US copyright office proposes to improve supplementary registration

The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing to amend the regulation governing supplementary registration to reflect certain technical upgrades that will soon be made to the electronic registration system. In most cases applicants will be required to submit an online application in order to correct or amplify the information set forth in a basic registration.

Section 408(d) of the Copyright Act authorizes the Register of Copyrights to establish ‘‘formal procedures for the filing of an application for supplementary registration.’’ A supplementary registration is a special type of registration that may be used ‘‘to correct an error in a copyright registration or to amplify the information given in a registration.’’ Specifically, it identifies an error or omission in an existing registration and places the corrected information or additional information in the public record.

When the U.S. Copyright Office issues a supplementary registration, it does not cancel or replace the basic registration or the registration number for that registration. Likewise, the Office does not change the information set forth in the basic registration or the public record for that registration. Instead, as specified by statute, the basic registration and the supplementary registration coexist with each other in the public record, and ‘‘the information contained in a supplementary registration augments but does not supersede that contained in the earlier registration.’’

The Office is proposing to amend the regulation that governs the procedure for seeking a supplementary registration. Under the Proposed Rule, in most cases, applicants will be required to file an online application in order to correct or amplify the information set forth in a basic registration.

The Office has allowed and encouraged applicants to register their works through the electronic registration system since 2007. When the Office introduced this system, it could be used only to seek a basic registration. To seek a supplementary registration, applicants had to submit a paper application using Form CA. Once the Proposed Rule goes into effect, applicants will not be allowed to submit a paper application on Form CA to correct or amplify the basic registration for any types of works that are capable of being registered through the electronic system.

The Proposed Rule also updates examination practices in several areas.