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copyright office - freedom of information act (foia) records

freedom of information act (foia) records

the foia and the privacy act: an overview

based on the principle that an informed public is essential to the
democratic process, the freedom of information act (foia), which can be
found at section 552 of title 5 of the united states code (u.s.c.),
requires federal agencies to make agency records available to the public
either proactively or in response to a request, subject to certain
conditions and exceptions. the foia includes nine exemptions and three
exclusions that permit an agency to withhold a record in part or in full
in limited circumstances. the federal foia does not provide a right of
access to records held by congress, the courts, state or local government
agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. the privacy act, which
can be found at 5 u.s.c. � 552a, contains similar provisions with respect
to records relating to an individual requester. the copyright office is
subject to the foia and the privacy act, and sets forth its regulations
governing requests made pursuant to these acts at 37 code of federal
regulations (c.f.r.), part 203 (foia) and part 204 (privacy act).
types of records the copyright office maintains
one of the copyright office�s primary functions is to record authors� and
other claimants� claims to copyright in original works of authorship. the
copyright office maintains records of these registrations as well as
materials deposited with applications for registration (e.g., a copy of
the work), records relating to the application process (e.g.,
correspondence between the copyright office and the applicant regarding
the application or deposit); recorded documents (e.g., copyright
assignments), records relating to the statutory licensing of copyrighted
works (e.g., statements of account), and other records regarding the
office�s general operations. not all of these types of records exist for
each registered work, and the copyright office maintains some records only
for a limited time. the office also creates and maintains numerous
information circulars, which explain selected provisions of copyright law
and procedures. circular 1a more fully explains the various roles and
functions the copyright office serves.
records the copyright office makes available without having to file a foia
copyright registration records
the copyright office makes a vast quantity of records publicly available
without requiring an individual to file a foia request. although many foia
requests to the copyright office demand access to records relating to
copyright registrations, these records are already available for public
inspection, in accordance with sections 705 and 706 of title 17, united
states code (u.s.c.) and section 201.2 of title 37, code of federal
regulations (c.f.r.), and most records may be copied for a fee. the
copyright office will not make copies of registered deposit material,
however, unless authorized by the copyright claimant or for other
specified reasons related to litigation activity, which requires the use
of a prescribed original form available from the certifications and
documents section. requests for inspection, copying or certification of
registration records should be directed to the certifications and
documents section, u.s. copyright office, 101 independence avenue, se,
washington, dc 20559-6000; tel: (202) 707-6787; fax: (202) 252-3519;
email: the office�s information circulars 4, 6, and 22
provide further detail about gaining access to and/or copies of this
information and the charges that may be assessed.
if you need to locate information about a registration, rather than
viewing the actual registration itself, you may search copyright
registrations and documents for free by using the copyright office�s
website or by visiting our washington, d.c., facility in person.
alternatively, you may request the copyright office to perform a search
for you for a fee by contacting the reference and bibliography section,
u.s. copyright office, 101 independence avenue, se, washington, dc
20559-6000; tel: (202) 707-6850; fax: (202) 252-3485; email:
statutory licensing records
the licensing division of the copyright office maintains records of
transactions related to the statutory licensing of secondary transmissions
of copyrighted works on cable television systems and by satellite carriers
for private home viewing, the making and distributing of phonorecords, the
use of certain works in connection with noncommercial broadcasting, the
public performance of sound recordings via digital audio transmissions,
and the public performance of copyrighted music on jukeboxes from 1978 to
1989. these records are open to public inspection and searching from 8:30
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time, monday through friday except federal
holidays. inquiries should be directed to the licensing division, u.s.
copyright office, 101 independence avenue, se, washington, dc 20557-6400;
tel: (202) 707-8150; email: further information
regarding the licensing division is available in information circular 75.
other records
the office also makes many other records available for free on its
website, including: information circulars and factsheets, applications and
other forms, the text of the copyright act, the office�s regulations
located in 37 c.f.r. part 2, the office�s federal register notices,
current copyright legislation, reports and studies, congressional
testimony, and frequently asked questions (faq).
alternatively, you may request printed copies of such forms, information
circulars and certain other copyright office publications by calling the
copyright office�s forms hotline at (202) 707-9100. follow the recorded
instructions for leaving a message including the name or description of
the publication you are requesting and the address to which the
publication is to be mailed.
a bound copy of the 1976 copyright act, as amended, may be obtained by
requesting circular 92 from the superintendent of documents, p.o. box
371954, pittsburgh, pa 15250-7954. request stock number 030-002-00197-7.
you may also contact the government printing office by phone at (202)
512-1800 or by fax at (202) 512-2250.
other information
the public information office (pio) is available by phone and email to
answer questions from members of the public for free regarding the
copyright office�s procedures and the copyright law in general. pio
cannot, however, provide specific legal advice. you may contact pio by
phone at (202) 707-3000, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time, monday
through friday except federal holidays. you may also send an email inquiry
from the contact us link of the copyright office web site or
should i submit a foia request to the copyright office for records that
are maintained by the library of congress?
no. although the copyright office is a service unit of the library of
congress, these two entities function separately with respect to the foia.
the copyright office is subject to the foia and the privacy act because
the copyright act itself so provides. this provision does not, however,
apply to the library of congress, which has developed its own procedures
for responding to requests for information and access to its records.
requests for records maintained by the library of congress should be
directed to: chief, office systems services (oss), library of congress,
101 independence avenue, s.e., washington, dc 20540-9440.
how to make a foia request to the copyright office
the copyright office�s foia requester service center is responsible for
processing all initial requests submitted pursuant to the foia or the
privacy act. all initial requests must be in writing and sent by mail to:
foia requester service center
copyright office
p.o. box 70400
washington, dc 20024
to facilitate a prompt response, the request should be clearly marked
�freedom of information act request.� moreover, records requested should
be well-described, meaning that the description should enable the office
to identify the records requested by any process that is not unreasonably
burdensome or disruptive to office operations. the office may contact the
requester to attempt to narrow or further define the nature and scope of
the request. a requester is advised to provide a daytime telephone number,
fax number, and/or email address in case the foia requester service center
needs additional information in order to process the request. the office
will search for potentially responsive records created prior to the date
that the office begins its search.
if a request is denied, the notification will include the basis for the
denial. appeals may be made in writing to the general counsel, united
states copyright office, at the address listed above. appeals must be made
within 30 calendar days of the date of the office's denial.
how to obtain information about the status of your foia request
the foia requester service center is the first place that a foia requester
should contact to seek information concerning the status of that person�s
foia request and appropriate information about the copyright office�s foia
response. the center can be reached at (202) 707-6800. foia requesters can
subsequently raise any concerns about the service they received from the
center to the foia public liaison. the liaison can be reached at (202)
designated officers under executive order 13392
chief foia officer: tanya m. sandros, acting general counsel
foia public liaison: peter m. vankevich, supervisory copyright information
list of records
the privacy act of 1974 requires that the copyright office maintain a list
of the systems of records it keeps, together with descriptions of the
records kept in those systems and methods the public may use to access
information in the systems. the most up-to-date version of the systems of
records was published in september 1998 and amended in october 1999. this
updated list reflects changes, additions, and deletions of records
maintained by the office since the last publication of systems of records,
which occurred in august 1993. see the complete list of copyright office
system of records.

u.s. copyright office freedom of information act reports

annual reports�fiscal year: 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 |
2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998
report implementing presidential executive order 13392: improving agency
disclosure of information
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(foia) | library of congress
u.s. copyright office
101 independence ave. s.e.
washington, d.c. 20559-6000
(202) 707-3000
revised: 15-feb-2007