Copyright Office Releases New Version of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition


Acting Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple today released a revised draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition. This draft proposes changes to the current version of the Compendium, which was released on September 29, 2017. The public draft is available on the Office’s website at https://copyright.gov/comp3/draft.html. Comments may be submitted from March 15, 2019 to May 14, 2019.

On April 10, 2019, at 2:00 PM, the Copyright Office will hold a webinar to review the proposed revisions and hold a Q&A session. Participants can register for the webinar here, and submit questions prior to the event to [email protected].

The Compendium is the administrative manual of the Register of Copyrights concerning the Office’s mandate and statutory duties under Title 17 of the United States Code. See 37 CFR. § 201.2(b)(7). The manual has been updated to reflect the Supreme Court’s decision in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, 137 S. Ct. 1002 (2017). It also reflects many of the rulemakings that the Office has conducted over the past seventeen months. It provides information concerning the new group registration options for unpublished works, unpublished photographs, published photographs, and serial, newspaper, and newsletter issues. It reflects the new deposit requirements for literary monographs, printed music, and photographic databases. And it incorporates changes made by the final rule on the Single Application and technical amendments to the regulation on copyright notice.

The Office recently issued other proposals to amend its regulations, including regarding architectural works, and a new group registration option for short online literary works. The final version of the Compendium will include information about these amendments if the Office issues a final rule in these proceedings before this update goes into effect. The final version will also be updated to reflect the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com.

The public draft also reflects a number of technical upgrades that have been made to the electronic registration system. The Office has introduced a new and improved version of the Single Application and the application for registering a single issue of a serial publication. It expanded the unique identifiers that may be provided in an application for copyright registration, such as ISMN, ISWC, and ISTC numbers. And it added a new feature that will allow certain file types to be uploaded to the electronic system, while blocking unacceptable file types.

Finally, the Compendium has been updated to reflect certain practice changes that have been implemented by the Office of Registration Policy & Practice. Among other changes, the public draft clarifies how and when the Office will communicate with applicants, when it will attempt to correct deficiencies in the application, when it will register a claim with an annotation, and when it will refuse registration. For a full accounting of draft Compendium revisions, read more.

The Office welcomes comments on the public draft. Instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments must be received no later than May 14, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

See www.copyright.gov/comp3/draft.html for more information.