Secure Tests Rulemaking

The United States Copyright Office has issued two interim rules governing its special procedure for examining secure tests.

The June 12, 2017, interim rule memorializes some of the Office’s existing procedures for examining secure tests while updating its procedures to increase the efficiency of the examination process. Under this rule, applicants must, among other things, submit an online application, a redacted copy of the entire test, and a brief questionnaire about the test through the electronic registration system. This procedure will allow the Office to prescreen an application to determine whether the work qualifies as a secure test. Only applicants whose works qualify will be granted an in-person examination appointment at the Copyright Office. During the appointment, the Office will examine the test as a whole to determine if it contains sufficient copyrightable authorship.

The November 13, 2017, interim rule establishes a new group registration option for secure test questions and answers and other related materials (referred to as “test items”). This option will permit registration of test items that are stored in an electronic database or test bank.