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Copyright Laws and Regulations

Regulations: Title 37, Chapters I (Subchapter C) and II, Code of Federal

37 C.F.R. § 150.1   Definitions.  

    (a) Commissioner means Assistant Secretary and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.

    (b) Foreign government means the duly-constituted executive of a foreign nation, or an international or regional intergovernmental organization which has been empowered by its member states to request issuance of Presidential proclamations on their behalf under this part.  

    (c) Interim order means an order issued by the Secretary of Commerce under 17 U.S.C. 914.  

    (d) Mask work means a series of related images, however fixed or encoded--  

    (1) Having or representing the predetermined, three-dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material present or removed from the layers of a semiconductor chip product; and  

    (2) In which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product.  

    (e) Presidential proclamation means an action by the President extending to foreign nationals, domiciliaries and sovereign authorities the privilege of applying for registrations for mask works pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 902.  

    (f) Request means a request by a foreign government for the issuance of a Presidential proclamation.  

    (g) Proceeding means a proceeding to issue a interim order extending protection to foreign nationals, domiciliaries and sovereign authorities under 17 U.S.C. Chapter 9.  

    (h) Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.  

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 150.2   Initiation of evaluation.  

    (a) The Commissioner independently or as directed by the Secretary, may initiate an evaluation of the propriety of recommending the issuance, revision, suspension or revocation of a section 902 proclamation.  

    (b) The Commissioner shall initiate an evaluation of the propriety of recommending the issuance of a section 902 proclamation upon receipt of a request from a foreign government.  

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 150.3   Submission of requests.  

    (a) Requests for the issuance of a section 902 proclamation shall be submitted by foreign governments for review by the Commissioner.  

    (b) Requests for issuance of a proclamation shall include:  

    (1) A copy of the foreign law or legal rulings that provide protection for U.S. mask works which provide a basis for the request.  

    (2) A copy of any regulations or administrative orders implementing the protection.  

    (3) A copy of any laws, regulations or administrative orders establishing or regulating the registration (if any) of mask works.  

    (4) Any other relevant laws, regulations or administrative orders.

    (5) All copies of laws, legal rulings, regulations or administrative orders submitted must be in unedited, full-text form, and if possible, must be reproduced from the original document.  

    (6) All material submitted must be in the original language, and if not in English, must be accompanied by a certified English translation.  

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 150.4   Evaluation.  

    (a) Upon submission of a request by a foreign government for the issuance of a section 902 proclamation, if an interim order under section 914 has not been issued, the Commissioner may initiate a section 914 proceeding if additional information is required.  

    (b) If an interim order under section 914 has been issued, the information obtained during the section 914 proceeding will be used in evaluating the request for a section 902 proclamation.  

    (c) After the Commissioner receives the request of a foreign government for a section 902 proclamation, or after a determination is made by the Commissioner to initiate independently an evaluation pursuant to § 150.2(a) of this part, a notice will be published in the Federal Register to request relevant and material comments on the adequacy and effectiveness of the protection afforded U.S. mask works under the system of law described in the notice. Comments should include detailed explanations of any alleged deficiencies in the foreign law or any alleged deficiencies in its implementation. If the alleged deficiencies include problems in administration such as registration, the respondent should include as specifically as possible full detailed explanations, including dates for and the nature of any alleged problems. Comments shall be submitted to the Commissioner within sixty (60) days of publication of the Federal Register notice.  

    (d) The Commissioner shall notify the Register of Copyrights and the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the initiation of an evaluation under these regulations.  

    (e) If the written comments submitted by any party present relevant and material reasons why a proclamation should not issue, the Commissioner will:  

    (1) Contact the party raising the issue for verification and any needed additional information;  

    (2) Contact the requesting foreign government to determine if the issues raised by the party can be resolved; and,  

    (i) If the issues are resolved, continue with the evaluation; or,

    (ii) If the issues cannot be resolved on this basis, hold a public hearing to gather additional information.  

    (f) The comments, the section 902 request, information obtained from a section 914 proceeding, if any, and information obtained in a hearing held pursuant to paragraph (e)(ii) of this section, if any, will be evaluated by the Commissioner.  

    (g) The Commissioner will forward the information to the Secretary, together with an evaluation and a draft recommendation.  

    (h) The Secretary will forward a recommendation regarding the issuance of a section 902 proclamation to the President.  

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 150.5   Duration of proclamation.  

    (a) The recommendation for the issuance of a proclamation may include terms and conditions regarding the duration of the proclamation.  

    (b) Requests for the revision, suspension or revocation of a proclamation may be submitted by any interested party. Requests for revision, suspension or revocation of a proclamation will be considered in substantially the same manner as requests for the issuance of a section 902 proclamation.

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 150.6   Mailing address.  

    Requests and all correspondence submitted pursuant to these guidelines shall be addressed to: Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Box 4, Washington, DC 20231.  

[53 FR 24447, June 29, 1988]

37 C.F.R. § 201.1   Communications with the Copyright Office.  

    (a) In general. Mail and other communications shall be addressed to the Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20559-6000.  

    (b) Inquiries to Licensing Division. Inquiries about filings related to the four compulsory licenses (17 U.S.C. 111, 115, 118, and 119) should be addressed to the Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Licensing Division, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20557-6400.  

    (c) Copies of records or deposits. Requests for copies of records or deposits should be addressed to the Certifications and Documents Section, LM-402, Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20559-6000.  

    (d) Search of records. Requests for searches of registrations and recordations in the completed catalogs, indexes, and other records of the Copyright Office should be addressed to the Reference and Bibliography Section, LM-450, Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20559-6000.  

[50 FR 30170, July 24, 1985; 60 FR 34168, June 30, 1995; 62 FR 35420, 35421, July 1, 1997, as corrected at 62 FR 40457, July 29, 1997]  

37 C.F.R. § 201.2   Information given by the Copyright Office.  

    (a) In general. (1) Information relative to the operations of the Copyright Office is supplied without charge. A search of the records, indexes, and deposits will be made for such information as they may contain relative to copyright claims upon application and payment of the statutory fee. The Copyright Office, however, does not undertake the making of comparisons of copyright deposits to determine similarity between works.  

    (2) The Copyright Office does not furnish the names of copyright attorneys, publishers, agents, or other similar information.  

    (3) In the administration of the Copyright Act in general, the Copyright Office interprets the Act. The Copyright Office, however, does not give specific legal advice on the rights of persons, whether in connection with particular uses of copyrighted works, cases of alleged foreign or domestic copyright infringement, contracts between authors and publishers, or other matters of a similar nature.  

    (b) Inspection and copying of records. (1) Inspection and copying of completed records and indexes relating to a registration or a recorded document, and inspection of copies or identifying material deposited in connection with a completed copyright registration may be undertaken in the Certifications and Documents Section. Since some of these materials are not stored on the immediate premises of the Copyright Office, it is advisable to consult the Certifications and Documents Section to determine the length of time necessary to produce the requested materials.  

    (2) It is the general policy of the Copyright Office to deny direct public access to in-process files and to any work (or other) areas where they are kept. However, direct public use of computers intended to access the automated equivalent of limited portions of these files is permitted on a specified terminal in the Records Maintenance Unit, LM B-14, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, upon payment of applicable fees.  

    (3) Information contained in Copyright Office in-process files may be obtained by anyone upon payment of applicable fees and request to the Information and Reference Division, in accordance with the following procedures:  

    (i) In general, all requests by the public for information in the in-process and open unfinished business files should be made to the Certifications and Documents Section, which upon receipt of applicable fees will give a report that provides the following for each request:  

    (A) The date(s) of receipt of:  

    (1) The application(s) for registration that may have been submitted and is (are) in process;  

    (2) the document(s) that may have been submitted for recordation and is (are) in process;  

    (3) the copy or copies (or phonorecords) that may have been submitted;  

    (B) the title of the work(s); and  

    (C) the name of the remitter.  

    (ii) Such searches of the in-process files will be given priority to the extent permitted by the demands of normal work flow of the affected sections of the Copyright Office.  

    (4) Access will be afforded as follows to pending applications for registration, the deposit material accompanying them, and pending documents for recordation that were submitted within the twelve month period immediately preceding the request for access:  

    (i) in the case of applications for registration and deposits accompanying them, upon the request of the copyright claimant or his/her authorized representative, and

    (ii) in the case of documents, upon the request of at least one of the persons who executed the document or by an authorized representative of that person.  

    These requests should be made to the Public Information Office, and the review of the materials will be permitted there.   No charge will be made for this service.  

    (5) In exceptional circumstances, the Register of Copyrights may allow inspection of pending applications and open correspondence files by someone other than the copyright claimant, upon submission of a written request which is deemed by the Register to show good cause for such access and establishes that the person making the request is one properly and directly concerned. The written request should be addressed to Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024.  

    (6) In no case will direct public access be permitted to any financial or accounting records.  

    (7) The Copyright Office maintains administrative staff manuals referred to as its “Compendium of Office Practices I” and “Compendium of Office Practices II” for the general guidance of its staff in making registrations and recording documents. The manuals, as amended and supplemented from time to time, are available for purchase from the National Technical Information Service (Compendium I) and the Government Printing Office (Compendium II). They are also available for public inspection and copying in the Certifications and Documents Section.  

    (c) Correspondence. (1) Official correspondence, including preliminary applications, between copyright claimants or their agents and the Copyright Office, and directly relating to a completed registration, a recorded document, a rejected application for registration, or a document for which recordation was refused is available for public inspection. Included in the correspondence available for public inspection is that portion of the file directly relating to a completed registration, recorded document, a rejected application for registration, or a document for which recordation was refused which was once open to public inspection as a closed case, even if the case is subsequently reopened. Public inspection is available only for the correspondence contained in the file during the time it was closed because of one of the aforementioned actions. Correspondence relating to the reopening of the file and reconsideration of the case is considered part of an in-process file until final action is taken, and public inspection of that correspondence is governed by § 201.2(b). Requests for reproductions of the correspondence shall be made pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.  

    (2) Correspondence, application forms, and any accompanying material forming a part of a pending application are considered in-process files and access to them is governed by paragraph (b) of this section.  

    (3) Correspondence, memoranda, reports, opinions, and similar material relating to internal matters of personnel and procedures, office administration, security matters, and internal consideration of policy and decisional matters including the work product of an attorney, are not open to public inspection.  

    (4) The Copyright Office will return unanswered any abusive or scurrilous correspondence.  

    (d) Requests for copies. (1) Requests for copies of records should include the following:  

    (i) A clear identification of the type of records desired (for example, additional certificates of registration, copies of correspondence, copies of deposits).  

    (ii) A specification of whether the copies are to be certified or uncertified.  

    (iii) A clear identification of the specific records to be copied. Requests should include the following specific information, if possible:  

    (A) the type of work involved (for example, novel, lyrics, photograph);  

    (B) the registration number;  

    (C) the year date or approximate year date of registration;  

    (D) the complete title of the work;  

    (E) the author(s) including any pseudonym by which the author may be known; and

    (F) the claimant(s); and  

    (G) if the requested copy is of an assignment, license, contract, or other recorded document, the volume and page number of the recorded document.  

    (iv) If the copy requested is an additional certificate of registration, include the fee. The Certifications and Documents Section will review requests for copies of other records and quote fees for each.  

    (v) The telephone number and address of the requestor.  

    (2) Requests for certified or uncertified reproductions of the copies, phonorecords, or identifying material deposited in connection with a copyright registration of published or unpublished works in the custody of the Copyright Office will be granted only when one of the following three conditions has been met:  

    (i) The Copyright Office receives written authorization from the copyright claimant of record or his or her designated agent, or from the owner of any of the exclusive rights in the copyright as long as this ownership can be demonstrated by written documentation of the transfer of ownership.  

    (ii) The Copyright Office receives a written request from an attorney on behalf of either the plaintiff or defendant in connection with litigation, actual or prospective, involving the copyrighted work. The following information must be included in such a request:  

    (A) The names of all the parties involved and the nature of the controversy;  

    (B) the name of the court in which the actual case is pending or, in the case of a prospective proceeding, a full statement of the facts of the controversy in which the copyrighted work is involved; and  

    (C) satisfactory assurance that the requested reproduction will be used only in connection with the specified litigation.  

    (iii) The Copyright Office receives a court order for reproduction of the deposited copies, phonorecords, or identifying material of a registered work which is the subject of litigation. The order must be issued by a court having jurisdiction of the case in which the reproduction is to be submitted as evidence.  

    (3) When a request is made for a reproduction of a phonorecord, such as an audiotape or cassette, in which either a sound recording or the underlying musical, dramatic, or literary work is embodied, the Copyright Office will provide proximate reproduction. The Copyright Office reserves the right to substitute a monaural reproduction for a stereo, quadraphonic, or any other type of fixation of the work accepted for deposit.  

[50 FR 30170, July 24, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 30062, Aug. 22, 1986; 62 FR 35420, 35421, July 1, 1997]

37 C.F.R. § 201.3   [Reserved]

37 C.F.R. § 201.4   Recordation of transfers and certain other documents.

    (a) General. (1) This section prescribes conditions for the recordation of transfers of copyright ownership and other documents pertaining to a copyright under section 205 of Title 17 of the United States Code, as amended by Pub. L. 94-553. The filing or recordation of the following documents is not within the provisions of this section:  

    (i) Certain contracts entered into by cable systems located outside of the 48 contiguous States (17 U.S.C. 111(e); see 37 CFR 201.12);  

    (ii) Notices of identity and signal carriage complement, and statements of account, of cable systems (17 U.S.C. 111(d); see 37 CFR 201.11; 201.17);  

    (iii) Original, signed notices of intention to obtain compulsory license to make and distribute phonorecords of non-dramatic musical works (17 U.S.C. 115(b); see 37 CFR 201.18);  

    (iv) License agreements, and terms and rates of royalty payments, voluntarily negotiated between one or more public broadcasting entities and certain owners of copyright (17 U.S.C 118; see 37 CFR 201.9);  

    (v) Notices of termination (17 U.S.C. 203, 304(c); see 37 CFR 201.10); and  

    (vi) Statements regarding the identity of authors of anonymous and pseudonymous works, and statements relating to the death of authors (17 U.S.C. 302).  

    (2) A transfer of copyright ownership has the meaning set forth in section 101 of Title 17 of the United States Code, as amended by Pub. L. 94-553. A document shall be considered to “pertain to a copyright” if it has a direct or indirect relationship to the existence, scope, duration, or identification of a copyright, or to the ownership, division, allocation, licensing, transfer, or exercise of rights under a copyright. That relationship may be past, present, future, or potential.

      (3) For purposes of this section:  

    (i) A sworn certification is an affidavit under the official seal of any officer authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or if the original is located outside of the United States, under the official seal of any diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or of a person authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by the certificate of such an officer, or a statement in accordance with section 1746 of Title 28 of the United States Code; and  

    (ii) An official certification is a certification, by the appropriate Government official, that the original of the document is on file in a public office and that the reproduction is a true copy or the original.

    (b) Forms. The Copyright Office does not provide forms for the use of persons recording documents.  

    (c) Recordable documents. Any transfer of copyright ownership (including any instrument of conveyance, or note or memorandum of the transfer), or any other document pertaining to a copyright, may be recorded in the Copyright Office if it is accompanied by the fee set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, and if the requirements of this paragraph with respect to signatures, completeness, and legibility are met.  

    (1) To be recordable, the document must bear the actual signature or signatures of the person or persons who executed it. Alternatively, the document may be recorded if it is a legible photocopy or other legible facsimile reproduction of the signed document, accompanied by a sworn certification or an official certification that the reproduction is a true copy of the signed document. Any sworn certification accompanying a reproduction shall be signed by at least one of the parties to the signed document, or by an authorized representative of that person.  

    (2) To be recordable, the document must be complete by its own terms. (i) A document that contains a reference to any schedule, appendix, exhibit, addendum, or other material as being attached to the document or made a part of it shall be recordable only if the attachment is also submitted for recordation with the document or if the reference is deleted by the parties to the document. If a document has been submitted for recordation and has been returned by the Copyright Office at the request of the sender for deletion of the reference to an attachment, the document will be recorded only if the deletion is signed or initialed by the persons who executed the document or by their authorized representatives. In exceptional cases a document containing a reference to an attachment will be recorded without the attached material and without deletion of the reference if the person seeking recordation submits a written request specifically asserting that: (A) The attachment is completely unavailable for recordation; and (B) the attachment is not essential to the identification of the subject matter of the document; and (C) it would be impossible or wholly impracticable to have the parties to the document sign or initial a deletion of the reference. In such exceptional cases, the Copyright Office records of the document will be annotated to show that recordation was made in response to a specific request under this paragraph.  

    (ii) If a document otherwise record- able under this indicates on its face that it is a self-contained part of a larger instrument (for example: if it is designated “Attachment A” or “Exhibit B”), the Copyright Office will raise the question of completeness, but will record the document if the person requesting recordation asserts that the document is sufficiently complete as it stands.  

    (iii) When the document submitted for recordation merely identifies or incorporates by reference another document, or certain terms of another document, the Copyright Office will raise no question of completeness, and will not require recordation of the other document.  

    (3) To be recordable, the document must be legible and capable of being reproduced in legible microform copies.  

    (d) Fees. For a document covering not more than one title, the basic recordation fee is $20. For additional titles, a charge of $10 is added for each group of not more than 10 titles.  

    (e) Recordation. The date of recordation is the date when a proper document under paragraph (c) of this section and a proper fee under paragraph (d) of this section are all received in the Copyright Office. After recordation the document is returned to the sender with a certificate of record.  

    (17 U.S.C. 205, 702, 708)  

[43 FR 35044, Aug. 8, 1978, as amended at 53 FR 123, Jan. 5, 1988; 56 FR 59885, Nov. 26, 1991]  

Continuation: 37 C.F.R. § 201.5   Corrections and amplifications of copyright registrations; applications for supplementary registration.

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