The Copyright Office is adopting new fees for the registration of claims, recordation of documents, special services, Licensing Division services, and FOIA requests. These fees will take effect on May 1, 2014.
The Office is funded through a combination of fees for services and federal appropriations. The Office revisits its fee schedule periodically in accordance with procedures specified in 17 U.S.C. § 708. In setting fees, the Office is aware of its responsibility, like other Federal agencies, to establish sound financial policies and develop a budget derived largely from fees. It is also mindful of its responsibilities to authors and other copyright owners to price services at a level that encourages participation in the registration and recordation process not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of licensees and other users of works of authorship as well as the public at large. With these objectives in mind, the Office is establishing fees that will allow it to recover a significant part of the costs to the Office for services that benefit both copyright owners and the public.
The study on which the new fee schedule is based commenced in 2012. The Office conducted a preliminary assessment of its 2011 costs, followed by the publication of a series of questions in the Federal Register, along with a proposed fee schedule. The Office received over 140 responses to its Federal Register notices, and carefully considered these public comments.
On November 14, 2013, in accordance with Section 708(b), the Office issued a Proposed Schedule and Analysis of Copyright Fees for review by Congress. This document addressed the most significant categories of fees assessed by the Office, specifically those related to registration and recordation. Pursuant to the Copyright Act, Congress had 120 days in which to respond to the Office’s proposal with legislation disapproving it. Congress did not do so.
In addition to the fees submitted to Congress, the Office reviewed and adjusted certain other fees that are not required to be submitted to Congress. As provided in Section 708(a) these adjustments are made by the Office based on its costs.
Accordingly, the Office is promulgating a final rule with a new schedule of fees to take effect May 1, 2014.
Separately, the Office on November 29, 2013 issued a final fee schedule for filing cable and satellite statements of account pursuant to Sections 112, 119, and 122 of the Copyright Act. The Office established these fees in accordance with the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (“STELA”), and they took effect on January 1, 2014.