May 28, 2022

New: Director of U.S. Copyright Office Announces Priorities, Special Projects for Next Two Years

From a Summary:

Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante today made public her office’s priorities and special projects through October, 2013. The paper articulates 17 priorities in the areas of copyright policy and administrative practice, as well as 10 new projects designed to improve the quality and efficiency of the U.S. Copyright Office’s services in the 21st century.

“Congress has charged the Copyright Office with administering the United States Copyright Act and performing important public services for the nation,” Pallante said. “The work plan presented here reflects the commitment of the office to address current complexities in the copyright system and prepare for future challenges.”

[Our Emphasis] Rogue websites, illegal streaming, small claims, orphan works and library preservation are among the issues the Copyright Office will focus on through research and legislative support for Congress. The document also summarizes the work of the office in global policy, including U.S. trade negotiations, anti-piracy efforts and international discussions of exceptions and limitations.

The administrative practice of the Copyright Office will be particularly active during the next two years. The office has launched the fifth triennial rulemaking involving the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and will spend significant time considering and resolving regulatory issues affecting the copyrightability and registration of websites and other forms of digital authorship.

Maximizing the technical operation of the registration system is one of 10 new projects Pallante announced to help steer the office’s future path. Other projects include a study of the office’s costs and fees for public services, a major revision of the “Compendium of Copyright Office Practices,” increased accessibility to historic copyright records, dialogues and roundtables with members of the copyright marketplace, and research partnerships with the academic community. In addition, the office will bolster its role in educational undertakings, focusing on core principles of copyright law and finding innovative ways to address the growing copyright education needs of the public.

The Register’s Paper is at

Two Paragraphs From the Report:

Mass Book Digitization
The Copyright Office has undertaken a preliminary analysis identifying the issues related to mass book digitization—developments the Office analyzed in connection with the U.S. Statements of Interest filed in the Google Book Search litigation, as well as in testimony on the subject provided by former Register Marybeth Peters in the House of Representatives. The analysis addresses the current landscape and marketplace; possible methods to facilitate digitization projects, including voluntary, extended, and statutory collective licensing; and the implications for prior studies and proposals to address orphan works ( and section 108 library and archive exceptions in the digital age ( The Office will use the analysis as the basis for future research and policy discussions in the United States. Publication date: October 2011.


Copyright Exceptions For Libraries
In 2008, the Copyright Office received the Section 108 Report ( which details concerns with the current copyright exceptions for libraries and archives (and discusses expanding the Section 108 exceptions to museums). The independent study group included a mix of copyright owners and copyright users; its work was cosponsored by the Librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights. In sum, the 2008 report concluded that Section 108 fails to meet the needs of libraries and archives (and other entities, such as museums) dealing with born-digital works, digital preservation and conversion issues, as well as numerous types of uses and lending of works by patrons of these institutions. Because some of the issues were implicated in the Google Book Search litigation (including issues related to providing access to copyrighted works), some stakeholders were wary of proceeding too quickly with legislative discussions. However, because many of the issues are critical for libraries, in 2012 the Office will formulate a discussion document and preliminary recommendations on these issues.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.