Freedom of Information Act Practices and Procedures

After issuing an interim rule and soliciting comments, the U.S. Copyright Office adopted a final rule, effective March 15, 2019, related to its practices and procedures under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The rule incorporates changes made by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, including, among other things, the addition of discrete sections stating the time, place, fees, and procedures for making requests, which improves readability and accessibility for the public; an extension from thirty days to ninety days to file an administrative appeal; and notice of the availability of dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. The rule also formalizes Office practices of multitrack processing and aggregation for administrative convenience. Finally, for the purpose of enhancing customer service, the rule emphasizes the Office’s availability to assist requesters, provides a procedure for submitting requests by email, and describes the overall construct for assessing fees in the most efficient and least expensive manner.