The Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office have signed a major new Cooperative Agreement with the National Music Publishers' Association Inc. (NMPA) and its licensing subsidiary, the Harry Fox Agency Inc. (HFA) establishing the CORDS program (Copyright Office Electronic Registration, Recordation and Deposit System) for online copyright registration and deposit of musical works.
The CORDS system allows music publishers to register their copyrights online through the HFA SongFile.com Web site, eliminating paperwork and speeding up the registration process. Music publishers are also able to file deposit copies of their works online.
In a recent test of the system, four music publishers—EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic, BMG and Famous Music—have effectively used the CORDS system to register musical works and receive their copyright registration certificates within a few weeks. HFA developed special software to enable its publisher principals to connect to the CORDS system.
The U.S. Copyright Office worked closely with HFA to provide advice and expertise, and the CORDS developer, CNRI (Corporation for National Research Initiatives), provided extensive technical assistance to HFA as well. "I am delighted that music publishers are now able to use the CORDS system," said Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters.
"In this age of electronic commerce, an important part of our copyright system is the ability of publishers to electronically submit copyright claims for their content, and the Copyright Office to expeditiously make available online accurate and timely information about their copyright registrations," she added.
"This is another major step for the Library of Congress as well, as the new arrangement also provides an efficient way for the Library to acquire new musical works in electronic form for its growing digital library collections," observed Associate Librarian for Library Services Winston Tabb.
"We are very pleased with the culmination of this NMPA-HFA joint project with the Copyright Office. CORDS takes the time-consuming and paper-intensive work of registering music copyrights and makes it faster, easier and more accessible," said Edward Murphy, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association Inc.
The copyright system has been a part of the Library of Congress since 1870. In addition to administering the copyright law, the U.S. Copyright Office creates and maintains the national public record of copyright registrations and recorded documents, provides technical assistance and policy advice on copyright issues to Congress and executive branch agencies, offers information to the general public and obtains copies of works for the collections of the Library of Congress. For more information, visit the U.S. Copyright Office on the World Wide Web at www.loc.gov/copyright.
The National Music Publishers' Association, founded in 1917, works to protect and advance the interests of the music publishing industry. With more than 800 members, NMPA represents music publishing firms throughout the United States. The Harry Fox Agency Inc., the licensing subsidiary of NMPA, provides an information source, clearinghouse and monitoring service for licensing musical copyrights and represents more than 25,000 music publisher principals. Fox Agency International, launched in 1994, is a subsidiary of HFA.