Alliance Applauds Copyright Office Move to Modernize Newspaper Registration

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Lindsey Loving
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News Media Alliance Applauds Copyright Office Move to Modernize Newspaper Registration

November 6, 2017

Arlington, VA – Today the Copyright Office published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking allowing newspapers to use cost-saving technology for copyright registrations. The News Media Alliance applauds the Copyright Office for making this transition to a more modern and technology-friendly format, a move that will save newspapers valuable resources and create efficiencies across industry and government.

The Library currently identifies over 400 periodicals that must submit copies of their print circulations so that history can be preserved for future generations. The PDF format, already in use at most newspapers, is a future-proof technology that will allow for history to be captured and preserved.

“This transition will result in increased submissions and less resources dedicated to compliance,” stated David Chavern, News Media Alliance President & CEO. “Bringing the archiving process into step with modern technology helps ensure that newspapers can focus on their critical role of reporting news and information necessary for an informed democracy and a civil society.”

The Copyright Office accepts voluntary submissions of periodicals (in most cases simultaneously with deposits with the Library) for registration of the content to be protected under copyright law. A necessary first step is registration with the Copyright Office. The transition from microfilm to PDF will facilitate registration, making it easier for newspapers to protect their work and receive increased return on investments.

News organizations invest significant capital in newsgathering operations, and therefore have an interest in protecting their content against unauthorized misappropriation. The Alliance will work with the Copyright Office and the Library to produce materials that will help newspapers comply with the new requirements.

The proposal will be put out for comments to be received within 30 days, until December 6, 2017.  A final rule is expected to be adopted shortly thereafter. There will be a transition period until December 31, 2019, during which time both PDF and microfilm submissions will be accepted.


The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at


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