[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 217 (Thursday, November 8, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66920-66921]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27231]


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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. RM 2012-11]


Registration of Claims to Copyright: Group Registration of Serial 
Issues Filed Electronically

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Interim regulations.

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SUMMARY: The Copyright Office is adopting interim regulations that 
allow groups of related serial issues to be filed through the Office's 
electronic registration system. This interim rule will also allow 
applicants for groups of related serials, in certain circumstances, to 
mail physical deposit copies of the serial issues upon submitting an 
electronic application and payment, when electronic deposit copies do 
not exist. Regardless of the registration option chosen, applicants 
must still send two complimentary subscription copies of the serial 
promptly to the Library of Congress as a condition of eligibility 
unless directed otherwise by the Office. While filing electronically is 
not mandatory, the Copyright Office strongly urges applicants to use 
the electronic filing option since it is more efficient for both the 
user and the agency.

DATES: Effective Date: November 8, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Kasunic, Deputy General 
Counsel, or Kent Dunlap, Assistant General Counsel, Telephone: (202) 
707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    When Congress enacted its major revision to the copyright law in 
1976, the Register of Copyrights was granted discretion to provide for 
a single registration for a group of related works. 17 U.S.C. 
408(c)(1). In 1991, final regulations became effective permitting group 
registration of certain serial publications. 55 FR 50556 (December 7, 
1990). Under these regulations, issues of serials published at 
intervals of a week or longer within a three-month period during the 
same calendar year can be grouped and registered on a single 
application and for a single fee. The group registration privilege is 
contingent upon the prompt submission of two complimentary subscription 
copies of each issue to the Library of Congress. Additionally, several 
other conditions apply, e.g., the registered serials must be collective 
works by the same author and claimant and must be works made for hire. 
See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(6). The option for group registration of related 
serials does not allow the applicant to claim contributions of 
component works that were not made for hire.
    Since the middle of 2007, the Copyright Office has offered and 
encouraged the option of submitting applications for copyright 
registration online. See Online Registration of Claims to Copyright, 72 
FR 36883 (July 6, 2007). When this electronic system was implemented, 
it was limited to basic registrations, i.e., claims in single works, 
while the capacity to process online group registration options was

[[Page 66921]]

being developed. Applicants for group registration were required to use 
the existing paper forms.
    On September 29, 2009, the Copyright Office initiated a limited 
pilot project to allow groups of related serials to be filed 
electronically. This pilot project involved modifying the information 
provided on the basic electronic application to obtain information 
about the group of related serials. Revisions to the electronic 
registration system will upgrade the capacity of the system to provide 
a new group serial option for general use by eligible applicants.

Interim Regulation

    The interim regulation creates minor changes in sections 202.3, 
relating to registration of copyright, and 202.20, relating to 
copyright deposit, in order to create an option of filing 
electronically to register groups of related serial issues. All 
conditions for applying for group registration of serial issues using a 
Form SE/Group will also apply to electronic registration. Therefore, in 
order to be eligible to apply for electronic registration of a group of 
serial issues, automatic regular submission of two complimentary 
subscription copies of each issue for the Library of Congress must be 
provided, just as is the case for using paper form SE/Group, unless 
directed otherwise by the Copyright Office. Moreover, group serial 
claims remain limited to claims in collective works by the same author 
and claimant and must be works made for hire.
    In the pilot phase, all of the volunteers filing electronically for 
registration of groups of serial issues were required to upload a 
digital file of a complete copy of each issue. Because some publishers 
did not have electronic versions of the serial issues and found it 
difficult to create such deposit copies, these interim rules will allow 
the applicant to provide either a hard copy deposit, or a digital file 
format complying with Sec.  202.20(b)(2)(iii) of the regulations. In 
order to enhance efficiency and expedite the handling of claims, the 
Office encourages electronic registration generally, and also 
encourages electronic deposit of groups of serials when applying 
electronically, where possible. In either case, two complimentary 
subscription copies of the serial must be sent to the Library of 
Congress as a condition of eligibility, unless directed otherwise by 
Copyright Office.

Adoption of Interim Regulations

    Section 553(b)(3)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act states 
that general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required for rules of 
agency organization, procedure, or practice. Since the Office finds 
that the following interim regulations are rules of agency 
organization, procedure, or practice, no notice of proposed rulemaking 
is required. Additionally, the interim regulations relieve applicants 
from procedural restrictions by permitting online registration in 
situations where, previously, applications were required to be filed on 
paper. Pursuant to section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 
these regulations may be effective immediately. Moreover, the Register 
finds that because these regulations provide additional options to 
applicants for group registration of serial issues, good cause exists 
for making these interim rules effective immediately and without notice 
and comment.

List of Subject in 37 CFR Part 202

    Copyright, Registration.

Interim Regulation

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Copyright Office amends part 
202 to Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

PART 202--PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT

0
1. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 408, 702.


0
2. Section 202.3 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(6)(v) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  202.3  Registration of copyright.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (6) * * *
    (v) To apply for registration of a group of serial issues under 
408(c)(1) of title 17 and this section, an applicant may file 
electronically, or submit a completed Form SE/Group.
    (A) For applicants filing electronically:
    (1) Furnish the requested information for group of serial issues.
    (2) Submit the appropriate filing fee, as required in Sec.  
201.3(c) of this chapter, for each issue covered by the group 
registration.
    (3) Submit either a digital format which complies with Sec.  
202.20(b)(2)(iii) or a deposit consisting of one complete copy of the 
best edition of each issue included in the group registration.
    (B) For applicants filing a completed Form SE/Group, the following 
must be sent together in the same package:
    (1) A completed Form SE/Group, providing the requested information.
    (2) The appropriate filing fee, as required in Sec.  201.3(c) of 
this chapter, for each issue covered by the group registration.
    (3) A deposit consisting of one complete copy of the best edition 
of each issue included in the group registration.
* * * * *

0
3. Section 202.20 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(2)(xvii) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  202.20  Deposit of copies and phonorecords for copyright 
registration.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (xvii) Group registration of serials. For group registration of 
related serials, as specified in Sec.  202.3(b)(6), for applicants 
filing electronically, the deposit must consist of one complete copy of 
the best edition of each issue included in the group registration, or a 
digital format of a complete copy which complies with Sec.  
202.20(b)(2)(iii). For applicants filing a completed Form SE/Group, the 
deposit must consist of one complete copy of the best edition of each 
issue included in the group registration. In addition, for all filings 
for group registration of serial issues, two complimentary 
subscriptions to any serial for which group registration is sought must 
be entered and maintained in the name of the Library of Congress, and 
the copies must be submitted regularly and promptly after publication.
* * * * *

    Dated: September 27, 2012.
Maria A. Pallante,
Register of Copyrights.
    Approved by:
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2012-27231 Filed 11-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1410-30-P