19 June 2007

Electronic Copyright Registration

The US Copyright Office has just issued a final rule — administrative directive with the force of law — establishing a beta-test program for reduced registration fees.

That's right. The government wants to take less of your money. Have I got your attention yet?

You can find some details at the description page for the test. Unfortunately, what it doesn't say is at least as important as what it does. It doesn't say how many "beta testers" will be accepted; it doesn't say how long it anticipates the "beta test" period will extend; and, perhaps most important, it doesn't say how certificates of registration will be delivered. Yes, there's an evidence issue lurking in there... or three.

In any event, I'm glad to see that the Copyright Office is catching up with the Patent and Trademark Office. TEAS (the online trademark application system) has been operating quite satisfactorily for several years for a vastly more complex application, so hopefully the Copyright Office consulted the PTO on making the new eCO system work.