NASW supports comments by the National Writers Union submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office

February 27, 2024

On Feb. 20, 2024, the National Writers Union (NWU) submitted comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the U.S. Copyright Office, “Group Registration of Updates to a News Website,” FR Doc. 2023-28724, Copyright Office Docket Number 2023-8, 89 Federal Register 311-318 (January 3, 2024). The comments were co-signed by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW).

NASW extends its gratitude to NWU for its leadership in tracking federal rule changes that unnecessarily put independent journalists, writers, and other creatives at a disadvantage. Certainly, U.S. copyright rules and filing procedures require updating to fit modern publishing technology and workflows. However, these updates should not solely benefit traditional publishing companies — and they need to better fit the publishing platforms and tools used by the wider ecosystem of content creators, not just major news organizations. That means amending the proposed rule such that it is not limited only to “works made for hire” — to include freelancers — and such that it is not limited only to “news websites.”

For NASW members and our partners interested in the specific recommendations presented in the NWU submitted comment, we direct you to the following sections in the comment PDF:

"4. Essential changes to the proposed rule"
"5. Other changes to the proposed rule to lessen its burden"
"6. The burden of copyright registration formalities"
"7. Web sites are more than just text, and the Copyright Office needs to address that."

For NASW members interested in contributing to NWU’s copyright process input efforts, please contact the NWU team at nwu.org/contact-us.

Cassandra Willyard
NASW President
and the NASW Board


To reach the NASW Board, email president@nasw.org

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~3,000 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, students and people who write and produce material intended to inform the public about science, health, engineering, and technology. To learn more, visit www.nasw.org and follow NASW on LinkedIn.