Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures

§201.31   Procedures for copyright restoration in the United States for certain motion pictures and their contents in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

(a) General. This section prescribes the procedures for submission of Statements of Intent pertaining to the restoration of copyright protection in the United States for certain motion pictures and works embodied therein as required by the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (NAFTA) of December 8, 1993, Public Law No. 103-182. On or after January 3, 1995, the Copyright Office will publish in the Federal Register a list of works for which potential copyright owners have filed a complete and timely Statement of Intent with the Copyright Office.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Effective filing. To be effective a Statement of Intent must be complete and timely.

(2) Eligible work means any motion picture that was first fixed or published in Mexico or Canada, and any work included in such motion picture that was first fixed or published with this motion picture, if the work entered the public domain in the United States because it was first published on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, without the notice required by 17 U.S.C. 401, 402, or 403, the absence of which has not been excused by the operation of 17 U.S.C. 405, as such sections were in effect during that period.

(3) Fixed means a work ‘fixed’ in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted, is ‘fixed’ for purposes of this title if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission. 17 U.S.C. 101

(4) Potential copyright owner means the person who would have owned any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright in the United States in a work eligible for copyright restoration under NAFTA, if the work had not fallen into the public domain for failure to comply with the statutory notice requirements in effect at the time of first publication, or any successor in interest to such a person.

(5) Published means distribution of copies of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.

(c) Forms. The Copyright Office does not provide Statement of Intent forms for the use of potential copyright owners who want to restore copyright protection in eligible works.

(d) Requirements for effective Statements of Intent.

(1) The document should be clearly designated as a “Statement of Intent to restore copyright protection in the United States in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement”.

(2) Statements of Intent must include:

(i) The title(s) of the work(s) for which copyright restoration is sought, including any underlying work(s) that has a title(s) different from the title of the motion picture, provided all works are owned by the same potential copyright owner;

(ii) The nation of first fixation;

(iii) The nation of first publication;

(iv) The date of first publication;

(v) The name and mailing address (and telephone and telefax, if applicable) of the potential copyright owner of the work;

(vi) The following certification (in its entirety); signed and dated by the potential copyright owner or authorized agent:

Certification and Signature: I hereby certify that each of the above titled works was first fixed or first published in


(insert Mexico or Canada) and understand that the work(s) have entered the public domain in the United States of America because of first publication on or after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989, without the notice required by U.S. copyright law. I certify that the information given herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and understand that any knowing or willful falsification of material facts may result in criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. 1001.

Name (Printed or Typed):

(3) If copyright restoration is sought for an underlying work only, the Statement of Intent must specify the kind of underlying work covered and give the title if different from the title of the motion picture.

(4) More than one motion picture may be included in a single Statement of Intent provided the potential copyright owner is the same for all the motion pictures. The information required in §201.31 (d)(2)(i) through (d)(2)(iv) must be given for each work.

(5) Sports programs that do not have a title can be identified in a Statement of Intent by giving the sporting event, the team names and the date (month, day and year).

(6) Statements of Intent must be received in the Copyright Office on or before December 31, 1994.

(7) Statements of Intent must be in English and either typed or legibly printed by hand, on 8½ inch by 11 inch white paper.

(e) Fee. The Copyright Office is not requiring a fee for the processing of Statements of Intent.

(f) Effective date of restoration of copyright protection.

(1) Potential copyright owners of eligible works who file a complete and timely Statement of Intent with the Copyright Office will have copyright protection restored in these works effective January 1, 1995.

(2) The new section 17 U.S.C. 104A(c) created by the NAFTA Implementation Act gives a one year exemption to U.S. nationals or domiciliaries who made or acquired copies of a motion picture or its contents before December 8, 1993, the date of enactment of the implementing act. These individuals or entities may continue to sell, distribute, or perform publicly such works without liability for a period of one year following the Copyright Office's publication in the Federal Register of the list of the works determined to be properly qualified for protection and for which complete and timely Statements of Intent have been filed.

(g) Registration of works whose copyright has been restored. After January 1, 1995, the Copyright Office encourages potential copyright owners to make voluntary copyright registration in accordance with 17 U.S.C. 408 for works that have had copyright restored in accordance with NAFTA.

[59 FR 12164, Mar. 16, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 58789, Nov. 15, 1994; 60 FR 50420, Sept. 29, 1995; 66 FR 34373, June 28, 2001]

Source: GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/)
Data current as of January 12, 2017