Technological Upgrades to Registration and Recordation

The United States Copyright Office is in the process of identifying and evaluating potential improvements and technical enhancements to the information technology platforms that support its registration and recordation functions, including its online registration system. These efforts are part of the Office’s ongoing Special Projects, commenced October 25, 2011 (available at the Office’s website at The information garnered through this process has and will continue to inform the development of the Copyright Office’s long-term strategic plan, scheduled to commence in October 2013.

Because the Office’s evaluation of its technology platform is intended to be a wide-ranging review of existing capabilities and future possibilities, the Office seeks comments that present conceptual frameworks with concrete examples of future potential applications or services. Broadly, the Office seeks comments on (1) how stakeholders use the current online offerings of the Copyright Office, especially with respect to registration and recorded documents, and how the current offerings meet, fail to meet, or exceed user expectations; and (2) how stakeholders would like to interact with the Copyright Office electronically in the future, or, put differently, what online services, or aspects of existing online services, would stakeholders like to see. The Office appreciates the comments and suggestions of those who use the national registration and recordation systems to protect their intellectual property, as well as those who regularly use Copyright Office resources to identify copyright owners, investigate the copyright status of works and the public domain, and perform other research, including statistical analysis on aggregated data sets.

Although the Office welcomes comments on the wide range of topics germane to this inquiry, it is particularly interested in comments that address: (1) the nature and capabilities of the Copyright Office’s public portals (e.g., for electronic registration services), including interface-based portals as well as business-to-business portals, or access to Copyright Office services or data through application program interfaces and the like; (2) the nature and scope of information captured during the course of the registration and recordation processes, including that which could be captured through user input, or through metadata harvesting; (3) metadata standards in particular industries that the Copyright Office might adopt or incorporate into its systems (e.g., IPTC for photography; ISRC for sound recordings; ONIX for books); (4) data storage and security standards for electronic copyright deposits, including the development of policies and best practices for data retention and migration; (5) new ways of searching and accessing registration and recordation data and/or registration deposit metadata (e.g., image or music search technology); and (6) the integration of third-party databases of copyright ownership and licensing information (such as those maintained by collective management organizations) and related technologies with data maintained by the Copyright Office.