Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 203—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) In general. The Office is responsible for responding to a request. In determining which records are responsive to a request, the Office ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that it begins its search. If any other date is used, the Office will inform the requester of that date.
(b) Authority to grant or deny requests. The Register of Copyrights, and the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education are authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records.
(c) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located by the Office in response to a request, the Office will determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under FOIA. As to any such record, the Office will proceed in one of the following ways:
(1) Consultation. When records originated with the Office, but contain within them information of interest to another agency or Federal Government office, the Office may consult with the other entity prior to making a release determination.
(i) When the Office believes that a different agency is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, the Office will refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that agency. Ordinarily, the Office that originated the record is presumed to be the best agency to make the disclosure determination. If, however, the Office and the originating agency jointly agree that the Office is in the best position to respond, then the record may be handled as a consultation.
(ii) Whenever the Office refers any responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, it will document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral. The notification will include the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred and that agency's FOIA contact information.
(3) Coordination. When the Office believes that a different agency is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, but disclosure of the identity of the different agency could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, the Office will coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views of disclosability of the record. The release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination will then be conveyed to the requester by the Office.
(d) Timing of responses to consultations and referrals. All consultations and referrals received by the Office will be handled according to the date that the first agency received the perfected FOIA request.
(e) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. The Office may establish agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals with respect to particular types of records.
[82 FR 9507, Feb. 7, 2017]