February 8, 2010

New Copyright Office Rules Regarding Online Content

Filed under: Copyright — Brian Triber @ 11:43 am

According to an article in the Library of Congress Weekly Digest Bulletin, Issue 384, the Copyright Office has new interim rules regarding copyright of online content.

The most important information to be gleaned from the new rules is that: a new category has been created for online serial content: a formal description of that content will be forthcoming (although it is intended to include online magazines, newspapers, and other content analogous to physical serial print media); requirements for submission to the Copyright Office will be forthcoming, ostensibly because electronic copies are identical and the wording of the old law’s description of a Best Edition doesn’t apply in the same manner; and because electronic files are easily duplicated, there is a question of process regarding submission of two copies of the electronic work, as currently required by the print portion of the law.

Having said this, it appears that the most important unknown in this regulation is the question of the categories of media, and what constitutes each category. While this is a no-brainer for organizations like the New York Times, or Boston Globe, it raises all sorts of questions for blogs, information-sharing web sites, teaching sites, and marketing sites. What makes this unusual to me is the timing. It has literally taken decades to start developing these rules. Bulletin board sites have existed since the 1970s with unique content that has been de facto protected by existing copyright laws, and the law of the land up until this new rule has been that anything published by a content provider on a web site is copyrighted as of the time it was posted online.

The complete text of the proposal can be found here: Copyright Office Adopts Interim Regulation on Mandatory Deposit Governing Certain Works Published Only Online

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May 1, 2009

Copyright Fees are Increasing…

Filed under: Copyright — Tags: — Brian Triber @ 10:07 am

The US Copyright Office is proposing increases to its fees for copyrighting materials as of August 1, 2009. The fee for form CO (used for most fiction and non-fiction) mailed into the Copyright Office for processing will change from $40 to $50. Other fee increases include $65 for other paper forms without barcodes; $80 for group daily newspapers/newsletters; $115 for supplementary registration; $115 for renewal registration; $30 for issuance of receipt for a deposit; $105 for transfer of copyright for a single work, and $30 for transfer of copyright of up to 10 additional titles.   Note that the fee increases DO NOT apply to works copyrighted online — those fees will remain at $35. Read more about it here.

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