New Rules to the Old Game: Preparing to Register Secure Items with the US Copyright Office
Track: Security, Records and Data Management
Credentialing organizations need to protect their painstakingly developed content from theft and unauthorized distribution. Copyright registration is an important element in defending against these threats. With the US Copyright Office’s June 2017 interim rule, many testing organizations saw their long-standing registration routines up-ended by changes to registration procedures, and seemingly new, stricter interpretations of the meaning of “secure tests.” The testing and credentialing industries rallied and made their objections known.
The Copyright Office responded with a modified process for group registration of secure test questions (GRSTQ). GRSTQ accommodates CAT, LOFT, and other pool-based test processes. However, testing organizations have had many questions about specifics: preparation of materials, examiner’s standards for copyright-worthy items and graphics, validity of past registrations, length of wait for appointments, costs for examination, and implications for online-proctored exams have all presented uncertainty. With that uncertainty has come rising legal costs and questioning of the return on investment (ROI) argument for pursuing registration at all.
The presenters, an expert attorney in the exam copyright field and two test development and test security professionals from credentialing organizations, will try to reduce some of the uncertainty and provide a forum for discussion and sharing of information. The attorney will review the basic benefits of copyright registration, the definition of a secure test, and some of the difficulties that Copyright’s interim rules have presented. The credentialing staff will tell about their own organizations’ specific experiences with GRSTQ, from preparation of applications to how the actual examination appointment works. Reviewing redaction, submission, exclusions, and confusions, ultimately the presentation will ask, Is it still worth it to register secure test items, and What are the alternatives?