News/Media Alliance Files Comments, Meets with the Copyright Office on Access to Electronic Works Rulemaking

On Monday, October 16, 2023, the News/Media Alliance submitted reply comments in response to the U.S. Copyright Office’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Access to Electronic Works. The Copyright Office is proposing to update its regulations governing access to electronic deposits of works submitted for copyright registration that the Library of Congress subsequently selects for its collections. The rule would expand the categories of eligible deposits, including group registrations for published photographs and short online literary works, amongst others. The rule would have minimal direct impact on news publishers, since print newspaper deposits sent by via PDF are already subject to the existing rule. The Alliance’s comments asked the Office to prioritize updating the registration options to allow for publishers to efficiently register online material before moving forward with other rulemakings. In addition, the comments noted the importance of not expanding the ways in which these deposits can be accessed by Library users in ways that compete with markets for licensed content, and signaled support for further documentation around the current conditions of access. On January 9, 2024, the Alliance met with the Copyright Office to discuss the proposed rule and the Alliance members’ experiences with electronic deposits in more detail. Read the Alliance’s comments here and the ex parte meeting summary here.

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