[Federal Register: March 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 59)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 15368-15371]



Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 201

[Docket No. RM 2006-1]


AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: This notice of proposed rulemaking is issued to inform the 
public that the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is 
considering adoption of new fees for special services and Licensing 
Division services, and that the Office has submitted to Congress 
proposed new statutory fees for certain other services. The proposed 
fees would recover a significant part of the costs to the Office of 
registering claims and provide full cost recovery for many services 
provided by the Office which benefit only or primarily the user of that 

DATES: Comments should be in writing and received on or before April 
27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: If hand delivered by a private party, an original and ten 
copies of any comment should be brought to Room LM-401 of the James 
Madison Memorial Building between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the envelope 
should be addressed as follows: Office of the General Counsel, U.S. 
Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-401, 101 
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. If hand delivered 
by a commercial courier, an original and ten copies of any comment must 
be delivered to the Congressional Courier Acceptance Site located at 
Second and D Streets, NE., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
The envelope should be addressed as follows: Copyright Office General 
Counsel, Room LM-403, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence 
Avenue, SE., Washington DC. If sent by mail, an original and five 
copies of any comment should be addressed to: Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. 
Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-0400. Comments may 
not be delivered by means of overnight delivery services such as 
Federal Express, United Parcel Service, etc., due to delays in 
processing receipt of such deliveries.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tanya M. Sandros, Associate General 
Counsel, or Kent Dunlap, Principal Legal Advisor for the General 
Counsel, Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 708 of the copyright law establishes 
two separate procedures for adjusting fees for Copyright Office 
services to account for increases in costs. Fees for services 
specifically enumerated in section 708(a)(1)-(9) (``statutory fees'') 
are adjusted according to the procedures set forth in section 708(b). 
This procedure includes the completion of a cost study, and the 
forwarding of an economic report and proposed fee schedule to Congress, 
which takes effect unless Congress enacts a law within 120 days 
disapproving of the new fees. The second procedure concerns fees for 
services not specifically enumerated in section 708(a)(1)-(9), and for 
the purposes of this rulemaking, these fees are termed ``discretionary 
fees.'' Section 708(a) authorizes the Register to set these fees at 
``the cost of providing the service.'' As with the statutory fees, the 
Copyright Office adjusts the discretionary fees only after conducting a 
cost study to determine the cost of providing the services.
    This is the third schedule of fees to be proposed under the current 
fee setting procedure which was adopted when section 708 was amended in 
1997 with the passage of the Technical Amendments Act, Public Law 105-
80, 111 Stat. 1529. The first schedule was adopted in 1999, see 63 FR 
43426 (August 13, 1998) and 64 FR 29518 (June 1, 1999), and the second 
schedule was adopted three years later in 2002. To cover the rising 
costs of providing copyright services, most fees were increased in 
2002. However, notable among fees that were not adjusted at that time 
was the basic registration filing fee, which was kept at the 1999 
level. The Register provided a number of reasons for her determination 
that no increase in basic registration fees was warranted at the time. 
They included the substantial increase of 1999 which accounted for an 
acceptable level of cost recovery, the costs associated with increasing 
the fee, and the changes in processing anticipated from the Copyright 
Office's impending business process reengineering effort. 67 FR 38003 
(May 31, 2002).
    Because costs have continued to rise since the last fee adjustment 
in 2002, the Office undertook a third cost study to assess how well 
current fees allowed the Copyright Office to recover its costs of 
providing its services to the public. The result of that study is 
today's proposal to increase most fees to a level that allows the 
Office to recover a significant portion of its costs as contemplated by 

I. Overview

    The expenses of the Copyright Office have always been substantially 
funded through the charging of fees for the services provided, although 
programs relating to domestic and international copyright policy and 
public information have been generally paid for by appropriated funds. 
Yet, for the last fifty years, fees have not provided for full cost 
recovery. During this period, cost recovery through the charging of 
fees has ranged from 50% to 80% of the expenses of the Copyright 
Office. In fiscal year 2005, the Copyright Office collected $23,788,227 
in fees, sufficient to offset only 56.7% of the total expenditures of 
the Office, whereas in 2002, fees covered just over 66% of the Office's 
costs for providing its services.
    In order to place the Copyright Office on a sounder financial 
footing, a cost study was undertaken last year by the Office which 
evaluated all the fees charged by the Copyright Office. Based upon its 
findings, the Office determined that most fees for services mandated by 
statute should be adjusted to reflect increased costs of providing the 
various services. These proposed new fees falling within the rate 
adjustment procedure of section 708(b) were submitted to Congress on 
March 1,

[[Page 15369]]

2006. Congress now has 120 days to consider these fees. During that 
time, the Office is also providing the public with an opportunity to 
comment on the statutory fees which the Office intends to adjust to 
recover the increased costs of providing the specified services.
    Section 708(a) also provides the Register of Copyrights with 
authority to fix fees for other services based on the cost of providing 
that service. Like the statutory fees, the Office is proposing to 
adjust these discretionary fees to reflect increases in the cost of 
providing those services and, in those instances where the service 
benefits primarily the user of that service, the fee has been set to 
recover the full cost to the Office of providing that service. However, 
before adopting these proposed new fees, the Office is providing the 
public with an opportunity to comment. The Copyright Office plans to 
implement the new discretionary fees on the same day the statutory fees 
are scheduled to become effective, July 1, 2006.

II. Discretionary Fees

    In general, the proposed discretionary fees have been adjusted to 
reflect the current cost of providing the service. Before making this 
decision, the Office conducted a study of the costs of the services 
provided and took into account the criterion that the Register may set 
fees at a level no more than necessary to recover the reasonable costs 
incurred by the Copyright Office. Because costs have increased, and the 
Register is keenly aware of Congress's basic criterion of cost 
recovery, most fees will be increased. Some will be increased at full 
cost recovery where the service benefits only or primarily the 
requester, e.g, secure test processing, expedited handling of claims, 
and expedited searches. Fees for first and second level reconsideration 
of refusal to register a claim are also being increased, but not at the 
level of full cost recovery, since it may be helpful to courts to have 
the claims reexamined at a higher level, and the purpose of providing 
such review is to ensure that the Office's decisions on registration 
comply with the applicable legal standards.
    While this notice will not discuss each fee increase individually 
because fees have been adjusted either to recover the cost of the 
service or to account for the rate of inflation since the last fee 
adjustment, the Copyright Office believes further clarification is 
useful for the following fees.
    1. Registration of GATT Group. The Copyright Office has decided to 
eliminate the option of registering up to ten related, restored works 
published within the same calendar year as a GATT/Group. This service 
is seldom used and it is costly to the Office. Consequently, GATT/Group 
has been listed as discontinued. However, works that would have been 
filed under this provision can still be registered, although each work 
must be registered individually. Technical amendments will be made in 
the final rule to 37 CFR 202.12(c) to reflect this change.
    2. Recordation of Notices of Intent to Enforce (NIE's). With the 
enactment of section 104A of the copyright law in 1993, the Copyright 
Office was given the responsibility of recording documents known as 
Notices of Intent to Enforce copyrights restored under the Uruguay 
Round Agreements Act. Because the term of eligibility for filing NIE's 
has concluded for most countries, this is now a seldom used service. 
The Copyright Office has decided to apply the same fees to NIE's as are 
applicable to other recorded documents.
    3. Search estimate by the Reference & Bibliography Section. 
Currently, the Reference & Bibliography Section provides a free written 
estimate of the number of hours which will likely be needed to complete 
a search and report and an estimate of the fee to conduct this search. 
But in order to arrive at the estimate, the Reference and Bibliography 
Section actually performs a major part of the search; and if the client 
requesting the estimate decides not to order the search, the Office 
receives no fee to cover its cost of providing the estimate. 
Consequently, the Office will no longer provide free estimates under 
the new fee schedule. Instead, as with other services that are 
primarily for the benefit of the user, the Copyright Office is setting 
the fee at a level to recover its cost for the service provided. The 
fee to prepare a written estimate will now be $100. If the client 
requests that the search and report be undertaken, the $100 fee will be 
applied to the total fee charged.
    4. Handling fee for extra deposit copy for certification. For 
claimants who wish to obtain certified copies of their deposits after 
issuance of the certificate of registration, the Copyright Office will 
accept an extra deposit copy to be certified upon registration of the 
claim. The current fee for this service is the same as the fee for the 
basic registration and it has been adjusted under the new schedule to 
the same level as the basic registration fee.
    5. Expedited Reference & Bibliography Search and Report. The 
Copyright Office is adopting an hourly fee for providing a written 
search report based on an expedited search of the Copyright Office 
records. This fee replaces the current hourly fee and surcharge now 
used to cover the costs of these services. The new single fee covers 
both the search and the written report and has been calculated to 
maintain full cost recovery.
    6. Copying fees. Current fees do not recover the costs of providing 
copies of Copyright Office records or copies of deposits, often 
exceeding by approximately 50% the amount of fees received by the 
Office for these services. To eliminate this shortfall, the new fees 
for various forms of reproductions have been increased by up to 50% 
and, in the case of photocopying documents, a minimum fee of $6.00 has 
been added to cover the administrative costs of handling these 
requests. Moreover, the Office has decided to harmonize the fees for 
photocopying throughout the Office.

III. Statutory Fees

    The Office is basing its conclusion that most statutory fees should 
be increased upon its findings from the cost study and after 
considering a number of policy and economic factors such as fairness 
and equity and consideration of the objectives of the copyright system, 
projected inflation, and the effect of these increases on the public's 
decision to utilize these services. In light of these considerations, a 
number of statutory fees have been adjusted to achieve or maintain full 
cost recovery, e.g., the fees for filing a supplemental registration, 
filing a registration for renewal or for a group of related works, 
issuing a receipt for a deposit under 17 U.S.C. 407, recording 
documents of various types, and providing additional certificates, 
whereas other statutory fees have been adjusted only to account for 
inflation since the last fee adjustment in 2002.
    Moreover, the Office has concluded that the basic registration 
filing fee, which was not adjusted in 2002, should be increased by 50% 
this year from $30 to $45. However, this increase does not reflect full 
cost recovery for the service provided nor does the Office seek to 
recover its full cost for registration of a single claim. The 
registration system provides benefits to the public and to the Library 
of Congress that offset the need to set fees at a level that would 
recover full costs. Although the copyright law provides incentives to 
register copyrights, see 17 U.S.C. 410(c), 411(a), and 412, the Office 
nevertheless recognizes that copyright owners balance the benefits of 
these incentives against the costs of registration, and that there is a 
fair degree of price elasticity with respect to registration. 
Therefore, the Office has set the fee for the basic registration at a 
level to allow reasonable recovery of costs but not so

[[Page 15370]]

high as to discourage copyright owners from filing their claims with 
the Office.
    The ``Analysis and Proposed Copyright Fee Schedule to Go into 
Effect July 1, 2006,'' which was submitted to Congress on March 1, 
2006, is posted on the Office's Web site at: http://www.copyright.gov/reports/studies/proposedfees2006.pdf

IV. Proposed New Statutory and Filing Fees

    Based upon the cost study prepared by the Copyright Office, the 
Copyright Office is proposing a new fee schedule for registration and 
related services, special services, and Licensing Division services.
    A comparison of existing and new fees is included in the following 

                                   Current     Fee to become effective
                                     fees            July 1, 2006
              Registration, Recordation and Rated Services
(1) Registration of a basic
 claim in an original work of
    Forms TX, SE, PA, VA                $30  $45
     (including Short Forms),
     and Form SR.
(2) Registration of a claim in a         30  45
 group of contribution to
 periodicals (GR/CP).
(3) Registration of a renewal
 claim (Form RE):
    Claim without Addendum......         60  75
    Addendum....................         30  220
(4) Registration of a claim in a         75  95
 mask work (Form MW).
(5) Registration of a claim in a         15  25
 group of serials (Form SE/
 Group) [per issue, with minimum
 2 issues] \1\.
(6) Registration of a claim in a         55  70
 group of daily newspapers and
 qualified newsletters (Form G/
(7) Registration of a claim in a         30  45
 restored copyright (Form GATT).
(8) Registration of a claim in a         15  discontinued.
 group of restored works (Form
 GATT Group [per issue, with $45
 minimum] \2\.
(8) Registration of a group of           NA  75
 published photographs \3\.
(9) Preregistration of certain          100  150
 unpublished works \3\.
(10) Registration of a                  100  115
 correction or amplification to
 a claim (Form CA).
(11) Providing an additional             30  40
 certificate of registration.
(12) Certification of other              80  150
 Copyright Office records (per
(13) Search-report prepared from         75  150
 official records (per hour).
    Estimate of search fee \4\..         NA  100
(14) Location of Copyright               80  150
 Office records (per hour).
    Location of in-process              100  150
     materials (per hour).
(15) Recordation of document,            80  95
 including a Notice of Intention
 to Enforce (NIE) (single title).
    Additional titles (per group         20  25
     of 10 titles).
(15) Recordation of a Notice of          30  discontinued,
 Intention to Enforce (NIE) a                see item 14.
 restored copyright containing
 no more than one title \5\.
    Additional NIE titles (each)          1  discontinued,
                                             see item 14.
(16) Recordation of Notice of            12  12
 Intention to Make and
 Distribute Phonorecords.
(17) Recordation of an Interim           30  80
 Designation of Agent to Receive
 Notification of Claimed
 Infringement under Sec.
 512(c)(2) \3\.
(18) Issuance of a receipt for a         10  20
 Sec.   407 deposit.
(19) Registration of a claim in         140  200
 a vessel hull \3\.
                            Special Services
(1) Service charge for deposit          100  150
 account overdraft.
(2) Service charge for                   35  75
 dishonored deposit account
 replenishment check.
(3) Appeals:
    (i) First appeal............        200  250
        Additional claim in              20  25
         related group.
    (ii) Second appeal..........        500  500
        Additional claim in              20  25
         related group.
(4) Secure test processing               60  150
 charge, per hour.
(5) Copying of Copyright Office
 Records by staff,\3\
    Photocopy (b&w) (per page,         0.50  0.50
     minimum $6).
    Photocopy (color) (per page,          1  1.50
     minimum $6).
    Photograph (Polaroid).......         10  15
    Photograph (digital)........         30  45
    Slide.......................          2  3
    Audiocassette (first 30              50  75
        Additional 15 minute             20  20
    Videocassette (first 30              50  75
        Additional 15 minute             25  25
    CD or DVD...................         40  50
    Zip or floppy disk..........         75  100
(6) Special handling fee for a          580  685
    Each additional claim using          50  50
     the same deposit.
(7) Special handling fee for            330  435
 recordation of a document.
(8) Handling fee of extra                30  45
 deposit copy for certification
(9) Full-term retention of a            425  425
 published deposit.
(10) Expedited Reference and             NA  400/hr.
 Bibliography search and report
    (surcharge, per hour).......        250  discontinued.
(11) Expedited Certification &          200  240
 Documents services (surcharge,
 per hour).
(12) Notice to Libraries and             50  50
 Archives \3\.

[[Page 15371]]

    Each additional title.......         20  20
(13) Use of COINS terminal in LM-        20  25
 B14 (per hour) \3\.
(14) Fed Ex Service \3\.........         15  35
(15) Delivery of documents via            1  1
 facsimile (per page, 7 page
 maximum) \3\.
                       Licensing Division Services
(1) Recordation of a Notice of           12  12
 Intention to Make and
 Distribute Phonorecords (17
 U.S.C. 115).
(2) Certificate of Filing a               8  discontinued.\9\
 Notice of Intention (17 U.S.C.
(3) Filing Fee for Recordation           50  125
 of License Agreements under 17
 U.S.C. 118.
(4) Recordation of Certain               50  50
 Contracts by Cable Television
 Systems Located Outside the
 Forty-Eight Contiguous States.
(5) Initial Notice of Digital            20  20
 Transmission of Sound Recording
 (17 U.S.C. 114).
    Amendment of 17 U.S.C. 114           20  20
(6) Statement of Account                 15  95
 Amendment (Cable Television
 Systems and Satellite Carriers,
 17 U.S.C. 111 and 119).
(7) Statement of Account                 20  95
 Amendment (Digital Audio
 Recording Devices or Media, 17
 U.S.C. 1003) \8\.
(8) Photocopy made by staff            0.40  0.50
 (b&w) (per page, minimum $6).
(9) Search, per hour............         65  150
(10) Certification of Search             65  150
\1\ Amended to replace $45 minimum with a 2 issues minimum.
\2\ To be removed; see section II 1.
\3\ New items: fees not currently listed in 37 CFR 201.3(d).
\4\ New fee, see section II 3.
\5\ See section II 2.
\6\ New item: fee not currently listed in 37 CFR 201.3(d), see section
  II 4.
\7\ New fee, see section II 5.
\8\ To be combined with item 6 in the final regulation.
\9\ Discontinued service, see 69 FR 34582 (June 2, 2004).

V. Technical Amendments

    The Office will adopt technical amendments as needed to conform 
existing regulations with the changes proposed in this notice.

VI. Request for Comments

    The Copyright Office is publishing the proposed new fees in order 
to provide the public with an opportunity to comment by April 27, 2006. 
The new fees will take effect on July 1, 2006, unless the Copyright 
Office has received adverse substantive comments, and publishes a 
notice withdrawing the new fees before that date.

    Dated: March 21, 2006.
Tanya M. Sandros,
Associate General Counsel.
[FR Doc. E6-4385 Filed 3-27-06; 8:45 am]