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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
NATIONAL LEGISLATION - USA
Copyright Laws and Regulations
Laws: Title 17, United States Code
17 U.S.C. § 602 Infringing importation of copies or phonorecords
Importation into the United States, without the authority of the owner of copyright under this title, of copies or phonorecords of a work that have been acquired outside the United States is an infringement of the exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords under section 106, actionable under section 501. This subsection does not apply to--
importation of copies or phonorecords under the authority or for the use of the Government of the United States or of any State or political subdivision of a State, but not including copies or phonorecords for use in schools, or copies of any audiovisual work imported for purposes other than archival use;
importation, for the private use of the importer and not for distribution, by any person with respect to no more than one copy or phonorecord of any one work at any one time, or by any person arriving from outside the United States with respect to copies or phonorecords forming part of such person's personal baggage; or
importation by or for an organization operated for scholarly, educational, or religious purposes and not for private gain, with respect to no more than one copy of an audiovisual work solely for its archival purposes, and no more than five copies or phonorecords of any other work for its library lending or archival purposes, unless the importation of such copies or phonorecords is part of an activity consisting of systematic reproduction or distribution, engaged in by such organization in violation of the provisions of section 108(g)(2).
In a case where the making of the copies or phonorecords would have constituted an infringement of copyright if this title had been applicable, their importation is prohibited. In a case where the copies or phonorecords were lawfully made, the United States Customs Service has no authority to prevent their importation unless the provisions of section 601 are applicable. In either case, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to prescribe, by regulation, a procedure under which any person claiming an interest in the copyright in a particular work may, upon payment of a specified fee, be entitled to notification by the Customs Service of the importation of articles that appear to be copies or phonorecords of the work.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2589.)
17 U.S.C. § 603 Importation prohibitions: Enforcement and disposition of excluded articles
The Secretary of the Treasury and the United States Postal Service shall separately or jointly make regulations for the enforcement of the provisions of this title prohibiting importation.
These regulations may require, as a condition for the exclusion of articles under section 602--
that the person seeking exclusion obtain a court order enjoining importation of the articles; or
that the person seeking exclusion furnish proof, of a specified nature and in accordance with prescribed procedures, that the copyright in which such person claims an interest is valid and that the importation would violate the prohibition in section 602; the person seeking exclusion may also be required to post a surety bond for any injury that may result if the detention or exclusion of the articles proves to be unjustified.
Articles imported in violation of the importation prohibitions of this title are subject to seizure and forfeiture in the same manner as property imported in violation of the customs revenue laws. Forfeited articles shall be destroyed as directed by the Secretary of the Treasury or the court, as the case may be.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2590.)
(As amended July 2, 1996, Pub. L. 104-153, § 8, 110 Stat. 1388.)
17 U.S.C. § 701 The Copyright Office: General responsibilities and organization
All administrative functions and duties under this title, except as otherwise specified, are the responsibility of the Register of Copyrights as director of the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The Register of Copyrights, together with the subordinate officers and employees of the Copyright Office, shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and shall act under the Librarian's general direction and supervision.
The Register of Copyrights shall adopt a seal to be used on and after January 1, 1978, to authenticate all certified documents issued by the Copyright Office.
The Register of Copyrights shall make an annual report to the Librarian of Congress of the work and accomplishments of the Copyright Office during the previous fiscal year. The annual report of the Register of Copyrights shall be published separately and as a part of the annual report of the Librarian of Congress.
Except as provided by section 706(b) and the regulations issued thereunder, all actions taken by the Register of Copyrights under this title are subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act of June 11, 1946, as amended (c. 324, 60 Stat. 237, Title 5, United States Code, Chapter 5, Subchapter II and Chapter 7).
The Register of Copyrights shall be compensated at the rate of pay in effect for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5. The Librarian of Congress shall establish not more than four positions for Associate Registers of Copyrights, in accordance with the recommendations of the Register of Copyrights. The Librarian shall make appointments to such positions after consultation with the Register of Copyrights. Each Associate Register of Copyrights shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the maximum annual rate of basic pay payable for GS-18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2591; July 3, 1990, Pub. L. 101-319, § 2(b), 104 Stat. 290.)
17 U.S.C. § 702 Copyright Office regulations
The Register of Copyrights is authorized to establish regulations not inconsistent with law for the administration of the functions and duties made the responsibility of the Register under this title. All regulations established by the Register under this title are subject to the approval of the Librarian of Congress.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2591.)
17 U.S.C. § 703 Effective date of actions in Copyright Office
In any case in which time limits are prescribed under this title for the performance of an action in the Copyright Office, and in which the last day of the prescribed period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or other non-business day within the District of Columbia or the Federal Government, the action may be taken on the next succeeding business day, and is effective as of the date when the period expired.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2591.)
17 U.S.C. § 704 Retention and disposition of articles deposited in Copyright Office
Upon their deposit in the Copyright Office under sections 407 and 408, all copies, phonorecords, and identifying material, including those deposited in connection with claims that have been refused registration, are the property of the United States Government.
In the case of published works, all copies, phonorecords, and identifying material deposited are available to the Library of Congress for its collections, or for exchange or transfer to any other library. In the case of unpublished works, the Library is entitled, under regulations that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe, to select any deposits for its collections or for transfer to the National Archives of the United States or to a Federal records center, as defined in section 2901 of title 44.
The Register of Copyrights is authorized, for specific or general categories of works, to make a facsimile reproduction of all or any part of the material deposited under section 408, and to make such reproduction a part of the Copyright Office records of the registration, before transferring such material to the Library of Congress as provided by subsection (b), or before destroying or otherwise disposing of such material as provided by subsection (d).
Deposits not selected by the Library under subsection (b), or identifying portions or reproductions of them, shall be retained under the control of the Copyright Office, including retention in Government storage facilities, for the longest period considered practicable and desirable by the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress. After that period it is within the joint discretion of the Register and the Librarian to order their destruction or other disposition; but, in the case of unpublished works, no deposit shall be knowingly or intentionally destroyed or otherwise disposed of during its term of copyright unless a facsimile reproduction of the entire deposit has been made a part of the Copyright Office records as provided by subsection (c).
The depositor of copies, phonorecords, or identifying material under section 408, or the copyright owner of record, may request retention, under the control of the Copyright Office, of one or more of such articles for the full term of copyright in the work. The Register of Copyrights shall prescribe, by regulation, the conditions under which such requests are to be made and granted, and shall fix the fee to be charged under section 708(a)(10) if the request is granted.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2591; July 3, 1990, Pub. L. 101-318, § 2(c), 104 Stat. 288.)
17 U.S.C. § 705 Copyright Office records: Preparation, maintenance, public inspection, and searching
The Register of Copyrights shall provide and keep in the Copyright Office records of all deposits, registrations, recordations, and other actions taken under this title, and shall prepare indexes of all such records.
Such records and indexes, as well as the articles deposited in connection with completed copyright registrations and retained under the control of the Copyright Office, shall be open to public inspection.
Upon request and payment of the fee specified by section 708, the Copyright Office shall make a search of its public records, indexes, and deposits, and shall furnish a report of the information they disclose with respect to any particular deposits, registrations, or recorded documents.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2592.)
17 U.S.C. § 706 Copies of Copyright Office records
Copies may be made of any public records or indexes of the Copyright Office; additional certificates of copyright registration and copies of any public records or indexes may be furnished upon request and payment of the fees specified by section 708.
Copies or reproductions of deposited articles retained under the control of the Copyright Office shall be authorized or furnished only under the conditions specified by the Copyright Office regulations.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2592.)
17 U.S.C. § 707 Copyright Office forms and publications
Catalog of copyright entries. The Register of Copyrights shall compile and publish at periodic intervals catalogs of all copyright registrations. These catalogs shall be divided into parts in accordance with the various classes of works, and the Register has discretion to determine, on the basis of practicability and usefulness, the form and frequency of publication of each particular part.
Other publications. The Register shall furnish, free of charge upon request, application forms for copyright registration and general informational material in connection with the functions of the Copyright Office. The Register also has the authority to publish compilations of information, bibliographies, and other material he or she considers to be of value to the public.
Distribution of publications. All publications of the Copyright Office shall be furnished to depository libraries as specified under section 1905 of title 44, and, aside from those furnished free of charge, shall be offered for sale to the public at prices based on the cost of reproduction and distribution.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2592.)
17 U.S.C. § 708 Copyright Office fees
The following fees shall be paid to the Register of Copyrights:
on filing each application under section 408 for registration of a copyright claim or for a supplementary registration, including the issuance of a certificate of registration if registration is made, $20;
on filing each application for registration of a claim for renewal of a subsisting copyright under section 304(a), including the issuance of a certificate of registration if registration is made, $20;
for the issuance of a receipt for a deposit under section 407, $4;
for the recordation, as provided by section 205, of a transfer of copyright ownership or other document covering not more than one title, $20; for additional titles, $10 for each group of not more than 10 titles;
for the filing, under section 115(b), of a notice of intention to obtain a compulsory license, $12;
for the recordation, under section 302(c), of a statement revealing the identity of an author of an anonymous or pseudonymous work, or for the recordation, under section 302(d), of a statement relating to the death of an author, $20 for a document covering not more than one title; for each additional title, $2;
for the issuance, under section 706, of an additional certificate of registration, $8;
for the issuance of any other certification, $20 for each hour or fraction of an hour consumed with respect thereto;
for the making and reporting of a search as provided by section 705, and for any related services, $20 for each hour or fraction of an hour consumed with respect thereto; and
for any other special services requiring a substantial amount of time or expense, such fees as the Register of Copyrights may fix on the basis of the cost of providing the service.
The Register of Copyrights is authorized to fix the fees for preparing copies of Copyright Office records, whether or not such copies are certified, on the basis of the cost of such preparation.
In calendar year 1997 and in any subsequent calendar year, the Register of Copyrights, by regulation, may increase the fees specified in subsection (a) in the following manner:
The Register shall conduct a study of the costs incurred by the Copyright Office for the registration of claims, the recordation of documents, and the provision of services. The study shall also consider the timing of any increase in fees and the authority to use such fees consistent with the budget.
The Register may, on the basis of the study under paragraph (1), and subject to paragraph (5), increase fees to not more than that necessary to cover the reasonable costs incurred by the Copyright Office for the services described in paragraph (1), plus a reasonable inflation adjustment to account for any estimated increase in costs.
Any fee established under paragraph (2) shall be rounded off to the nearest dollar, or for a fee less than $12, rounded off to the nearest 50 cents.
Fees established under this subsection shall be fair and equitable and give due consideration to the objectives of the copyright system.
If the Register determines under paragraph (2) that fees should be increased, the Register shall prepare a proposed fee schedule and submit the schedule with the accompanying economic analysis to the Congress. The fees proposed by the Register may be instituted after the end of 120 days after the schedule is submitted to the Congress unless, within that 120-day period, a law is enacted stating in substance that the Congress does not approve the schedule.
The fees prescribed by or under this section are applicable to the United States Government and any of its agencies, employees, or officers, but the Register of Copyrights has discretion to waive the requirement of this subsection in occasional or isolated cases involving relatively small amounts.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), all fees received under this section shall be deposited by the Register of Copyrights in the Treasury of the United States and shall be credited to the appropriations for necessary expenses of the Copyright Office. Such fees that are collected shall remain available until expended. The Register may, in accordance with regulations that he or she shall prescribe, refund any sum paid by mistake or in excess of the fee required by this section.
In the case of fees deposited against future services, the Register of Copyrights shall request the Secretary of the Treasury to invest in interest-bearing securities in the United States Treasury any portion of the fees that, as determined by the Register, is not required to meet current deposit account demands. Funds from such portion of fees shall be invested in securities that permit funds to be available to the Copyright Office at all times if they are determined to be necessary to meet current deposit account demands. Such investments shall be in public debt securities with maturities suitable to the needs of the Copyright Office, as determined by the Register of Copyrights, and bearing interest at rates determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration current market yields on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities.
The income on such investments shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States and shall be credited to the appropriations for necessary expenses of the Copyright Office.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2593; Aug. 5, 1977, Pub. L. 95-94, § 406(b), 91 Stat. 682; Oct. 15, 1982, Pub. L. 97-366, § 1, 96 Stat. 1759; July 3, 1990, Pub. L. 101-318, § 2, 104 Stat. 287; June 26, 1992, Pub. L. 102-307, Title I, § 102(f), 106 Stat. 266.)
(As amended Nov. 13, 1997, Pub. L. 105-80, § 7, 111 Stat. 1532.)
17 U.S.C. § 709 Delay in delivery caused by disruption of postal or other services
In any case in which the Register of Copyrights determines, on the basis of such evidence as the Register may by regulation require, that a deposit, application, fee, or any other material to be delivered to the Copyright Office by a particular date, would have been received in the Copyright Office in due time except for a general disruption or suspension of postal or other transportation or communications services, the actual receipt of such material in the Copyright Office within one month after the date on which the Register determines that the disruption or suspension of such services has terminated, shall be considered timely.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2594.)
17 U.S.C. § 710 Reproductions for use of the blind and physically handicapped: Voluntary licensing forms and procedures
The Register of Copyrights shall, after consultation with the Chief of the Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and other appropriate officials of the Library of Congress, establish by regulation standardized forms and procedures by which, at the time applications covering certain specified categories of non-dramatic literary works are submitted for registration under section 408 of this title, the copyright owner may voluntarily grant to the Library of Congress a license to reproduce the copyrighted work by means of Braille or similar tactile symbols, or by fixation of a reading of the work in a phonorecord, or both, and to distribute the resulting copies or phonorecords solely for the use of the blind and physically handicapped and under limited conditions to be specified in the standardized forms.
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2594.)
17 U.S.C. § 801 Copyright arbitration royalty panels: Establishment and purpose
Establishment. The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, is authorized to appoint and convene copyright arbitration royalty panels.
Purposes. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the purposes of the copyright arbitration royalty panels shall be as follows:
To make determinations concerning the adjustment of reasonable copyright royalty rates as provided in sections 114, 115, 116, and 119, and to make determinations as to reasonable terms and rates of royalty payments as provided in section 118. The rates applicable under sections 114, 115, and 116 shall be calculated to achieve the following objectives:
To maximize the availability of creative works to the public;
To afford the copyright owner a fair return for his creative work and the copyright user a fair income under existing economic conditions;
To reflect the relative roles of the copyright owner and the copyright user in the product made available to the public with respect to relative creative contribution, technological contribution, capital investment, cost, risk, and contribution to the opening of new markets for creative expression and media for their communication;
To minimize any disruptive impact on the structure of the industries involved and on generally prevailing industry practices.
To make determinations concerning the adjustment of the copyright royalty rates in section 111 solely in accordance with the following provisions:
The rates established by section 111(d)(1)(B) may be adjusted to reflect (i) national monetary inflation or deflation or (ii) changes in the average rates charged cable subscribers for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions to maintain the real constant dollar level of the royalty fee per subscriber which existed as of the date of enactment of this Act: Provided, That if the average rates charged cable system subscribers for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions are changed so that the average rates exceed national monetary inflation, no change in the rates established by section 111(d)(1)(B) shall be permitted: And provided further, That no increase in the royalty fee shall be permitted based on any reduction in the average number of distant signal equivalents per subscriber. The copyright arbitration royalty panels may consider all factors relating to the maintenance of such level of payments including, as an extenuating factor, whether the cable industry has been restrained by subscriber rate regulating authorities from increasing the rates for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions.
In the event that the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission are amended at any time after April 15, 1976, to permit the carriage by cable systems of additional television broadcast signals beyond the local service area of the primary transmitters of such signals, the royalty rates established by section 111(d)(1)(B) may be adjusted to insure that the rates for the additional distant signal equivalents resulting from such carriage are reasonable in the light of the changes effected by the amendment to such rules and regulations. In determining the reasonableness of rates proposed following an amendment of Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations, the copyright arbitration royalty panels shall consider, among other factors, the economic impact on copyright owners and users: Provided, That no adjustment in royalty rates shall be made under this subclause with respect to any distant signal equivalent or fraction thereof represented by (i) carriage of any signal permitted under the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect on April 15, 1976, or the carriage of a signal of the same type (that is, independent, network, or noncommercial educational) substituted for such permitted signal, or (ii) a television broadcast signal first carried after April 15, 1976, pursuant to an individual waiver of the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, as such rules and regulations were in effect on April 15, 1976.
In the event of any change in the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission with respect to syndicated and sports program exclusivity after April 15, 1976, the rates established by section 111(d)(1)(B) may be adjusted to assure that such rates are reasonable in light of the changes to such rules and regulations, but any such adjustment shall apply only to the affected television broadcast signals carried on those systems affected by the change.
The gross receipts limitations established by section 111(d)(1)(C) and (D) shall be adjusted to reflect national monetary inflation or deflation or changes in the average rates charged cable system subscribers for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions to maintain the real constant dollar value of the exemption provided by such section; and the royalty rate specified therein shall not be subject to adjustment.
To distribute royalty fees deposited with the Register of Copyrights under sections 111 116, 119(b), and 1003, and to determine, in cases where controversy exists, the distribution of such fees.
Rulings. The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may, before a copyright arbitration royalty panel is convened, make any necessary procedural or evidentiary rulings that would apply to the proceedings conducted by such panel, including--
authorizing the distribution of those royalty fees collected under sections 111, 119, and 1005 that the Librarian has found are not subject to controversy; and
accepting or rejecting royalty claims filed under sections 111, 119, and 1007 on the basis of timeliness or the failure to establish the basis for a claim.
Support and reimbursement of arbitration panels. The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, shall provide the copyright arbitration royalty panels with the necessary administrative services related to proceedings under this chapter, and shall reimburse the arbitrators presiding in distribution proceedings at such intervals and in such manner as the Librarian shall provide by regulation. Each such arbitrator is an independent contractor acting on behalf of the United States, and shall be hired pursuant to a signed agreement between the Library of Congress and the arbitrator. Payments to the arbitrators shall be considered reasonable costs incurred by the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office for purposes of section 802(h)(1).
(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, § 101, 90 Stat. 2594; 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99-397, § 2(c), (d), 100 Stat. 848; Oct. 31, 1988, Pub. L. 100-568, § 11(1), 102 Stat. 2860; Nov. 16, 1988, Pub. L. 100-667, Title II, § 202(4), 102 Stat. 3958; July 3, 1990, Pub. L. 101-318, § 3(b), 104 Stat. 288; Oct. 28, 1992, Pub. L. 102-563, § 3(a)(1), 106 Stat. 4247; Dec. 17, 1993, Pub. L. 103-198, § 2(a), 107 Stat. 2304.)
(As amended Nov. 1, 1995, Pub. L. 104-39, § 5(d)(1), 109 Stat. 348; Nov. 13, 1997, Pub. L. 105-80, §§ 8(a), 12(a)(19), 111 Stat. 1533, 1535.)