U.S. Copyright Office Proposes New Group Registration Procedure for Frequently Updated News Websites

Issue No. 1029 - January 3, 2024

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to update its regulations by adding a new registration option for frequently updated news websites. The proposed rule will enable online news publishers to register a group of updates to a news website as a collective work. The accompanying deposit will be composed of identifying material representing sufficient portions of the works rather than the complete contents of the website.

This registration option is proposed to address the challenges associated with existing registration options for frequently updated news websites. The rapid pace at which many web-based materials are created and updated presents a challenge for copyright owners seeking to protect online news works. Online news publishers have expressed concern that the registration options currently available to them are expensive and burdensome. After careful consideration of the benefits to copyright owners, the potential impact on the public record, and the Office’s ability to efficiently examine these works, the Office proposes this rule with the anticipation that it will lead to broader participation in the registration system.

The notice of proposed rulemaking and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Written comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking published on January 3rd, 2024, must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. eastern time on February 20th, 2024.