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Copyright Office to check ISSN and ISBN

By Luis C. Schmidt, Partner
Managing Intellectual Property, International Briefings, April 2009
The Mexican Copyright Law requires applicants for ISBN and ISSN numbers to submit a catalogue card, showing the following information:
  • full name and address of the publisher;
  • year of edition or reprinting;
  • ISBN or ISSN number; and
  • number and date of edition.
It also requires that holders of ISSN and ISBN numbers prove “only once” the correct use of the numbers, within the six months following their issuance. The Copyright Office has the duty to verify that the information in the catalogue card is complete and true.
Recently, the International Agency started a supervision campaign regarding ISBN and ISSN numbers, in connection with all publications circulating worldwide. Since the Copyright Office has never made verifications in the past, it has released a proceeding to ensure that ISSN and ISBN granted numbers are being used properly.
The Copyright Office has set the following verification periods:
  • For ISBN and ISSN numbers granted before November 2007, the deadline is April 2008;
  • For ISBN and ISSN numbers granted after November 2007, the deadline is September 1, 2008.
Holders of numbers need to provide:
  • a completed form ISBN 02;
  • the information in the catalogue card, as used in the directory page of each of the titles;
  • in the colophon of the title, the full information (name and address) of the publisher; and
  • a sample of each for verifying use of the ISBN number.
If a holder of any ISBN and ISSN number does not attend the verification by the above deadlines, the Copyright Office will take copyright infringement actions and might impose economic sanctions.
The Copyright Office has not publicized the process by any official means, which can be illegal. Nevertheless, it has pointed out that even in the absence of a publication it will impose sanctions against any publishers that do not comply with the deadlines.