Library of Congress launches key module for new copyright registration platform

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Written by Dave Nyczepir

The first public module of the Library of Congress’ new enterprise copyright system launched on August 1 and lays the foundation for future components to support its entire ecosystem of copyright services. author.

The launch of the first module, known as the Copyright Recording System (CRS), was the first step in improving and integrating all of the Copyright Office’s technology systems – which also handle copyright registration. copyright, public records and internal licenses – in a platform called the Enterprise Copyright System (ECS).

The office is responsible for maintaining United States copyright registration records, and for more than two years its Office of the Chief Information Officer has worked to replace the paper-based processing of copyright transfer requests. copyright ownership through a digital submission process.

“What we’re building is really an ecosystem where somebody can have an account, and they can actually interact with copyright across multiple services,” said Natalie Buda Smith, acting director of digital strategy at the OCIO, to FedScoop. “You can file a copyright claim, you can transfer – all these different activities around it.”

Cloud First development and the use of microservices are key elements of the design system used to create the new module.

Buda Smith served as design lead in the IT design and development department for the CRS project, which involved early and frequent user experience testing. Recording is a service sought by a specific subset of users when, for example, a music catalog is purchased and the rights transferred to a new owner.

“What we’re building is really an ecosystem where somebody can have an account, and they can actually interact with copyright across multiple services.”

— Natalie Buda Smith, Acting Director of Digital Strategy in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the Library of Congress

Accenture Federal Services supports the library’s ECS UX project with a small team that includes an interaction and service designer and a content strategist. Accenture conducted extensive research and stakeholder workshops before presenting its recommendations in FY21, and is currently focused on making it easier for content creators, reviewers, check-in staff, and direction to create, edit, manage, and distribute help content that educates non-copyright-educated ECS users. how to navigate the ecosystem.

“[We created] a single source of truth document, which has really helped our content authors store, review and approve help content for each of the application streams they are responsible for,” said Jennifer Huppert, Visual Design Lead within the digital studio of AFS.

Accenture then used the document to prototype the work details section of the registration application to optimize components and content.

A separate Accenture team provides QA and testing services and employed virtual users to ensure that the CRS application and associated servers could handle expected traffic at launch and beyond.

The Copyright Office started with a small CRS pilot community and expanded to 180 organizations before launch — with participants registering more than 8,600 documents — with “much” more expected, Buda Smith said. In fiscal year 2021, for example, the office saw nearly 12,000 documents containing the titles of more than 950,000 registered works.

Not only does the registration system reduce document processing times from months to weeks, it provides a consistent UX when creating an account or transferring a submission, the ability to ask questions to the Copyright office or engage with them if something is missing, status tracking and notifications, and integrated online payments.

While the Library of Congress has contracts with all three major cloud service providers – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure – AWS is CRS’ sole provider.

The Copyright Office continues to add registration functionality and plans to incorporate Sections 203 and 305, types of termination notices, next.

“We don’t see this as a low-key application that we only deploy once and review another year,” Buda Smith said. “We use sprints and constantly improve all these services; so it’s a long-term program for us.

Registration, the initiation of a copyright claim, is the “big” module coming in the next few years, she said. But a public records module, allowing users to find who owns the rights to a particular work or set, is in beta and set to become LoC’s primary means of searching the catalog.

A by-product of the library’s custom ECS design and development work is the integration of talent from media companies, consulting firms, and other major libraries.

“It’s refreshing in the sense that everyone wants to keep an eye out for the latest technology on the horizon,” Buda Smith said. “What is the best way to work if not to adapt it to the library? »

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