[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 20 (Tuesday, January 30, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4144-4147]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-01838]


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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Parts 201 and 202

[Docket No. 2017-16]


Group Registration of Newspapers

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office is amending its regulation governing 
the group registration option for newspapers. The final rule will make 
a number of changes to reflect current Office practices, improve the 
efficiency of the registration process, and encourage broader 
participation in the registration system by reducing the burden on 
applicants. Specifically, the final rule revises the definition of 
``newspaper issues'' and clarifies that the group registration option 
may be used to register any qualifying ``newspaper issue.'' The final 
rule will also require applicants to file an online application rather 
than a paper application, and upload a complete digital copy of each 
issue through the Office's electronic registration system instead of 
submitting them in physical form. Digital copies of newspapers received 
by the Office under this group registration option will be offered to 
the Library of Congress for use in its collections, and the Library 
intends to provide public access to these digital files, subject to the 
restrictions set forth in the final rule. Applicants may continue to 
submit their issues on microfilm on a voluntary basis (in addition to 
and at the same time as submitting digital files) if the microfilm is 
received by December 31, 2019. After that date, the microfilm option 
will be eliminated. The final rule clarifies that each 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 that the claim must be received within three months 
after the publication of the earliest issue in the group. Finally, the 
rule confirms that a group registration covers each issue in the group, 
as well as any contributions appearing within each issue if they are 
fully owned by the copyright claimant and if they were first published 
in those issues.

DATES: Effective March 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert J. Kasunic, Associate Register 
of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice, or Erik 
Bertin, Deputy Director of Registration Policy and Practice, by 
telephone at 202-707-8040, or by email at [email protected] and 
[email protected]; or Anna Bonny Chauvet, Assistant General Counsel, by 
telephone at 202-707-8350, or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: When Congress enacted the Copyright Act of 
1976 (the ``Act''), it authorized the Register of Copyrights (the 
``Register'') to specify by regulation the administrative classes of 
works for the purpose of seeking a registration, and the nature of the 
deposits required for each such class. In addition, Congress granted 
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). Congress cited ``the various editions or issues of a daily 
newspaper'' as a specific example of a ``group of related works'' that 
would be suitable for a group registration. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 
154 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5659, 5770; S. Rep. No. 94-
473, at 136 (1975).
    On November 6, 2017, the Copyright Office (the ``Office'') 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (``NPRM'') setting forth 
proposed amendments to the current regulation governing the group 
registration option for newspapers. 82 FR 51369 (Nov. 6, 2017). The 
NPRM proposed modifying the requirements for this group registration 
option in several respects. First, the proposed rule would make any 
newspaper, as defined in the regulation, eligible for a group 
registration, regardless of whether the Library of Congress (the 
``Library'') has selected

[[Page 4145]]

that newspaper for its collections. Second, it would require applicants 
to register their newspapers through the Office's electronic 
registration system in lieu of using paper applications. Third, it 
would amend the deposit requirements by requiring applicants to upload 
their newspapers in digital form through the Office's electronic 
registration system. Applicants would no longer be required to submit 
microfilm containing a complete copy of each issue (although they could 
submit microfilm on a voluntary basis, in addition to uploading digital 
copies) if the microfilm is received by December 31, 2019, after which 
the microfilm option would be eliminated. Fourth, applicants would be 
required to submit their claim within three months after the date of 
publication for the earliest issue in the group, rather than the most 
recent issue. Fifth, the proposed rule confirmed that deposits 
submitted for the purpose of group registration would satisfy the 
mandatory deposit requirement under section 407. Sixth, it confirmed 
that the Library may provide limited access to any digital newspaper 
deposits that it receives from the Office under the group registration 
option, subject to certain restrictions. Seventh, the proposed rule 
codified the Office's longstanding position regarding the scope of a 
registration for a group of newspaper issues, namely, that a group 
registration covers each issue in the group, as well as the articles, 
photographs, illustrations, or other contributions appearing within 
each issue--if they are fully owned by the copyright claimant and if 
they were first published in those issues. Finally, the proposed rule 
would implement some technical amendments to address certain 
inconsistencies in the current regulation.
    In response to the NPRM, the Office received comments from the News 
Media Alliance (``NMA''),\1\ the Copyright Alliance, and three 
individuals.\2\ The NMA ``strongly supports the Copyright Office's 
proposal to broaden the eligibility and formatting requirements for 
group registration of newspapers and to permit the submission of 
deposits in digital form rather than on microfilm.'' NMA Comment at 3. 
The Copyright Alliance endorsed NMA's comments and ``joins in 
applauding the Copyright Office for its proposal permitting broader 
group registration for newspapers and accepting deposits in PDF format 
rather than microfilm.'' Copyright Alliance Comment at 1. Of the 
individuals submitting comments, one expressed support for the proposed 
rule, one provided non-substantive comments, and one expressed concern 
about charging a filing fee.\3\
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    \1\ The NMA is a nonprofit organization that represents the 
interests of more than 2,000 newspapers in the United States and 
around the world.
    \2\ All of the comments submitted in response to the NPRM can be 
found on the Copyright Office's website at https://www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/group-newspapers/.
    \3\ The Office notes that the Copyright Act provides that 
``[f]ees shall be paid to the Register of Copyrights'' when ``filing 
each application . . . for registration of a copyright claims.'' 17 
U.S.C. 708(a), (a)(1) (emphasis added). The same individual also 
stated that the regulatory definition of ``newspaper'' should be 
amended to include ``electronic'' publications, because they ``have 
an important presence in our society.'' M. Ibarra Comment at 2. As 
noted in the NPRM, the final rule may be used to register a 
newspaper that is distributed in an electronic format, such as a PDF 
version of a physical publication. To do so, the publisher would 
have to demonstrate that each issue contains a fixed selection of 
content, each issue is distributed as a collective work, and the 
content of each issue does not change once it has been distributed 
to the public. 82 FR at 51373. To the extent the commenter is 
referring to newspaper websites, the Office reiterates that a 
website would not be considered a ``newspaper'' for purposes of this 
group registration option, for the reasons stated in the NPRM. See 
id.
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    Having reviewed and carefully considered the comments, the Office 
now issues a final rule that is almost substantively identical to the 
proposed rule.\4\ The NPRM stated that the Office will allow applicants 
to submit microfilm copies in addition to uploading digital copies (if 
the microfilm is received by December 31, 2019) in case publishers need 
time to develop quality assurance testing to ensure complete digital 
submissions. For avoidance of doubt, the final rule clarifies that 
microfilm copies may be used to cure deficiencies in the digital files 
at the Register's discretion. The final rule also clarifies that the 
microfilm copies must be submitted at the same time as the application, 
but the effective date of registration for this group option will be 
the date on which the Office receives an acceptable application, the 
digital files, and the proper filing fee.
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    \4\ A few technical changes have been made to account for recent 
amendments resulting from other rulemakings. See, e.g., 82 FR 29410 
(Nov. 13, 2017).
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    The NMA asked the Office to clarify when the final rule will go 
into effect. As stated above, the final rule takes effect on March 1, 
2018. Under the final rule, applicants will be required to submit their 
claims within three months after the date of publication for the 
earliest issue in the group. Thus, the final rule may be used to 
register newspaper issues published on or after December 1, 2017, 
provided that the claim is received in a timely manner.\5\ Because 
applicants will be required to include a full month of issues in each 
claim, and because they will be required to submit their claims within 
three months after the publication of the earliest issue in the group 
(rather than the most recent issue), it makes sense for the final rule 
to go into effect on the first day of March 2018.
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    \5\ Issues published in October 2017 and November 2017 may be 
registered under the regulation currently set forth in Sec.  
202.3(b)(7), provided that the claim is received within three months 
after the date of publication for the most recent issue in the 
group. Issues published before October 1, 2017 are no longer 
eligible for the group registration option, and thus, would have to 
be registered on an individual basis. See 37 CFR 202.3(b)(7)(i)(F).
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    The NMA also asked the Office to provide more information on what 
publishers will be expected to do when the final rule goes into effect. 
The Office is developing several new resources in response to this 
request. The Office will prepare a video tutorial explaining how to 
complete the application for the group registration option for 
newspapers, as well as revise the ``help text'' within the application 
itself to reflect the new registration requirements. In addition, the 
Office will update its various circulars discussing the Office's 
practices and procedures for this group registration option, and the 
Office intends to make similar changes to the sections of the 
Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition that 
discuss this option.

List of Subjects

37 CFR Part 201

    Copyright, General provisions.

37 CFR Part 202

    Copyright, Preregistration and registration of claims to copyright.

Final Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Copyright Office 
amends 37 CFR parts 201 and 202 as follows:

PART 201--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 201 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 17 U.S.C. 702.


0
2. In Sec.  201.1, add a sentence at the end of paragraph (c)(6) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  201.1   Communication with the Copyright Office.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (6) * * * Newspaper publishers that submit microfilm under Sec.  
202.4(e) of this chapter should mail their

[[Page 4146]]

submissions to: Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office, Attn: 407 
Deposits, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20559.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  201.3, revise paragraph (c)(7) to read as follows:


Sec.  201.3  Fees for registration, recordation, and related services, 
special services, and services performed by the Licensing Division.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

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(7) Registration of a claim in a group of newspapers or a             80
 group of newsletters........................................
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* * * * *

PART 202--PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT

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

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702.


Sec.  202.3   [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec.  202.3 in (b)(1)(v) by removing ``periodicals; 
newspapers;'' and adding in its place ``periodicals (including 
newspapers);'' and by removing and reserving paragraph (b)(7).

0
6. Amend Sec.  202.4 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (b).
0
b. Add paragraph (e).
0
c. Amend paragraph (g)(4) by removing the second and third sentences.
0
d. Revise paragraph (n).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  202.4  Group registration.

* * * * *
    (b) Definitions. (1) 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.
    (2) For purposes of this section, the term Library means the 
Library of Congress.
    (3) For purposes of this section, a periodical is a collective work 
that is issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in 
successive issues that are intended to be continued indefinitely. In 
most cases, each issue will bear the same title, as well as numerical 
or chronological designations.
* * * * *
    (e) Group registration of newspapers. Pursuant to the authority 
granted by 17 U.S.C. 408(c)(1), the Register of Copyrights has 
determined that a group of newspaper issues may be registered with one 
application, the required deposit, and the filing fee required by Sec.  
201.3(c) of this chapter, if the following conditions are met:
    (1) Issues must be newspapers. All the issues in the group must be 
newspapers. For purposes of this section, a newspaper is a periodical 
(as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section) that is mainly 
designed to be a primary source of written information on current 
events, either local, national, or international in scope. A newspaper 
contains a broad range of news on all subjects and activities and is 
not limited to any specific subject matter. Newspapers are intended 
either for the general public or for a particular ethnic, cultural, or 
national group.
    (2) Requirements for newspaper issues. Each issue in the group must 
be an all-new collective work that has not been previously published 
(except where earlier editions of the same newspaper are included in 
the deposit together with the final edition), each issue must be fixed 
and distributed as a discrete, self-contained collective work, and the 
claim in each issue must be limited to the collective work.
    (3) Author and claimant. Each issue in the group must be a work 
made for hire, and the author and claimant for each issue must be the 
same person or organization.
    (4) Time period covered. All the issues in the group must be 
published under the same continuing title, and they must be published 
within the same calendar month and bear issue dates within that month. 
The applicant must identify the earliest and latest date that the 
issues were published.
    (5) Application. The applicant must complete and submit the online 
application designated for a group of newspaper issues. The application 
may be submitted by any of the parties listed in Sec.  202.3(c)(1).
    (6) Deposit. (i) The applicant must submit one complete copy of the 
final edition of each issue published in the calendar month designated 
in the application. Each submission may also include earlier editions 
of the same newspaper issue, provided that they were published on the 
same date as the final edition. Each submission may also include local 
editions of the newspaper issue that were published within the same 
metropolitan area, but may not include national or regional editions 
that were distributed outside that metropolitan area.
    (ii)(A) The issues must be submitted in a digital form, and each 
issue must be contained in a separate electronic file. The applicant 
must use the file-naming convention and submit digital files in 
accordance with instructions specified on the Copyright Office's 
website. The files must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF), 
they must be assembled in an orderly form, and they must be uploaded to 
the electronic registration system as individual electronic files 
(i.e., not .zip files). The files must be viewable and searchable, 
contain embedded fonts, and be free from any access restrictions (such 
as those implemented through Digital Rights Management (DRM)). The file 
size for each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes, but files 
may be compressed to comply with this requirement.
    (B) Until December 31, 2019, the applicant may also submit the 
complete issues on positive 35mm silver halide microfilm at the same 
time as the application, in addition to providing electronic copies of 
the newspaper issues pursuant to paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A) of this 
section. The issues should be arranged on the microfilm in 
chronological order, and should be sent to: Library of Congress, U.S. 
Copyright Office, Attn: 407 Deposits, 101 Independence Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC 20559. Should the applicant submit microfilm copies in 
addition to electronic files under paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A) of this 
section, the effective date of registration for a group registration 
under paragraph (e) of this section will be the date on which the 
Office received an acceptable application, the electronic files 
submitted under paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A), and the proper filing fee. If 
the electronic files submitted under paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A) are 
deficient and the applicant also submits microfilm copies, the Register 
shall have discretion in determining whether the microfilm copies may 
be used to cure deficiencies in the electronic files (e.g., an 
electronic file is missing some pages from one newspaper issue, but the 
microfilm contains a complete version of each issue in the group). In 
cases where the Register determines that microfilm copies can be used 
to cure deficiencies in the electronic files submitted under paragraph 
(e)(6)(ii)(A), the effective date of registration for a group 
registration under paragraph (e) of this section will be the date on 
which the Office received an acceptable application, the electronic 
files submitted under paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A), and the proper filing 
fee.
    (7) The application, the filing fee, and files specified in 
paragraph (e)(6)(ii)(A) of this section must be received by the 
Copyright Office within three months

[[Page 4147]]

after the date of publication for the earliest issue in the group.
* * * * *
    (n) The scope of a group registration. When the Office issues a 
group registration under paragraph (e) of this section, the 
registration covers each issue in the group and each issue is 
registered as a separate collective work. When the Office issues a 
group registration under paragraph (g), (h), (i), or (k) of this 
section, the registration covers each work in the group and each work 
is registered as a separate work. For purposes of registration, the 
group as a whole is not considered a compilation, a collective work, or 
a derivative work under section 101, 103(b), or 504(c)(1) of title 17 
of the United States Code.

0
7. Add Sec.  202.18 to read as follows:


Sec.  202.18   Access to electronic works.

    (a) Access to electronic works received under Sec.  202.4(e) will 
be available only to authorized users at Library of Congress premises 
in accordance with the policies listed below. Library staff may access 
such content off-site as part of their assigned duties via a secure 
connection.
    (b) Access to each individual electronic work received under Sec.  
202.4(e) will be limited, at any one time, to two Library of Congress 
authorized users via a secure server over a secure network that serves 
Library of Congress premises.
    (c) The Library of Congress will not make electronic works received 
under Sec.  202.4(e) available to the public over the internet without 
rightsholders' permissions.
    (d) ``Authorized user'' means Library of Congress staff, 
contractors, and registered researchers, and Members, staff and 
officers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for 
the purposes of this section.
    (e) ``Library of Congress premises'' means all Library of Congress 
premises in Washington, DC, and the Library of Congress Packard Campus 
for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, VA.

0
8. In Sec.  202.19, revise paragraph (d)(2)(ix) to read as follows:


Sec.  202.19   Deposit of published copies or phonorecords for the 
Library of Congress.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ix) In the case of published newspapers, a deposit submitted 
pursuant to and in compliance with the group registration option under 
Sec.  202.4(e) shall be deemed to satisfy the mandatory deposit 
obligation under this section.
* * * * *

    Dated: January 10, 2018.
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. 2018-01838 Filed 1-29-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 1410-30-P