The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition

December 22, 2014

In releasing the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, I am indebted to the team of attorneys, registration specialists, and design experts who worked relentlessly and collaboratively with the Office of the Register to make it possible. Their careful stewardship of the project over the past two and a half years is as fine an example of public service as I have known in my career.

The sheer scale of the revision is remarkable. Addressing more than two decades of statutory, regulatory, and judicial material, the process generated discussions and deliberations that are too numerous to recount but too important to go unmentioned. The hours upon hours of writing and reviewing (and more writing and more reviewing) took place well into the evenings, intruded upon too many weekends, and interrupted more than a few vacations. There were numerous committees involved with numerous chapters on numerous subjects—each one more challenging than the one before. For this incredible undertaking, I cannot adequately express my thanks and admiration.

I am especially grateful to the leaders of the project for their expertise and inspiration. Mary Rasenberger developed and managed the Compendium. She chaired dozens of project meetings, formulated the master outline, supervised legal research, reconciled impossibly complex questions, and wrote, edited, or consulted on the lion’s share of the work.

Erik Bertin and Catherine Rowland were the principle drafters and legal counselors—a statement that does not do justice to their herculean work in examining questions of fact, resolving questions of law, and otherwise making a document of administrative practice into an accurate and readable resource. If there is a special category for those who break new ground while also meeting unrealistic deadlines, then Erik, especially, belongs at the top of it.

We could not have done without the notable leadership and experience of Robert Kasunic, who was indispensable to the project on matters both large and small. I appreciate his thoughtful deliberation on numerous practice questions, his superb edits throughout the entirety of the document, and his overall commitment to the final product.

My sincere thanks to the rest of the drafting team: Abi Oyewole, Jane Rinard, and Kent Dunlap, as well as the division heads and deputies who shared their seasoned insight and capable assistance in the drafting process. Laura Lee Fischer, Alice Parrish, John Ashley, William Briganti, Ted Hirakawa, Ingrid Abbott, George Thuronyi, and Zarifa Madyun worked closely with the drafters throughout the process and provided substantial editing assistance to ensure accurate practices in both registration and recordation. Susan Todd’s broad knowledge of registration practices and unselfish commitment to the project were absolutely essential during this phase. I would be remiss if I did not call out the contributions of Rosemary Kelly, Robin Coreas, Stephen Oswald and everyone in the performing arts, literary, and visual arts divisions for their particular contributions.

The Compendium reflects the considerable talents and professional coordination of McKenna Rain. She supported all aspects of the production process, from facilitating communications between the drafting team and various Copyright Office divisions to working closely with the production committee with respect to the layout, design and overall quality of the final document. The creative team, led by Cecelia Rogers and David Rice, deserve enthusiastic mention. They brought natural passion and visual acumen to the project, not to mention consistently high standards and grace under pressure. Web experts Dineda Nyepan, Ed Rogers, and Michael Brooks were equally indispensible, providing seamless technical direction and design implementation for the public interface. Together this group embraced the project and converted the Compendium into a living electronic publication for the first time.

Among the registration staff, Kim Robinson, Chad Becker, and Shawn Thompson were tireless liaisons with their respective divisions and, among other duties, mapped new practices against the old. Kim’s work in reviewing all chapters for accuracy and consistency was simply outstanding. The Compendium would not have been possible without this group’s encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of the registration system.

Several Copyright Office legal experts stepped up during various phases of the review process offering seasoned assistance on complex issues. In addition to those mentioned previously, they are Jacqueline Charlesworth, Karyn A. Temple, William Roberts, Maria Strong, Christopher Reed, and Robert Brauneis. Nanette Petruzzelli provided early legal assistance and invaluable historical insight. Aaron Watson and John Riley provided outsized contributions in Bluebooking and cite checking the entire document. Judith Nierman, Wendi Maloney, Gina Giuffreda, and Jaylen Johnson provided professional proofreading and editorial services, and Dayna Cooper and Syreeta Swann contributed administrative assistance and other essential support.

Remarkably, a number of Copyright Office staff volunteered their time to the benefit of the project. Among other assignments, they read Compendium II for dated practices and obsolete provisions, prepared illustrative examples for registration chapters, and drafted definitions for the glossary. My thanks to all these volunteers for their generosity of spirit, including, especially, Janet Alger, Katie Alvarez, Rebecca Barker, Melissa Bethel, Tom Brina, Adrienne Brown, Diane Cooke, Melissa Crawford, Karen Cribb, Max Derrickson, Megan Fritz, Beth Garner, Claire Gardiner, Rhoda Holliman, Gareth James, Robin Jones, Chenille “Denise” Lowrance, Frank Muller, Janice Pena, John Poff, Donna Robson, Karin Sweet, Mary Svrjcek, Jeff Taylor, and Sandra Ware.

Finally, I am grateful to the Copyright Society of the USA and the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section for their sustained interest in the Compendium, Third Edition and for providing readers to review preliminary drafts of certain chapters. My deep regard to Corey Field, Kate Spelman, Laura (Lolly) Gasaway, Eric Rasmussen, John Jennison, Michael Donaldson, Edwin Komen, Eric Schwartz, Nancy Wolff, Jon Baumgarten, Stephen Gillen, Andrew Berger, and E. Leonard Rubin, among others. I so appreciate your service.

Maria A. Pallante

Register of Copyrights