[Federal Register: June 6, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 110)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 28829-28830]

Corrected version, line 41, new date change to August 15, 1996.


Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 202

[Docket No. RM 95-7A]

Registration of Claims to Copyright, Group Registration of 

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of public hearing.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office issues this notice to inform the 
public that the Office will hold a public hearing in the course of an 
ongoing rulemaking proceeding in which it is proposing changes in the 
manner in which copyright claimants may register photographs. This 
notice invites participation in a public hearing intended to elicit 
additional comments to assist the Office in its review of proposed 
registration procedures.

DATES: The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 1996, 
beginning at 10:00 a.m. Anyone desiring to testify should contact the 
Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of 
Congress, at (202) 707-8380 by Wednesday, June 19, 1996. Written 
comments are also invited from both those who wish to testify and those 
who wish only to file either initial or supplemental written comments. 
All written comments must be received on or before Monday,  August 15,

[[Page 28830]]

ADDRESSES: Interested parties should submit written comments and 
requests to present oral testimony BY MAIL to Marilyn J. Kretsinger, 
Acting General Counsel, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest 
Station, Washington, D.C. 20024, or BY HAND delivery to the Office of 
the General Counsel, Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, 
Room LM 407, First Street and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, 
D.C. The hearing will be held on June 26, 1996, in the Register's 
Conference Room, Room LM 407, located on the fourth floor of the 
Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and 
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn J. Kretsinger, Acting General 
Counsel, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, 
Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Facsimile: (202) 


The Office's Current Rulemaking Proceeding

    Recently the Copyright Office initiated a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning group registration of photographs. Over 
the years photographers and photography businesses have told the Office 
that they were not able to take advantage of the benefits of 
registration because Office practices were too burdensome, in terms of 
both effort and finances.
    On December 4, 1995, the Office published a NPRM with a request for 
comments in the Federal Register. 60 FR 62057 (Dec. 4, 1995). This NPRM 
sought public comment on proposed regulations that would permit a 
single registration for a group of unpublished and published related 
photos that met specified conditions. The proposed deposit would be a 
general written description of the subject matter of the photos, e.g., 
``photos of 1996 blizzard in Washington, DC.''
    In seeking public comment, the Office published nine questions to 
elicit comment and information about the potential effects of the 
proposed regulations. See 60 FR 62057. The comment period was 
originally scheduled to close January 18, 1996, with reply comments due 
by February 2, 1996; however, due to the inordinate number of 
government and business closures that occurred during December 1995 and 
January 1996, the Office extended these deadlines. Comments were 
requested by February 9, 1996, and reply comments by March 1, 1996. The 
Office is in the process of carefully reviewing all of these comments.

Subject Matter To Be Addressed at the Public Hearing

    In the course of such review, certain additional issues and 
concerns have been brought to the Office's attention. Therefore, in 
order to supplement the information the Office has already received in 
response to the NPRM, the Office will hold a public hearing on June 26, 
1996, to solicit additional comments on the proposed regulations 
regarding group registration of photographs. This hearing will provide 
an opportunity to obtain more information on the concerns expressed 
during the original comment period by allowing individuals and 
organizations who wish to comment to address further the issues set out 
in the NPRM, as well as:
    (1) Innocent infringement. Is there a greater likelihood that those 
who innocently use photographs may be sued and may be found liable for 
copyright infringement if the proposed regulations are put into effect? 
Are existing provisions of the copyright law concerning innocent 
infringers adequate or should those provisions be modified? If so, in 
what way?
    (2) Frivolous law suits. If the proposed regulations were put into 
effect, would they lead to an increase in the filing of frivolous law 
    (3) Industry guidelines. Do the proposed regulations affect the 
development of industry guidelines? If so, how? Would they affect 
compliance with agreed upon guidelines? If so, how?

Filing of Written Comments

    All of the comments filed in response to the NPRM 60 FR 62057 (Dec. 
4, 1995), are already part of the record for this rulemaking. Anyone 
who wishes to file initial comments or supplemental comments addressing 
either the issues raised in this notice or those set out in the NPRM 
may do so. All written comments must be received in the Copyright 
Office at the address given above by close of business on Monday, July 
15, 1996.

    Dated: June 3, 1996.
Marybeth Peters,
Register of Copyrights.
[FR Doc. 96-14222 Filed 6-5-96; 8:45 am]