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Modernization

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What is Copyright Office Modernization?

Copyright Office modernization is the initiative to reimagine the entire Office by (1) building a new enterprise IT system designed to be more flexible and easy for users to use, (2) modernizing supporting IT systems, and (3) further ensuring that Office practices and processes are efficient and productive. A PDF version of the information on this page is available.

Copyright Office modernization is the initiative to reimagine the entire Office by (1) building a new enterprise IT system designed to be more flexible and easy for users to use, (2) modernizing supporting IT systems, and (3) further ensuring that Office practices and processes are efficient and productive. A PDF version of the information on this page is available.




Overview

One of modernization’s key goals is to develop a new enterprise IT system that integrates and improves all of the Office’s technology systems, which we are calling the Enterprise Copyright System (ECS). Specifically, the ECS will include the Office’s registration, recordation, public record, and licensing IT applications, among other functions.

All applications will share the same ECS design—providing a consistent user experience. Additionally, the ECS will include central sets of capabilities that support multiple business services (for example, using the same email, payment, authentication, and event systems). Furthermore, the ECS will leverage an existing Library system to support financial management.

The Office is focused on making sure that the ECS is easy for users to navigate. A user-centered and flexible design, which takes into account streamlined business processes and policies, will provide better access to the Office’s main services.


Registration

The Office will create a user-centric, flexible, and modern system to replace the existing Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) Registration System. This will include developing both the public-facing application and deposit submission processes as well as the internal examination functionality. Doing this work will expand and improve our services, reduce errors and the need for correspondence, and improve the user experience across all Office business units.

  • Summer 2020—began development of a clickable Standard Application prototype and internal features.
  • Fall 2020—preliminary internal testing of clickable Standard Application prototype.
  • Winter 2020–2021—limited public prototype release 1 of a reimagined Standard Application for usability testing.
  • Spring 2021—limited public prototype release 2 of a reimagined Standard Application based on results from prior testing.
  • 2021—continued iterative development to support Standard Application and internal system development. Began prototype development for supplemental registration and preregistration.
  • 2022—continue development to support internal and external system functions for the Standard Application.
  • 2022—begin work on a prototype for Group Registration of Unpublished Works.

Recordation

The Office will replace the current paper-based, manual recordation process with a modern system that enables web-based submissions and includes an updated recordation workspace for Office staff to review and validate submissions. The system will use a modular design to enable efficient growth, development, and integration with other ECS applications.

  • April 2020—initial recordation pilot released
    • Selected external users began submitting documents for recordation through the pilot,
    • Modular design to integrate with future ECS applications,
    • Limited functionality to test new ideas and concepts.
  • 2020–2021—expanded the pilot user group and incorporated user feedback in additional pilot releases.
  • Fall 2021— 30% of all recorded documents submitted to the office in FY21 were through the Recordation Pilot.
  • Summer 2022—expand pilot participation for online submission of section 205 documents to the general public.

Copyright Public Records System (CPRS)

The Office is replacing the existing online public catalog with a significantly enhanced new portal. The new portal, currently in pilot, provides access to registration and recordation data with enhanced search capabilities, filters, and improved interfaces for public users and Office staff.

  • Fall 2019—began development of a new Copyright Public Record System.
  • Winter 2020—launched Copyright Public Record System pilot, allowing users to search, filter, and email public catalog records.
  • Summer 2021—deployed the second pilot release, including the ability to view recent records, view recent searches, and download record details.
  • Spring 2022— deployed third pilot release, adding a Name Directory and hyperlinking related registration records.
  • Summer 2022— Copyright Public Record System to become the preferred interface for public catalog records, bringing the Office closer to retiring the legacy online public catalog.

Licensing

The Office is creating a new IT system to improve its administration of the section 111 statutory license relating to cable operators’ royalty payments to copyright owners for retransmission of over-the-air television and radio broadcast stations to subscribers. System functionality to process other types of filings, including those relating to satellite and DART royalty payments, is also being considered. Current goals for the system include prioritizing value-driven improvements that streamline internal processes, reducing manual entry, and leveraging existing data, systems, and services.

  • Fall 2020—began development of user experience design and initial automated workflow.
  • 2021—continued iterative development of internal workflows.
  • 2022—continue development on section 111 Statement of Account ingestion and examiner viewing capabilities, begin integration with Pay.gov, and start the process for migrating he Copyright Office’s fiduciary operations to the Legislative Branch Financial Management System (LBFMS).

Overview

The Office is also modernizing additional IT services, such as updating our Public Information Office (PIO) capabilities, improving the tracking of physical deposits submitted through registration, and leveraging business intelligence capabilities. Each service will integrate with the ECS.


Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence is a capability that allows the Office to see, manipulate, and exploit the data that applications are generating. Internal use of the BI tool supports improved dashboards and reporting from a common, trusted data repository that enables various Copyright Office divisions in their decision-making and service analyses.The Office provides support to the public, answering public inquiries on copyright and Office services. In 2021, the Office engaged experts from the GSA Centers of Excellence to conduct a gap analysis and facilitate continuous development roadmap planning. The anticipated follow-up activities will focus on improved analytics and streamlined responses, including a high-performing and high-quality, multi-channel customer contact center to support the copyright community and improve communications between the Office and the public.


Contact Center

The Office provides support to the public, answering public inquiries on copyright and Office services. In 2021, the Office engaged experts from the GSA Centers of Excellence to conduct a gap analysis and facilitate continuous development roadmap planning. The anticipated follow-up activities will focus on improved analytics and streamlined responses, including a high-performing and high-quality, multi-channel customer contact center to support the copyright community and improve communications between the Office and the public.


Asset Tracking/Warehouse

The Office moved into a new state-of-the-art environmentally controlled storage facility at the end of 2020. This new facility is critical to the mission objective to provide Copyright Office services, ensure prompt availability of new copyright records, and better track individual items.

In 2021, the Office contracted with a vendor to build a Warehouse Management System (WMS). The WMS solution will optimize warehouse operations and deposit tracking functions, to promote more timely and reliable services.

Overview

As part of our commitment to the preservation of and access to public records, the Office has undertaken efforts to digitize print and microfilm records to make them available to a wider audience. These historical public records include the copyright card catalog, record books, and the Catalogs of Copyright Entries (CCE). Digitization is the critical first step, to be followed by additional improvements to allow better online search capability.

  • Spring 2019—launched VCC proof of concept release 3, achieving accessibility to more than 41 million card images from the copyright card catalog.
  • Fall 2019—began digitization of record books to allow online access.
  • Winter 2022—released over 900 record books from 1970-1977 online.
  • Spring 2022 – the Office continues to add to the online record book collection.

You can view the Office’s digitized collections at the following locations:

The long-term goal is to make these digitized historical public records available in the new Copyright Public Records System.

The Library of Congress convened a public committee to enhance communication and provide a public forum for the technology-related aspects of the U.S. Copyright Office's modernization initiative. The committee is managed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), with support from the U.S. Copyright Office and from other Library offices as necessary. The goal of the committee is to expand and enhance communication with external stakeholders on IT modernization of Copyright Office systems and to provide an ongoing public forum for sharing information and answering questions related to this initiative.