On January 30 the Authors Guild filed comments with the United States Copyright Office, which had proposed instituting a rule that would eliminate the paper-based application process for authors wishing to register their contributions to periodicals as a group (as opposed to individually filing each article or column written throughout the year, for example). Under the proposed rule, copyright owners would be required to file electronically, and the paper application would be eliminated.
In our comments, we took the position that, while we believe the electronic application will become the preferred mode of application for most authors, some authors may not have access to broadband Internet service or are accustomed to the paper application. As a result, we recommend that the Copyright Office should determine the level of interest among its patrons for keeping the paper application, and then phase it out, as opposed to abolishing it abruptly. We also suggest that the paper application could remain available for a modest fee, or on a case-by-case basis.