Clockwork Copyrights: U.S. Office Wants To Ease The Process For News Publishers

The U.S. Copyright Office is seeking to streamline the registration process for frequently updated news websites. 

It has put out a proposal that would allow news publishers to register a group of updates as a collective work and not have to deposit the entire contents of the website. 

This would address “the challenges associated with existing registration options for frequently updated news websites,” the Copyright Office states.  

It adds, “The rapid pace at which many web-based materials are created and updated presents a challenge for copyright owners seeking to protect online news works.”

The accompanying deposit will contain material representing sufficient portions of the works, rather than the complete contents of the website.

The News/Media Alliance promptly applauded the proposal.  

“For years, publishers have lacked a feasible way to register the full contents of modern news media websites, which constantly publish and update material for their readers,” The Alliance states.



It continues, “As today’s notice recognizes, existing requirements to submit PDF copies of entire websites with every update posed difficulties for many publishers as well as the Office itself.”

The Office acknowledges “the technological constraints of the current electronic registration system and expects to revisit the features of this registration option, especially once its web-based, cloud-hosted Enterprise Copyright System is in place.” 

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