Indexed Notices of Noncommerical Use

A Notice of Noncommerical Use (“NNU”) is a special type of document that users may file to become eligible for a safe harbor allowing certain noncommercial uses of sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972 (“Pre-1972 Sound Recordings”) that are not being commercially exploited. To qualify for this exemption, a user must file an NNU proposing a specific noncommercial use of a Pre-1972 Sound Recording after conducting a good faith, reasonable search to determine that the sound recording is not being commercially exploited. The NNU is indexed into this database, and the rights owner of the sound recording must not object to the use within 90 days of the index date by filing an opt-out notice (“Pre-1972 Opt-Out Notice”).

If the rights owner files a Pre-1972 Opt-Out Notice within 90 days, the user may not take advantage of the safe harbor for the proposed use of the Pre-1972 Sound Recording in the NNU. Depending on the proposed use, however, other exceptions and limitations may still be available to a prospective user, such as fair use and the exceptions for libraries and archives under section 108.

Once the Office beings indexing NNUs, the Office will make them publicly available on this webpage through a searchable database.