[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 217 (Monday, November 13, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52224-52229]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24532]


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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. 2017-8]


Secure Tests

AGENCY: U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: Effective November 13, 2017. Comments on this interim rule and 
the interim rule published on June 12, 2017 (82 FR 26850), must be made 
in writing and must be received by the U.S. Copyright Office no later 
than December 11, 2017.

ADDRESSES: For reasons of government efficiency, the U.S. Copyright 
Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and 
posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are 
therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. 
Specific instructions for submitting comments are on the U.S. Copyright 
Office Web site at http://copyright.gov/rulemaking/securetests/. If 
electronic submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access 
to a computer and/or the internet, please contact the Office for 
special instructions using the contact information below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register 
of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice; Sarang 
Vijay Damle, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights; Erik 
Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice; or Abioye 
Ella Mosheim, Attorney-Advisor, by telephone at 202-707-8040 or by 
email at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. General Provisions Regarding Copyright Registration

    Under the Copyright Act of 1976, the U.S. Copyright Office (the 
``Copyright Office'' or ``Office'') is responsible for registering 
copyright claims. See 17 U.S.C. 408. In doing so, the Office has a 
statutory obligation to confirm that the legal and formal requirements 
for registration have been met, such as confirming fixation and 
examining the work for copyrightable authorship. See 17 U.S.C. 410(a) 
(obligating the Register of Copyrights (the ``Register'') ``after 
examination'' to ``determine[ ] that . . . the material deposited 
constitutes copyrightable subject matter and that the other legal and 
formal requirements of this title have been met'').
    The Office has the further obligation to obtain a registration 
deposit that is sufficient to verify the scope of the claim, and to 
provide an adequate archival record of what was examined and 
registered. Id. 408(b) (generally requiring a ``complete'' copy of 
works deposited for registration); id. 705(a) (requiring the Register 
to ``ensure that

[[Page 52225]]

records of deposits . . . are maintained''); id. 705(b) (requiring the 
Register to make ``the articles deposited in connection with completed 
copyright registrations and retained under the control of the Copyright 
Office . . . open to public inspection''). In the case of unpublished 
works, the Office is statutorily required to keep the deposit for the 
full term of copyright protection. 17 U.S.C. 704(d).

B. Secure Test Registration Procedures

    In 1978, as part of the regulations implementing the 1976 Copyright 
Act, the Office issued a regulation that established a special 
procedure to exempt ``secure tests'' from some of the otherwise 
applicable rules for registration, deposit, and examination. The Office 
explained that this procedure was specifically designed for tests 
``used in connection with admission to educational institutions, high 
school equivalency, placement in or credit for undergraduate and 
graduate course work, awarding of scholarships, and professional 
certification'' and that it was intended to protect the confidential 
nature of these works. See 42 FR 59302, 59304 & n.1 (Nov. 16, 1977) 
(noting correspondence from the Educational Testing Service, American 
College Testing Program, The College Entrance Examination Board, The 
American Council on Education, the Law School Admission Council, the 
National Board of Medical Examiners, the Federation of State Medical 
Boards, and the National Conference of Bar Examiners, among others). In 
establishing this special procedure, the Office adopted a definition of 
``secure tests'' that it believed would best identify the kinds of 
tests that raised special confidentiality concerns.\1\
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    \1\ The regulation defined a ``secure test'' as ``a nonmarketed 
test administered under supervision at specified centers on specific 
dates, all copies of which are accounted for and either destroyed or 
returned to restricted locked storage following each administration. 
For these purposes a test is not marketed if copies are not sold but 
it is distributed and used in such a manner that ownership and 
control of copies remain with the test sponsor or publisher.'' 37 
CFR 202.20(b)(4) (1978).
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    Furthermore, the Office observed that ``although secure tests 
should be deposited in the Copyright Office for examination incident to 
registration under section 408, their retention by the Office and 
availability for public inspection could severely prejudice the future 
utility, quality, and integrity of the materials.'' Id. Accordingly, 
the Office adopted a regulation providing that ``[i]n the case of any 
secure test the Copyright Office will return the deposit to the 
applicant promptly after examination.'' 37 CFR 202.20(c)(2)(vi) (1978). 
At the same time, the Office recognized the need to retain some 
evidence of the work that had been examined and registered. 
Accordingly, the regulation required that ``sufficient portions, 
description[s], or the like [be] retained so as to constitute a 
sufficient archival record of the deposit.'' Id. In promulgating this 
regulation, the Office also offered that ``[a]s a matter of practice, 
special arrangements can be made for the examination of such materials 
under strict conditions of security and in the presence of a 
representative of a copyright owner.'' 42 FR at 59304.
    Initially, this procedure was used to register secure tests 
administered with physical booklets, as that was the type of ``work'' 
the Office had in mind when the regulation was adopted. Beginning in 
the 1990's, the Office expanded its procedures--without altering the 
underlying regulation--to permit secure registration of tests 
administered in a machine-readable format and secure tests administered 
with physical booklets containing questions taken from an automated 
database. This procedure mirrored the procedure described above, with 
the exception of the deposit requirement. Specifically, applicants 
could bring an unredacted copy of the entire test to the in-person 
appointment, or alternatively, they could bring 50 unredacted pages 
from the test or the database of test questions. With respect to the 
redacted copy of the test, applicants could use the same procedure used 
to examine physical test booklets, or alternatively, they could submit 
50 redacted pages from the test or the underlying database of test 
questions. Still later, the Office modified this procedure--again 
without revisiting the regulation--stating that applicants could submit 
the title page of the test, a redacted copy of the last page of the 
test, and 50 pages from the test or database of test questions (either 
in redacted or unredacted form). While the Office described these 
procedures in a circular (Copyright Registration of Secure Tests 
(Circular 64)), they were never incorporated into the Office's 
regulations and were never the subject of a formal rulemaking.
    While these post-1978 changes to the secure test procedure were an 
attempt to be responsive to developments in the marketplace--as the 
testing industry moved from using static test booklets to randomized or 
adaptive tests delivered by a computer--they did not ensure, among 
other things, an adequate deposit that could serve as a long-term 
record of what material was examined and registered. As a result, over 
time the Office's special procedures for registration of secure tests 
came into increasing tension with the general rules governing copyright 
registration.
    As a result, on June 12, 2017, the Office issued an interim rule 
that memorialized certain aspects of its secure test procedure, and 
adopted new procedures to increase the efficiency of its examination of 
secure tests. See 82 FR 26850 (June 12, 2017). In addition, the interim 
rule brought secure test registration procedures back into alignment 
with the underlying statutory and regulatory framework for copyright 
registration. In particular, the Office made clear that only those 
works that satisfy the regulatory definition of a ``secure test'' would 
be eligible for the secure test procedure. Id. at 26851. In addition, 
the Office noted that, under its longstanding regulation, the redacted 
copy must contain a sufficient archival record of what was submitted 
for registration, and that its prior practices allowing for the 
registration of test item banks were in considerable tension with that 
requirement. Id. at 26851. The Office therefore declined to permit 
registration of test item banks under those prior practices.
    The Office issued the June 12, 2017 rule on an interim basis and 
before receiving public comments, in part, because it memorialized most 
of the Office's longstanding procedures for examining secure tests, and 
because the improvements in that process were expected to provide 
immediate benefits for test publishers. See 82 FR 26853. The Office 
invited comment on the interim rule and provided a generous amount of 
time for public input before issuing a final rule to give applicants 
and the Office an opportunity to evaluate the new procedures based on 
actual experience.

II. Group Registration of Secure Test Items

    Although the deadline for submitting comments does not expire until 
December 11, 2017, many commenters have expressed significant concerns 
about the June 12, 2017 interim rule, contending that it restricts 
their ability to register, in a secure manner, test items (i.e., sets 
of questions and answers) stored in or pulled from electronic databases 
and test banks.\2\

[[Page 52226]]

The Office appreciates the commenters bringing these issues to our 
attention.
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    \2\ See e.g., PSI Comments at 7-8; Am. Board of Fam. Med., Inc., 
Comments at 2; NBCRNA Comments at 2. In addition, many comments 
called for updates to the longstanding regulatory definition of 
``secure test,'' which is defined as ``a nonmarketed test 
administered under supervision at specified centers on scheduled 
dates, all copies of which are accounted for and either destroyed or 
returned to restricted locked storage following each 
administration.'' 37 CFR 202.13(b)(1). Although the Office is not in 
a position to amend that regulatory definition at this time, it 
acknowledges that the administration of secure tests has changed in 
many ways since this definition was first promulgated in 1978, and 
it is continuing to consider those comments that have asked the 
Office to update this definition to account for these changes.
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    The Office recognizes that secure tests serve an important societal 
function, and that providing a secure method for registering copyright 
claims in those tests furthers the public good. Although the June 12, 
2017 interim rule was aimed to better align secure test registration 
procedures with the Office's statutory obligations and general good 
practices for copyright registration, the Office also recognizes that 
the interim rule did not provide secure test publishers with a means 
for registering individual test items that are stored in a database or 
test bank without disclosing the content of these works. To address 
these legitimate concerns, the Office has decided to issue another 
interim rule as part of this rulemaking, and to make that rule 
effective immediately.

A. Group Registration Generally

    This interim rule establishes a new group registration option for 
test items prepared for use in a secure test.
    When Congress enacted the Copyright Act, it authorized the Register 
to specify by regulation the administrative classes of works for the 
purpose of seeking a registration and the nature of the deposit for 
each such class. Congress also gave the Register the discretion to 
allow groups of related works to be registered with one application and 
one filing fee. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1). This procedure is known as 
group registration. Pursuant to this authority, the Office issued 
regulations creating group registrations for certain limited categories 
of works, provided that certain conditions have been met. See generally 
37 CFR 202.3(b)(1)-(10), 202.4.
    As the legislative history explains, allowing ``a number of related 
works to be registered together as a group represent[ed] a needed and 
important liberalization of the law.'' H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 154 
(1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.A.N.N. 5659, 5770; S. Rep. No. 94-473, 
at 136 (1975). Congress recognized that requiring applicants to submit 
separate applications for certain types of works may be so burdensome 
and expensive that authors and copyright owners may forgo registration 
altogether, since copyright registration is not a prerequisite to 
copyright protection. Id. If copyright owners do not submit their works 
for registration under this permissive system, the public record will 
not contain any information concerning those works. This creates a void 
in the record that diminishes the value of the Office's database.
    Allowing a number of related works to be submitted on one 
application, however, is not without its issues. When large numbers of 
works are grouped together in one application, information about the 
individual works may not be adequately captured. Group registration 
options, therefore, require careful balancing of the need for an 
accurate public record and the need for an efficient method of 
facilitating the examination of those works.
    The new procedure will be known as the ``group registration option 
for secure test items'' or ``GRSTQ''. The rule will allow a group of 
test items that are derived from a test bank or database to be 
registered using the same basic procedure for registering an individual 
secure test.\3\ The test items must be prepared for use in a ``secure 
test,'' as defined in Sec.  202.13(b)(1) of the earlier interim rule. 
And if certain requirements have been met, the test items may be 
registered by submitting a redacted copy of the works and presenting an 
unredacted copy of these materials to the Office for an in-person 
examination.
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    \3\ To be clear, the interim rule issued on June 12, 2017 
otherwise remains in effect, and may continue to be used to register 
individual secure tests. 37 CFR 202.13(b)(1).
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    Under this interim rule, each individual test item may constitute 
one work if the item is determined to be copyrightable in itself. While 
there is no limit to the number of test items that may be included in 
each submission, each work must share certain traits. Specifically, the 
test items contained in a single group must all be either published or 
unpublished. They must all be created by the same author or co-authors, 
and the copyright claimant(s) must be the same for each item. Because 
an overwhelming majority of secure tests are works made for hire, the 
Office is considering whether to limit these registrations to works 
made for hire, although it did not include this restriction in this 
interim rule. The Office welcomes public comments on whether this 
requirement should be included in the final rule.
    A group registration for secure test items will cover each work in 
the group, i.e., each test item will be deemed to be registered as a 
separate work. Claims in the selection, coordination, or arrangement of 
the group as a whole will not be permitted.\4\ Each of these 
requirements is discussed below.
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    \4\ Because of the confusion surrounding the treatment of test 
items stored in databases under the June 12, 2017 interim rule, the 
Office intends to apply this interim rule to pending registration 
applications, but where applicable, the Office will request a 
revised application and deposit materials. If these requirements are 
met, the Office will assign an effective date of registration based 
on the date that the initial application and deposit were received.
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A. Eligibility Requirements

1. Test Items That May Be Included in the Group
    To qualify for the GRSTQ option, all the test items in the group 
must be prepared for use in a secure test, as defined in Sec.  
202.13(b)(1) of the earlier interim rule. A database or test bank does 
not qualify as a ``secure test'' in and of itself. But the Office 
recognizes that when test items are selected from a test bank and 
assembled together to form an actual secure test, they share the same 
security concerns that prompted the Office to create the special 
accommodation for individual secure tests. For this reason, test items 
that are prepared for use in a secure test will be eligible for the 
GRSTQ option.
    For the purposes of registration, a ``test item'' is a question (or 
``stem''), the correct answer to that question, any incorrect answer 
choices (or ``distractors''), and any associated material, such as a 
narrative passage or diagram. A single narrative or diagram followed by 
multiple related questions and correct and incorrect answers will 
together be considered a single test item. Under this interim rule, 
each test item will be considered one work. Thus, if an applicant 
submits one textual passage followed by a question and four answers 
related to that passage, this would be considered one work for purposes 
of registration. A single narrative or diagram followed by multiple 
sets of related questions and answers will also be considered one work. 
The Office believes this definition will be broad enough to encompass 
many different kinds of test items. It nonetheless welcomes public 
comments on whether that definition could be clarified or otherwise 
improved.
2. The Number of Test Items That May Be Included in the Group
    Under this interim rule, the Office will allow an unlimited amount 
of works to be included with each group registration, and will examine 
each individual test item for copyrightable authorship. Applicants 
should note, however, that an extremely large number of test items may 
take a

[[Page 52227]]

significant amount of time--in some cases, several days--to examine. 
Moreover, applicants will be required to pay an hourly fee for the time 
spent examining these test items during the in-person appointment.
    Over time, allowing an unlimited number of works to be registered 
with one application may reduce the quality of the registration record, 
or it may impose an unreasonable administrative burden on the Office. 
Therefore, the Office will monitor this process for several months 
following the issuance of this interim rule, and will evaluate what 
effect, if any, allowing an unlimited amount of tests items per 
registration may have on the Office's business processes to determine 
whether the number should be limited under the final rule.
    When completing the electronic application, the applicant must 
reasonably identify the total number of test items that are included in 
the application. The applicant should provide this information on the 
questionnaire and by numbering each test item that appears in the 
deposit. The Office will use this information to plan for the in-person 
examination. Numbering the test items will also help the Office 
identify and examine the relevant works in the deposit.
3. Publication
    Under this interim rule, an applicant will be allowed to register a 
group of unpublished test items, or a group of test items that are 
published within a three-calendar-month period. Applicants will not be 
allowed to combine published and unpublished test items in the same 
claim.
    If an applicant submits a group of published test items, and if the 
items were published on the same date, the applicant should provide 
that date in the application. If the test items were published on 
different dates, the applicant must identify the first date that the 
items were published. Claims with a range of publication dates outside 
of a three-calendar-month period will be refused.
4. Title of the Group
    To register a group of test items prepared for use in a secure 
test, the applicant must provide a title for the group as a whole. In 
addition, the applicant must append the term ``GRSTQ'' at the beginning 
of the title of the group, so that the Office can more easily assign 
the claim to an appropriate member of the Registration Program. Upon 
request, the examiner will remove this term from the title field before 
the claim is approved.
    Applicants must provide additional descriptive information in the 
title that, at a minimum, identifies the name of the secure test that 
the items are intended for. The title may also include any relevant 
dates. For example, applicants can identify the specific test where the 
test items will be used (e.g. ``GRSTQ: Test items for February 2017 
LSAT''), the test bank or database from which the test items were 
derived (e.g. ``GRSTQ: Test items added to the FINRA Series 7 Exam item 
bank in the 3rd quarter of 2017''), or the subject matter of the test 
items (e.g. ``GRSTQ: SAT reading comprehension test items'').
5. Author and Claimant
    Under this interim rule, all the test items in the group must be 
authored by the same person or organization. Likewise, the copyright 
claimant(s) for each work must be the same person or organization. If 
the author(s) and claimant(s) are different, the application must 
contain an appropriate transfer statement explaining how the claimant 
obtained all of the exclusive rights in the works.

B. The Application Process

    The application process described in this interim rule is 
essentially identical to the process described in the interim rule 
announced on June 12, 2017. See 82 FR 26852-53. To register a group of 
test items, applicants must complete and submit an application through 
the electronic registration system using the Standard Application, and 
they must pay the $55 filing fee. Prior to scheduling an examination 
appointment, applicants must complete and upload a brief questionnaire 
about the test items, which may be obtained from the Office's Web site 
at https://www.copyright.gov/forms/securetest-questionnaire.pdf, and 
they must upload a redacted copy of all the test items being 
registered. The Office will use this information to determine if the 
works are eligible for the GRSTQ option.
    The copy uploaded to the electronic registration system should 
contain a redacted copy of each test item, and, as mentioned above, 
each test item should be numbered. Most of the content that appears on 
each page may be blocked out, provided that the redacted copy contains 
a sufficient amount of visible content that may be used to identify 
each item. For instance, the applicant may leave a narrow vertical or 
diagonal strip of visible content across each page. Alternatively, the 
applicant may redact the content of each test item, except for a small 
number of identifiable words. The Office has provided representative 
examples of acceptable redaction methods in the most recent version of 
Circular 64 (posted on the Office's Web site on November 13, 2017.
    The questionnaire and the redacted copy containing all of the test 
items must be contained in separate electronic files, and they must be 
uploaded to the electronic registration system in Portable Document 
Format (PDF). The file name for the questionnaire should include the 
word ``Questionnaire'' and the case number assigned to the claim. (This 
eleven-digit number is automatically generated by the electronic 
registration system, and it appears near the top of each screen of the 
online application.) The file name for the redacted copy should match 
the title provided on the questionnaire.
    Once the application, filing fee, questionnaire and the redacted 
copy have been received, the Office will assign the claim to a Literary 
Division examiner who will examine the claim in the date order of the 
Literary Division's pending overall workload. The examiner will review 
these items to determine if the works appear to be eligible for the 
GRSTQ option. If so, the examiner will contact the applicant and 
schedule an in-person appointment to examine the works under secure 
conditions. The fact that the examiner schedules an appointment, 
however, does not necessarily mean that the test items are eligible for 
the GRSTQ option or that they will be registered. As discussed below, 
the in-person examination may reveal that individual test items or the 
group as a whole is ineligible for registration under these procedures 
or in general.\5\
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    \5\ If the examiner determines that the test items are not 
eligible for registration under secure test procedures, but are 
eligible under normal (i.e., non-secure test) examination 
procedures, the examiner will ask the applicant to upload a complete 
unredacted copy of the items, and he or she will change the 
effective date of registration to match the date that the unredacted 
copy is received.
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C. The In-Person Examination

    On the day of the in-person examination appointment, the applicant 
must bring the following materials to the Office:
    (i) A copy of the completed application.
    (ii) The nonrefundable examination fee.\6\ This fee will be based 
on the amount of time that it takes to examine each item during the in-
person appointment; it is in addition to the filing fee mentioned 
above. Both the

[[Page 52228]]

filing fee and the examination fee are nonrefundable, regardless of 
whether the Office issues a certificate of registration for the test 
items.
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    \6\ The Office will charge the same hourly examination rate 
regardless of whether an applicant is seeking to register a secure 
test or a group of test items prepared for use in a secure test. See 
37 CFR 201.3(d)(5).
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    (iii) A copy of the redacted test items that were uploaded to the 
electronic registration system.
    (iv) A signed declaration confirming that this redacted copy is 
identical to the redacted copy that was uploaded to the electronic 
registration system. Applicants may obtain a copy of this declaration 
from the Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/forms/securetest-declaration.pdf.
    (v) An unredacted copy of the test items submitted for 
registration.
    Applicants must bring a copy of the unredacted test items, with the 
entire content completely visible so that they may be examined. The 
test items in the unredacted copy should be numbered, should appear in 
the same order as the redacted copy, and should precisely match the 
test items as they appear in the redacted copy.
    The examiner will review the redacted and unredacted copies in a 
secure location in the presence of the applicant or the applicant's 
representative. Because the Office will examine each test item for 
copyrightable authorship, and because the Office is not currently 
placing a limit on the number of items, the examination may require 
more time and may result in a higher total examination fee than an 
examination involving an individual secure test. If the examiner 
determines that one or more of the test items are not copyrightable, he 
or she will require the applicant to exclude that material from the 
claim in order to continue the examination, or will refuse the claim 
altogether. Face-to-face disputes with the examiner about the 
sufficient creativity of an item will not be allowed and will result in 
refusal of the claim. If an applicant does not agree that an individual 
test item should be excluded, the applicant may seek to register that 
test item or test items alone and appeal the subsequent refusal.
    When the examination is complete, the examiner(s) will stamp the 
date of the appointment on the redacted and unredacted copies and will 
return them to the applicant. The signed declaration and the redacted 
copy that was uploaded to the electronic system will be retained by the 
Office; this redacted copy will constitute the deposit.
    If the examiner determines that the legal and formal requirements 
have been met, he or she will register the claim(s) and will add an 
annotation to the certificate indicating that the test items were 
registered under this interim rule in accordance with the eligibility 
requirements for this group registration option. The registration will 
be effective as of the date that the Office originally received the 
application, filing fee, and the redacted copy that was uploaded to the 
electronic registration system.

D. The Scope of Registration

    Under this interim rule, a group registration will cover each test 
item in the group, and each test item will be registered as a separate 
work. See 37 CFR 202.4(m). The group is merely an administrative 
classification created solely for the purpose of registering multiple 
works with one application and one filing fee. See 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1) 
(``Th[e] administrative classification of works has no significance 
with respect to the subject matter of copyright or the exclusive rights 
provided by this title.''). Therefore, the Office will not consider the 
group as a whole to be a compilation or a collective work under 
sections 101, 103(b), or 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act. By contrast, 
when an applicant registers a secure test under the June 12, 2017 
interim rule, the applicant must assert a claim in the test as a whole, 
or in the individual test items and the selection, coordination, and/or 
arrangement of those items. See 86 FR at 26852.

IV. Request for Comments

    This interim rule will go into effect immediately upon the 
publication of this document in the Federal Register. As was the case 
with the June 12, 2017 interim rule, this is a non-substantive rule 
that is not subject to the restriction in 5 U.S.C. 553(d). See 82 FR 
26853. In addition, there is ``good cause'' for this rule to go into 
immediate effect because it restores to secure test publishers a method 
of registering test items that existed prior to the issuance of the 
June 12, 2017 interim rule but was not provided under that rule. See 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3). And, finally, the Copyright Office prepared this 
interim rule based upon its experience in administering other group 
registrations, and its review of comments received in response to the 
June 12, 2017 interim rule.
    Comments will be due on December 11, 2017 (the same deadline for 
submitting comments on the June 12, 2017 interim rule). The Office 
decided to issue this rule without publishing an initial notice of 
proposed rulemaking for several reasons:
    First, the interim rule addresses concerns expressed by interested 
parties in comments filed in response to the earlier interim rule on 
secure tests. Second, the procedures for scheduling an in-person 
appointment, submitting an unredacted copy of the works, and providing 
a redacted copy for the Office's records are consistent with the 
Office's longstanding practices for examining secure tests.
    Finally, issuing the rule on an interim basis affords both the 
Office and interested parties an opportunity to evaluate how these 
procedures work in conjunction with the procedures announced in the 
June 12, 2017 interim rule, to determine whether these procedures 
should be modified in any respect, and whether the number of test items 
that may be included in each claim should be adjusted before the Office 
issues a final rule. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202

    Copyright, Preregistration and registration of claims to copyright.

Interim Regulation

    In consideration of the foregoing, the U.S. Copyright Office amends 
37 CFR part 202 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(f), 702.

0
2. Amend Sec.  202.4 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (b).
0
b. Redesignate paragraphs (k) through (m) as paragraphs (l) through 
(n), respectively.
0
c. Add new paragraph (k).
0
d. In newly redesignated paragraph (n), remove ``paragraph (g)'' and 
add in its place ``paragraph (g) or (k)''.
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  202.4  Group registration.

* * * * *
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, unless otherwise 
specified, the terms used have the meanings set forth in Sec. Sec.  
202.3, 202.13, and 202.20.
* * * * *
    (k) Secure test items. Pursuant to the authority granted by 17 
U.S.C. 408(c)(1), the Register of Copyrights has determined that a 
group of test items may be registered in Class TX with one application, 
one filing fee, and identifying material, if the conditions set forth 
in Sec.  202.13(c) and (d) have been met.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  202.13 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a).
0
b. Add paragraph (b)(5).
0
c. Revise paragraphs (c) introductory text and (c)(2).

[[Page 52229]]

0
d. Remove paragraph (c)(3).
0
e. Redesignate paragraphs (c)(4) and (5) as paragraphs (c)(3) and (4), 
respectively.
0
f. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (c)(3)(iii), (iv), and (v) and 
the first sentence in newly redesignated paragraph (c)(4).
0
g. Add paragraph (d).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  202.13  Secure tests.

    (a) General. This section prescribes rules pertaining to the 
registration of secure tests or a group of test items prepared for use 
in a secure test.
    (b) * * *
    (5) A test item is comprised of a question (or ``stem''), the 
correct answer to that question, any incorrect answer choices (or 
``distractors''), and any associated material, such as a narrative 
passage or diagram, and each item shall be considered one work. A 
single narrative, diagram, or other prefatory material, followed by 
multiple sets of related questions and correct or incorrect answers 
shall together be considered one item.
    (c) Deposit requirements. Pursuant to the authority granted by 17 
U.S.C. 408(c)(1), the Register of Copyrights has determined that a 
secure test or a group of test items prepared for use in a secure test 
may be registered with identifying material, and the filing and 
examination fees required by Sec.  201.3(c) and (d), if the following 
conditions are met:
* * * * *
    (2) In the case of a secure test, the applicant must submit a 
redacted copy of the entire test. In the case of a group of test items 
prepared for use in a secure test, the applicant must submit a redacted 
copy of each test item. In all cases the redacted copy must contain a 
sufficient amount of visible content to reasonably identify the 
work(s). In addition, the applicant must complete and submit the secure 
test questionnaire that is posted on the Copyright Office's Web site. 
The questionnaire and the redacted copy must be contained in separate 
electronic files, and each file must be uploaded to the electronic 
registration system in Portable Document Format (PDF). The Copyright 
Office will review these materials to determine if the work(s) qualify 
for an in-person examination. If they appear to be eligible, the 
Copyright Office will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment 
to examine an unredacted copy of the work(s) under secure conditions.
    (3) * * *
    (iii) A copy of the redacted version of the work(s) that was 
uploaded to the electronic registration system.
    (iv) A signed declaration confirming that the redacted copy 
specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section is identical to the 
redacted copy that was uploaded to the electronic registration system.
    (v) In the case of a secure test, the applicant must bring an 
unredacted copy of the entire test. In the case of a group of test 
items prepared for use in a secure test, the applicant must bring an 
unredacted copy of all the test items.
    (4) The Copyright Office will examine the copies specified in 
paragraphs (c)(3)(iii) and (v) of this section in the applicant's 
presence. * * *
    (d) Group registration requirements. The Copyright Office may 
register a group of test items if the following conditions have been 
met:
    (1) All the test items must be prepared for use in a secure test, 
and the name of the secure test must be identified in the title of the 
group.
    (2) The group may contain an unlimited amount of works, but the 
applicant must identify the individual works included within the group 
by numbering each test item in the deposit.
    (3) The applicant must provide a title for the group as a whole, 
and must append the term ``GRSTQ'' to the beginning of the title.
    (4) The group must contain only unpublished works, or works 
published within the same three-calendar-month period and the 
application must identify the earliest date that the works were 
published.
    (5) All the works in the group must have the same author or 
authors, and the copyright claimant for each work must be the same. 
Claims in the selection, coordination, or arrangement of the group as a 
whole will not be permitted on the application. Each item in the group 
must be separately copyrightable or must be excluded from the group.

    Dated: November 6, 2017.
Karyn Temple Claggett,
Acting Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright 
Office.

    Approved by:
Carla D. Hayden,
Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2017-24532 Filed 11-9-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1410-30-P