Licensing


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An important message for Cable and Satellite Operators on Filing Fees: Effective January 1, 2014, pursuant to the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA), which granted authority to the Copyright Office to establish fees for the filing of statements of account (SOAs) under the section 111, 119 and 122 statutory licenses, the Office now assesses filing fees for ALL SOAs for current, past and future accounting periods. For details see the Federal Register, November 29, 2013 (78 fr 71498). Please be advised that the filing fee is deducted before the royalty payment is credited; thus the omission of the appropriate filing fee will result in an underpayment of royalty fees. Please remit the royalty fee and filing fee in one EFT payment.


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Licensing Division

The Licensing Division is responsible for helping to administer the various statutory licenses and similar provisions, including: secondary transmissions of radio and television programs by cable and satellite systems; making and distributing phonorecords of nondramatic musical works; and importing, manufacturing, and distributing digital audio recording devices or media.


In general the division deducts its full operating costs from the royalty fees collected and invests the balance in interest-bearing securities with the U.S. Treasury for later distribution to copyright owners (see Report of Receipts). The division also collects filing fees to cover part of the costs in administering the cable and satellite licenses. For further information read Circular 75, The Licensing Division of the Copyright Office.

Organization of the Division

The Examining Section examines licensing documents submitted for a statutory or compulsory license to determine that they meet the requirements under the statute and Copyright Office regulations, including correct computations of the filing and royalty fees. A licensing examiner will notify a licensee to correct errors or omissions on a document before final processing by the Copyright Office.


The Fiscal Section performs all accounting, budgeting, and investing functions of the division in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Treasury. This section is also responsible for the ascertainment of funds available for distribution by Copyright Royalty Judges.


The Information Section provides information about the compulsory and statutory licenses, maintains all the division’s official licensing records, and performs reference searches of licensing documents for the public and members of Congress.