[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 23 (Friday, February 2, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4884-4886]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-02086]



Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 201

[Docket No. 2017-10]

Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on 
Copyrighted Works: Notice of Public Hearings

AGENCY: U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Announcement of public hearings.


SUMMARY: The United States Copyright Office will be holding public 
hearings as part of the seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under 
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (``DMCA'') concerning possible 
exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition against circumvention of 
technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The 
public hearings will be held in April 2018 in Washington, DC and Los 
Angeles. Parties interested in testifying at the public hearings are 
invited to submit requests to testify pursuant to the instructions set 
forth below.

DATES: The public hearings in Washington, DC are scheduled for April 
10, 11, 12, and 13, 2018, on each day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The 
public hearings in Los Angeles are scheduled for April 23, 24, and 25, 
2018, on each day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Requests to testify must 
be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on February 21, 2018. 
Although the Office currently anticipates up to four days of hearings 
in Washington, DC and three days of hearings in Los Angeles, the Office 
may adjust this schedule depending upon the number and nature of 
requests to testify. Once the schedule of hearing witnesses is 
finalized, the Office will notify all participants and post the times 
and dates of the hearings at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/.

ADDRESSES: The Washington, DC hearings will be held in the Mumford Room 
of the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress, 101 
Independence Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20540. The Los Angeles hearings 
will be held in Room 1314 of the UCLA School of Law, 385 Charles E. 
Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Requests to testify should be 
submitted through the request form available at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/hearing-request.html. Any person who is 
unable to send a request via the website should contact the Office 
using the contact information below to make an alternative arrangement 
for submission of a request to testify. The SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section below includes additional instructions on submitting requests 
to testify.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarang Vijay Damle, General Counsel 
and Associate Register of Copyrights, by email at [email protected], Regan 
A. Smith, Deputy General Counsel, by email at [email protected], Anna 
Chauvet, Assistant General Counsel, by email at [email protected], or Jason 
E. Sloan, Attorney-Advisor, by email at [email protected]. Each can be 
contacted by telephone by calling (202) 707-8350.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 30, 2017, the Copyright Office 
published a notice of inquiry in the Federal Register to initiate the 
seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1), 
which provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon recommendation of 
the Register of Copyrights, may exempt certain classes of copyrighted 
works from the prohibition against circumventing a technological 
measure that controls access to a copyrighted work. 82 FR 29804 (June 
30, 2017). On October 26, 2017, the Office published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking setting forth proposed exemptions for twelve 
classes of works and requesting responsive comments. 82 FR 49550 (Oct. 
26, 2017). The responsive comments received thus far have been posted 
on the Office's website. See https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/.
    At this time, the Office is announcing public hearings to be held 
in Washington, DC and Los Angeles to further consider the proposed 
exemptions. The Office plans to convene panels of witnesses for the 
proposals to be considered, and may combine certain panels if the 
witnesses and/or key issues substantially overlap. The Office will 
schedule panels for particular exemptions in either Washington, DC or 
Los Angeles unless compelling circumstances require that a proposed 
class be considered in both cities. Limiting the discussion of each 
proposed class to one city or another will better ensure that witnesses 
can respond to the points made by others and avoid duplicative 
discussion. All of the hearings will be live streamed online. If no 
request to testify is received for a proposed exemption, the Office 
will consider the class based on the written submissions and any ex-
parte communications with interested parties (discussed below).

A. Submitting Requests To Testify

    A request to testify should be submitted to the Copyright Office 
using the form on the Office's website indicated in the ADDRESSES 
section above. Anyone wishing to testify with respect to more than one 
proposed class must submit a separate form for each request. If 
multiple people from the same organization wish to testify on different 
panels, each should submit a separate request for each panel. If 
multiple people from the same organization wish to testify on the same 
panel, each should submit a request for

[[Page 4885]]

that panel, and explain the need for multiple witnesses in the comment 
field of the request form. If a party is considering whether to testify 
at a hearing, the party should submit a hearing request form even if no 
opposition has been filed. The Copyright Office will contact requesters 
should it determine that a hearing is unnecessary.
    Depending upon the number and nature of the requests to testify, 
and in light of the limited time and space available for the public 
hearings, the Office may not be able to accommodate all requests to 
testify. The Office will give preference to those who have submitted 
substantive evidentiary submissions in support of or in opposition to a 
proposal. To the extent feasible, the Office encourages parties with 
similar interests to select a common representative to testify on their 
    All requests to testify must clearly identify:
     The name of the person desiring to serve as a witness.
     The organization or organizations represented, if any.
     Contact information (address, telephone, and email).
     The proposed class about which the person wishes to 
     A two- to three-sentence explanation of the testimony the 
witness expects to present.
     If the party is requesting the ability to demonstrate a 
use or a technology at the hearing, a description of the demonstration, 
including whether it will be prepared in advance or presented live, the 
approximate time required for such demonstration, and any presentation 
equipment that the person desires to use and/or bring to the hearing.
     The city in which the person prefers to testify 
(Washington, DC or Los Angeles).
    The Office will try to take this preference into account in 
scheduling the hearings, but cannot guarantee that the relevant panel 
will be convened in the preferred city. Participants who are unable to 
testify in a particular city or on a particular date should so indicate 
in the comment field of the request form.
    To facilitate the process of scheduling panels, it is essential 
that all of the required information listed above be included in a 
request to testify.
    Following receipt of the requests to testify, the Office will 
prepare agendas for the hearings listing the panels and witnesses, 
which will be circulated to hearing participants and posted at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/. As stated above, although the Office 
currently anticipates up to four days of hearings in Washington, DC and 
three days of hearings in Los Angeles, the Office may adjust this 
schedule depending upon the number and nature of requests to testify.

B. Format of Public Hearings

    There will be time limits for each panel, which will be established 
after receiving all requests to testify. Generally, the Copyright 
Office plans to allot approximately one to two hours for each proposed 
class, although it may allot additional time for more complex classes.
    Witnesses should expect the Office to have carefully studied all 
written comments, and the Office will expect witnesses to have done the 
same with respect to the classes for which they will be presenting. The 
hearings will focus on legal or factual issues that are unclear or 
underdeveloped in the written record, as identified by the Office, as 
well as demonstrative evidence.
    The Office stresses that factual information is critical to the 
rulemaking process, and witnesses should be prepared to discuss, among 
other things, where the copies of the works sought to be accessed are 
stored, how the works would be accessed, and what would be done with 
the works after being accessed. The Office also encourages witnesses to 
provide real-world examples to support their arguments. In some cases, 
the best way to do this may be to provide a demonstration of a claimed 
noninfringing use or the technologies pertinent to a proposal. As noted 
above, a person wishing to provide a demonstration should include a 
request to do so with his or her request to testify, using the 
appropriate space on the form described above. To ensure proper 
documentation of the hearings, the Office will require that a copy of 
any audio, visual, or audiovisual materials that have been prepared in 
advance (e.g., slideshows and videos) be provided to the Office at the 
hearing. Live demonstrations may be recorded by a videographer provided 
by the Office. The Office may contact witnesses individually ahead of 
time to ensure that demonstrations can be preserved for the record in 
an appropriate form.
    In addition to videography equipment, the Office expects to have a 
PC, projector, and screen in the hearing room to accommodate 
demonstrations. Beyond this equipment, witnesses are responsible for 
supplying and operating any other equipment needed for their 
demonstrations. Persons planning to bring additional electronic or 
audiovisual equipment must notify the Office at least five business 
days in advance of their scheduled hearing date by emailing John Riley, 
Attorney-Advisor, at [email protected].
    All hearings will be open to the public, but seating will be 
limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Witnesses and persons accompanying witnesses will be given priority in 
seating. As noted above, all of the hearings will be live streamed 

C. Ex-Parte Communication

    Typically, the Office's communications with participants about an 
ongoing rulemaking do not include discussions about the substance of 
the proceeding apart from written comments and public hearings. As with 
prior section 1201 rulemakings, the written record may also include 
post-hearing questions issued by the Office to individual parties 
involved with a particular class, and the Office will continue to post 
any questions and responses on the Office's website as part of the 
public record. For this rulemaking, the Office has determined that 
informal communication with interested parties might also be 
beneficial, such as to discuss nuances of proposed regulatory language. 
Any such communication may occur after the public hearings, but before 
the Office has issued a recommendation to the Librarian of Congress 
regarding the exemptions. Parties wishing to participate in informal 
discussions with the Office should submit a written request to one or 
more of the persons listed in the contact information above.
    The primary means to communicate views in the course of the 
rulemaking will, however, continue to be through the submission of 
written comments and testimony at the public hearings. In other words, 
informal communication will supplement, not substitute for, the written 
record and testimony at the public hearings. Should a party meet with 
the Office regarding this rulemaking, the participating party will be 
responsible for submitting a list of attendees and written summary of 
any oral communication to the Office, which will be made publicly 
available on the Office's website or regulations.gov. In sum, while the 
Office is establishing the option of informal meetings in this 
rulemaking, it will require that all such communications be reflected 
in the record to ensure the greatest possible transparency.

[[Page 4886]]

    Dated: January 25, 2018.
Sarang V. Damle,
General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights.
[FR Doc. 2018-02086 Filed 2-1-18; 8:45 am]