[Federal Register: January 10, 1994]



Copyright Office
[Docket No. RM 93-13]

General Provisions - Copyright Restoration of Certain Mexican and 
Canadian Works

AGENCY: Copyright Office; Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of policy decision.


SUMMARY: The Copyright Office publishes this notice to inform the 
public that the North American Free Trade Agreement which entered into 
force on January 1, 1994, and its implementing legislation (Pub. L. No. 
103-182) authorizes the Copyright Office to establish procedures for 
copyright restoration of certain works first fixed or published in 
Mexico or Canada after January 1, 1978 and before March 1, 1989. This 
notice is intended to summarize the content of that legislation. 
Copyright owners of affected works must file a statement of intent with 
the Copyright Office to restore copyright for eligible works; details 
of new procedures to file these statements will be published within the 
next 60 days.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:Eric Schwartz, Policy Planning Advisor, 
Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540. 
Telephone: (202) 707-8350. Fax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The North American Free Trade Agreement and 
the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. No. 
103-182) provide for the restoration of copyright for certain works 
that are currently in the public domain in the United States. Under new 
section 104A of title 17, copyright protection may be restored for 
certain motion pictures that were first fixed or published in Mexico or 
Canada, and any work included in such motion pictures that was first 
fixed or published with these motion pictures, if the work ``entered 
the public domain in the United States because it was first published 
on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, without the 
notice required by sections 401, 402, or 403 of [title 17], the absence 
of which has not been excused by the operation of section 405 of [title 
17], as such sections were in effect during that period.'' 17 U.S.C. 
104A(a) (1993). A motion picture or underlying work (such as original 
music or dramatic text embodied in the motion picture) meeting these 
requirements ``shall have copyright protection under [title 17] for the 
remainder of the term of copyright protection to which it would have 
been entitled in the United States had it been published with such 
notice.'' Id.
    Copyright owners of qualifying works must file a ``statement of 
intent'' with the Copyright Office between January 1, 1994 (the date on 
which the Agreement entered into force) and January 1, 1995 to notify 
the public of their intent to restore copyright protection for these 
works in the United States. After January 1, 1995, the Copyright Office 
must publish in the Federal Register, the list of works for which 
statements have been filed and which are determined to be properly 
qualified for protection. The restoration of copyright protection for 
these works will be provided at that time in accordance with section 
104A of title 17. Section 104A(c) of title 17 provides that persons who 
are copying, performing or selling copies of such works may continue 
such activities for a period of one year following publication of the 
1995 Federal Register notice. This exemption applies only to copies 
produced or acquired before the date of enactment of the implementing 
legislation (December 8, 1993).
    Within the next 60 days, the Copyright Office will announce in the 
Federal Register the procedures necessary to file a ``statement of 
intent'' with the Office, including the applicable statements and 
materials that must be submitted. In the meantime, copyright owners and 
other interested parties can contact Eric Schwartz, Policy Planning 
Advisor, Copyright Office, at (202) 707-8350, for additional 

    January 3, 1994.
Barbara Ringer,
Acting Register of Copyrights.

James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 94-441 Filed 1-7-94;8:45am]