Copyright Office Issues Final Rule to Create Group Registration Option for Short Online Literary Works
Issue No. 834 - June 22, 2020

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a final rule creating a new group registration option for short online literary works such as blog entries, social media posts, and short online articles. The Office initiated this rulemaking in December 2018, when it issued a proposed rule that would allow applicants to register up to fifty short online literary works with one application and one filing fee. The Office received eight comments in response to the proposed rule from several stakeholder groups and individual authors. Today’s final rule largely adopts the eligibility requirements in the proposed rule, with certain modifications in response to the comments.

The final rule also announces a new online registration application for this group option. Under the original proposed rule, applicants would have been required to submit their claims using the online Standard Application given technological limitations in the current registration system. Based on commenters’ input, however, the Office has worked to introduce a new application specifically for short online literary works within the existing system. The Office expects to prepare an online tutorial and other guidance on completing and submitting the application.

The final rule takes effect on August 17, 2020, to coincide with the expected completion of system development for this new option. The Office will issue an additional public announcement when that process is complete and this option is available to applicants. For more information, visit the Copyright Office’s website.