Licensing Home >> Overview
The Licensing Division in the Copyright Office administers the compulsory and statutory licenses in the Copyright Act (title 17 of the U.S. Code). The division collects royalty fees from cable operators for retransmitting television and radio broadcasts (section 111), from satellite carriers for retransmitting non-network and network signals (section 119), and from importers or manufacturers for distributing digital audio recording products (see Report of Receipts). The division deducts its full operating costs from the royalty fees and invests the balance in interest-bearing securities with the U.S. Treasury for later distribution to copyright owners. 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 the correct computation of the royalty fee. 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 accounting offices 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 divisionís official licensing records, and performs reference searches of licensing documents for the public and members of Congress. This section is also responsible for examining licensing documents submitted for a statutory or compulsory license to determine that they meet the requirements under the statute and Copyright Office regulations, including the correct computation of the royalty fee.