Ex Parte Communications

Guidelines for communications:

In its December 21, 2019 Notice of Inquiry, the Copyright Office indicated it may permit informal communication to supplement the written record with respect to specific issues, and that guidelines for such communications would be posted on this webpage.

Following review of the extensive written comments received, the Office determined that it may be beneficial to hear from those who have submitted proposals to be designated as the Mechanical Licensing Collective or as the Digital Licensee Coordinator. These proponents were in a unique position to provide follow-up on discrete issues raised by the written proposals submitted to the Office or the reply comments.

The Office limited such informal meetings to those parties who were seeking to be designated under the statute although the Office carefully considered the over 600 written comments that were received regarding these proposals. In light of this record, and given the statutory deadline for completion of the designation process, the Office determined that it was not in a position to meet with non-proponent commenters.

To ensure that such communications were governed by transparent and consistent procedures, the Office established the following guidelines:

  1. Any proponent seeking to receive designation as the Mechanical Licensing Collective or the Digital Licensee Coordinator may request an ex parte meeting by responding to the letters sent from the Office, which are also posted on this webpage.
  2. Ex parte meetings with the Office are intended to provide an opportunity for participants to clarify or provide follow-up on issues raised by prior written submissions, and to respond to questions from the Office on those matters. As indicated in the Notice, the primary vehicle for information remains the written comments and any informal communications will supplement, not substitute, that written record. The Office will not consider or accept new documentary materials outside of these guidelines.
  3. Within four business days after the meeting, the meeting attendees must email a letter to the Office identifying the meeting attendees and summarizing the discussion at the meeting. The letter must summarize the substance of the views expressed in such a way that a non-participating party will understand the scope of issues discussed; merely listing the subjects discussed or providing a 1-2 sentence description will not be sufficient. These letters will be made publicly available on this webpage.

Ex Parte Letters