The United States Copyright Office has recently issued a final ruling regarding group copyright registrations. This final rule began the formation of a new group registration option for short online literary works such as blog entries, social media posts, and short online articles.
A “final rule” is a term used to refer to when a proposed rule, which received generally positive public comment, is fully adopted by the U.S. Copyright Office. The Copyright Office received eight comments in response to this proposed rule.
This rule was initially proposed by the Copyright Office in December 2018, when it published a proposed rule that would allow copyright applicants to register up to 50 short online literary works within one application and pay one filing fee.
The final rule was officially adopted on June 22, 2020, and with it came the announcement of a new online registration application for this group option. Under the original proposed rule, applicants would be required to submit their claims using the online Standard Application, which currently has technological limitations not presently suitable for such a new group registration option.
The final rule takes effect on August 17, 2020, which will coincide with the expected completion of the Copyright Office’s system development for this new option.
The Copyright Office released a statement on the final rule, which can be found in Issue No. 834 of its NewsNet publication.
Subsequently, on June 23, 2020, the Copyright Office published Issue No. 835 of the NewsNet, which mentioned the release of an updated version of the U.S. Copyright Law and other related laws contained in Title 17 of the United States Code. Also referred to as Circular 92, this recent publication also includes all amendments enacted by Congress through March 27, 2020. The updated release also includes the Copyright Act of 1976 and all subsequent amendments to the copyright law; the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, as amended; and the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, as amended, due to the fact that the Copyright Office is responsible for registering intellectual property claims under all three acts.
To read a pdf of the full text of the June 2020 update to the U.S. Copyright Law, click here.