[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 224 (Monday, November 21, 2016)]
[Pages 83228-83229]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27934]



Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No.: PTO-C-2016-0047]

National Telecommunications and Information Administration; 
Notice of Public Meeting on Developing the Digital Marketplace for 
Copyrighted Works

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of 
Commerce; National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force (Task 
Force) will hold a conference at the United States Patent and Trademark 
Office (USPTO) facility in Alexandria, Virginia, on December 9, 2016, 
to discuss current initiatives and technologies used to develop a more 
robust and collaborative digital marketplace for copyrighted works and 
to consider ways forward to help achieve that result. This follows up 
on an earlier public meeting held by the Task Force on April 1, 2015, 
which focused on how the Government can assist in facilitating the 
development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of 

DATES: The public meeting will be held on December 9, 2016, from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Registration will begin at 
8:00 a.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the United States Patent 
and Trademark Office in the Madison Auditorium, which is located at 600 
Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. All major entrances to the 
building are accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, the 
meeting will be webcast for public viewing at the following USPTO 
Regional Offices: the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, 1961 Stout 
Street, Denver, Colorado 80294; the West Coast Regional Office, 26 S. 
Fourth Street, San Jose, California 95113; and the Texas Regional 
Office, 207 South Houston Street, Suite 159, Dallas, Texas 75202.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding the 
meeting, contact Nadine Herbert or Susan Allen, Office of Policy and 
International Affairs, USPTO, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, 
Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone (571) 272-9300; email 
[email protected]or [email protected]. Please direct all 
media inquiries to the Office of the Chief Communications Officer, 
USPTO, at (571) 272-8400.



A. Ongoing Government Engagement Relating to Copyright in the Digital 
    The Department of Commerce established the Internet Policy Task 
Force (Task Force) in 2010 to identify leading public policy and 
operational issues impacting the U.S. private sector's ability to 
realize the potential for economic growth and job creation through the 
Internet. The Task Force's July 2013 report, Copyright Policy, 
Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper),\1\ was 
the product of extensive public consultations led by the United States 
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications 
and Information Administration (NTIA).

    \1\ The Green Paper is available at http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/news/publications/copyrightgreenpaper.pdf.

    In October 2013, the USPTO and NTIA published a request for public 
comments \2\ relating to three areas of work flowing out of the Green 
Paper, including whether and how the Government can facilitate the 
further development of a robust online licensing environment. The 
request for comments noted that building the online marketplace is 
fundamentally a function of the private sector and described how that 
process has been progressing. It noted the Green Paper's conclusion 
that, while much progress

[[Page 83229]]

had been made in the licensing of creative content for online uses, 
there remained a need for more comprehensive and reliable ownership 
data, interoperable standards enabling communication among databases, 
and more streamlined licensing mechanisms. It posed a number of 
questions regarding access to and standardization of rights ownership 
information, facilitating the effectiveness of the online marketplace, 
and the role of the Government in such matters.

    \2\ Request for Comments on Department of Commerce Green Paper, 
Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, 
78 FR 61337-61341, available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/ntia_pto_rfc_10032013.pdf.

    At a subsequent public meeting in December 2013, two panels 
addressed issues related to this topic: access to rights information 
and online licensing transactions. An archive of the webcast of the 
public meeting is available at http://new.livestream.com/uspto/copyright. A transcript of the public meeting is available at https://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/121213-USPTO-Green_Paper_Hearing-Transcript.pdf. Copies of the comments received are available at http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/green_paper_public_comments.jsp.
    In April 2015, the Task Force held another public meeting to 
discuss: The potential for the enhanced use and interoperability of 
standard identifiers across different sectors and geographical borders; 
whether the United States should develop or participate in an online 
licensing platform such as the U.K.'s Copyright Hub; and what the role 
of the Government should be in furthering any of these efforts. A 
transcript and videos of the public meeting are available at http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/ip-policy/copyright/facilitating-development-online-licensing-environment.
    The Copyright Office also has solicited public comments and held 
public meetings on related issues, notably on strategies for the 
electronic recordation of documents relating to transfers of copyright 
ownership, including the use of standard identifiers and other metadata 
standards, and sought comments on how visual works, particularly 
photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, 
enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act.\3\ In a December 2014 
report, Professor Robert Brauneis, then serving as the Kaminstein 
Scholar in Residence at the Copyright Office, made a number of 
recommendations, including accommodating standard identifiers in 
registration and recordation documents to enable interoperability with 
other databases and developing an application programming interface 
(API) allowing third parties to develop software to retrieve data from 
Copyright Office records. In February 2015, the Copyright Office issued 
a Report on Copyright and the Music Marketplace, which recommended a 
restructured music licensing marketplace that included a publicly 
accessible database of musical works and incentivized the use of 
standard identifiers. The Copyright Office also raised the possibility 
that its copyright registration database could be modified to 
incorporate standard identifiers and stated the belief that the best 
strategy to address data issues would be to incentivize strongly the 
universal adoption and dissemination of several data standards.

    \3\ See Copyright Office Policy Studies, available at http://www.copyright.gov/policy.

B. The Focus of This Meeting
    In the previous public comments and meetings, the Task Force heard 
from stakeholders that the government can play a useful role by 
facilitating dialogues between and among industry sectors and by 
convening stakeholder groups to make recommendations on specific 
issues. Building upon this feedback, and in light of significant 
marketplace and technological developments that have taken place since 
the April 2015 public meeting, the Task Force is organizing this 
meeting to facilitate constructive, cross-industry dialogue among 
stakeholders about ways to promote a more robust and collaborative 
online marketplace for copyrighted works. We will discuss the potential 
for interoperability across digital registries and standards work in 
this field, and consider the relevant emerging technologies (e.g., 
blockchain technology, open source platforms). We will also explore 
potential approaches to guide their future adoption and integration 
into the online marketplace.
    Topics to be covered will include: (1) Initiatives to take forward 
the digital content marketplace, with a focus on standards, 
interoperability, and digital registries and database initiatives to 
track ownership and usage rights; (2) innovative technologies designed 
to improve the ways consumers access and use different types of digital 
content (e.g., photos, film, music); (3) ways that different sectors 
can collaborate to build a more robust and interconnected digital 
content marketplace; and (4) the role of government in facilitating 
such initiatives and technological development. Members of the public 
will have opportunities to participate at the meeting. One outcome 
could be to establish working groups to tackle specific issues through 
a multistakeholder process.

Public Meeting

    On December 9, 2016, the Task Force will hold a public meeting to 
hear stakeholder input and to consider future work in this area. The 
event will seek participation and comments from interested 
stakeholders, including creators, right holders, and online services 
that produce and distribute copyright protected digital content, as 
well as technology providers, cultural heritage institutions, public 
interest groups, and academics.
    The meeting will be webcast. The agenda and webcast information 
will be available no later than the week prior to the meeting on the 
Internet Policy Task Force Web site, at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/internetpolicytaskforce, and the USPTO's Web site, http://www.uspto.gov.
    The meeting will be open to members of the public to attend, space 
permitting, on a first-come, first-served basis. Online registration 
for the meeting, which is not mandatory, is available at https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/ip-policy/department-commerce-internet-policy-task-force-public-meeting. The meeting will be 
physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals 
requiring accommodation, such as sign language interpretation, real-
time captioning of the webcast or other ancillary aids, should 
communicate their needs to Nadine Herbert, Office of Policy and 
International Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 
Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 
telephone (571) 272-9300; email [email protected], at least 
seven business days prior to the meeting. Attendees should arrive at 
least one-half hour prior to the start of the meeting and must present 
a valid government-issued photo identification upon arrival. Persons 
who have pre-registered (and received confirmation) will have seating 
held until 15 minutes before the program begins.

    Dated: November 15, 2016.
Michelle K. Lee,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Angela M. Simpson,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and 
Information, National Telecommunications and Information 
[FR Doc. 2016-27934 Filed 11-18-16; 8:45 am]