Copyright Slimdown: Rule Change Would Relieve Publishers Of Having To File Every Website Update

The U.S. Copyright Office is mulling changes in its rules for group registrations of updates to news websites, and is now seeking comments from stakeholders.  

The new framework would allow news publishers to efficiently register all of their online content.

The News/Media Alliance, which applauds the move, notes that “media publishers are practically unable to register all of their copyright-protected works due to significant inefficiencies in the copyright registration system. While print publications remain popular for some readers, a sizable amount of content appears only online and not in a print edition. 

The Alliance adds that the current system, which requires publishers to “submit full copies of all works published on their dynamic websites—including every update—simply is not workable.”

Why not? Because “many online news websites are updated throughout the day, making full copyright registration logistically impossible with current registration options,” the Alliance states.  



This causes challenges for the Copyright Office as well, the Alliance points out.

The Alliance urges the copyright Office to broaden the definition of a “news website” to explicitly include subject matter specific to news sites and to include content published on publisher-owned or operated apps.

It is not yet clear how this would work. But Danielle Coffey, president and CEO of the Alliance, argues that, “in order to be useful, the rule must be operational, which is why we are calling on the Office to adopt it immediately on an interim basis.”

The Alliance adds that failure to change the system “risks leaving significant amounts of copyrighted works without reasonable access to the full statutory benefits of copyright protection and, therefore, more susceptible to systemic infringement.”


Next story loading loading..