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Electronic Copyright Management System

CNRI and the Library of Congress are developing a the testbed for registration of copyright material in a computer network environment. This will permit electronic submission of copyright registration and notification of registration in an interactive network.

Currently, an applicant uses postal mail to submit a copyright registration application, along with deposit copy(ies) of the copyrighted works and the application fee to the Copyright Office. Once an application has been received, the Copyright Office IN-process System (COINS) is used to electronically track the process of the application as it progresses from one unit to another. The majority of the processing of the copyright registration application is still done manually. This entire process may take several months to complete.

The information technology components (personal computers, computer networks and peripheral equipment) have become sufficiently powerful and cost effective to allow users to create and manage copyrightable objects electronically. The Electronic Copyright Management System (ECMS) will allow users to electronically submit a copyright registration application and its associated object with the Copyright Office. The system consists of the major subsystems, shown in the figure.

Many of the object and information transfers performed in the ECMS will be provided by Privacy Enhance Mail (PEM,) which was developed by Trusted Information Systems (TIS). The PEM system can provide message privacy and correspondent authentication. Other messages will be sent between ECMS components via direct TCP connections. The TISPEM library, developed by RSA, will be used to provide message privacy and correspondent authentication.