July 12, 2001 Copyright Office Receives First E-Books for Electronic Copyright Registration

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

The U.S. Copyright Office has received its first e-books (electronic books) for electronic copyright registration and deposit. On June 28 and July 2, the McGraw-Hill Companies submitted two e-books to the Copyright Office - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Wireless Web and The BusinessWeek Guide to the Best Business Schools - via the CORDS system (Copyright Office Electronic Registration, Recordation and Deposit System). McGraw-Hill's e-books are the first copyright claims and deposits of full-length e-books transmitted over the Internet and processed entirely in digital format through CORDS.

The CORDS system now offers e-book publishers the benefit of more efficient filings, saving time and effort in preparing and transmitting copyright applications and deposited works electronically. Once received in the office, CORDS simplifies processing of copyright applications for e-books by avoiding much of the keystroking and handling required by paper- based registration procedures, automatically charging filing fees to CORDS Deposit Accounts, creating in-process records, and preparing preliminary copyright catalog records. CORDS checks the authenticity and integrity of digital submissions through digital signatures and provides safe and secure storage of digital works.

CORDS permits streamlined processing by the Copyright Office staff - from start to finish - in examining claims, issuing copyright registration certificates, completing copyright catalog records and making these records available to the public via the office's online databases. CORDS provides improved communications with publishers, including e-mail acknowledgments as status reports and secure e-mail correspondence between copyright examiners and claimants when necessary. Copyright registration for e-book claims can be completed in a few weeks through CORDS, rather than the longer time period it takes to process claims through traditional procedures.

Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters said, "CORDS has great promise for future efficiencies in Copyright Office operations, providing improved and expanded services to the copyright communities. In addition, CORDS should prove to be an effective source for the Library of Congress to acquire new publications in digital form for its growing digital collections."

Robert Bolick, Vice President and Director for New Business Development, McGraw- Hill Professional, said, "Yet another example of the Copyright Office's and the Library of Congress's support of the publishing community, CORDS is also a testament to these organizations' farsightedness and their willingness to help in the creation of a new part of the publishing industry - e-books. Readers and publishers should be applauding."

Since the successful 1996-97 testbeds, CORDS has successfully registered almost 40,000 copyright claims and deposits from cooperating test partners for electronic works. These works include e-journals, technical reports, computer programs, electronic study guides, dissertations, musical works, and now e-books - all in digital form.

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 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.copyright.gov.


PR 01-100
ISSN 0731-3527