Copyright registration system back online

Copyright Office currently falls under the Library of Congress, pictured here. (m01229/Flickr)

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The Copyright Office’s registration system is back online after going dark for more than a week, according to the subagency’s website.

The eCO system — which allows users to register copyrights online for works like books, songs and movies — went down during a scheduled power outage at the Library of Congress’ James Madison building Aug. 28. When officials turned the power back on, they were unable to reconnect the system until Sunday. Other Library sites were also affected.

“[T]his outage required the shutdown of the Library’s IT network and data center. Due to an equipment failure that occurred during startup, one system remained offline, preventing access to certain data,” Library spokeswoman Gayle Osterberg said in an email. “Work has been occurring around the clock to restore affected systems.”

The Library of Congress, the Copyright Office’s parent agency, manages the office’s IT systems. The arrangement has been a source of frustration for members of the intellectual property industry, who say that the Library’s dated systems can’t support the needs of the Copyright Office.

The Government Accountability Office raised its own concerns in March when it reported “the Library has serious weaknesses in its IT management, which have also hindered the ability of the Library and the Copyright Office to meet mission requirements.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who have been shopping a draft bill to separate the Copyright Office from the Library, said last week that the outage highlights the need for change.

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Congress, Copyright Office, Government IT News
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