restoration of copyright protection. (1) 
Potential copyright owners of eligible works who file a complete and 
timely Statement of Intent with the Copyright Office will have 
copyright protection restored in these works effective January 1, 1995.
    (2) The new section 17 U.S.C. 104A(c) created by the NAFTA 
Implementation Act gives a one year exemption to U.S. nationals or 
domiciliaries who made or acquired copies of a motion picture or its 
contents before December 8, 1993, the date of enactment of the 
implementing act. These individuals or entities may continue to sell, 
distribute, or perform publicly such works without liability for a 
period of one year following the Copyright Office's publication in the 
Federal Register of the list of the works determined to be properly 
qualified for protection and for which complete and timely Statements 
of Intent have been filed.
    (g) Registration of works whose copyright has been restored. After 
January 1, 1995, the Copyright Office encourages potential copyright 
owners to make voluntary copyright registration in accordance with 17 
U.S.C. 408 for works that have had copyright restored in accordance 
with NAFTA.

    Dated: March 8, 1994.
Barbara Ringer,
Acting Register of Copyrights.

James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 94-6122 Filed 3-15-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1410-07-P