November 27, 2000 Library of Congress and Copyright Office Announce New Online Copyright Office Registration Program in Cooperation with Music Publishers

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-3000

The Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office today announced that they 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 & 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 Web site, eliminating paperwork and speeding up the copyright 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 in order 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' system's 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 Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights. "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."

"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 Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library Services.

"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," stated Edward Murphy, President & CEO, National Music Publishers Edward Association, Inc. (NMPA). Both Murphy and Robert Shaw, Executive Vice President and COO of the Harry Fox Agency agree that, "It will be a great benefit to all of NMPA/HFA's publisher principals."

"EMI Music Publishing applauds the U.S. Copyright Office in this step towards harnessing the power of transactional solutions via the Internet," said EMI's chairman and CEO Martin Bandier. "We welcomed the opportunity to assist them in this endeavor. Online registration dramatically reduces the Office's processing time, which affords yet another means of efficiently protecting our copyrights and our writers."

Cathy Nolan, Vice President, Administration-BMG Music Publishing, has also used the CORDS system and states, "One of the most heartening experiences I have had in the music industry in recent years has been watching the Copyright Office open its doors to communication with the music publishers in an effort to provide service that is in line with today's technological abilities and demands."

"This has been a significant step in the use of Internet technology to convert a formerly paper intensive process to one which works efficiently and quickly for the benefit of our industry. I congratulate both parties for their efforts," said Irwin Z. Robinson, Chairman and CEO of Famous Music.

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:

The National Music Publishers' Association, founded in 1917, works to protect and advance the interests of the music publishing industry. With over 800 members, NMPA represents the most important and influential music publishing firms throughout the United States. The Harry Fox Agency, Inc., the licensing subsidiary of NMPA, provides an information source, clearing house and monitoring service for licensing musical copyrights, and represents more than 25,000 music publisher principals. Fox Agency International, launched in 1994, is a special purpose subsidiary of HFA.

The Library of Congress includes the Congressional Research Service, the world's largest think tank; the Copyright Office of the United States, and a National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It is the world's largest library, containing more than 120 million items in nearly every language and format. Its collections include the papers of 23 presidents and the papers of eminent Americans such as Booker T. Washington, Walt Whitman, Irving Berlin, Susan B. Anthony and Bob Hope. Other treasures include the first printed book in the Western world, early baseball cards, historic comic and cook books, and millions of maps and atlases, photographs, posters, microfilms, rare books and music manuscripts. The Library also is home to the world's more comprehensive collection of films and television broadcasting materials in the world. It is one of the world's leading providers of free high-quality content on the Internet. It received one billion electronic transactions last year and offers 5 million items of American history and culture online in its National Digital Library.


PR 00-177
ISSN 0731-3527