Statement of the United States Copyright Office
Subcommittee on Legislative Branch,
Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
110th Congress, 1st Session
March 22, 2007
Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request
Madam Chair, Mr. Wamp, and other Members of the Subcommittee:
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Copyright Office’s
FY 2008 budget request.
The Copyright Office is completing its reengineering
project which you have generously supported for the past seven years.
In FY 2008 we are returning $10.1 million in non-recurring funding from
the Basic Fund that was used for this project. Renewal receipts are decreasing
by $850K. Our mandatory and price level request is $3.4 million, and
we request a temporary $1 million increase in offsetting collections
authority to use receipts in the no-year account to fund the Records
Preservation Project. The net effect of these requests is a $6.6 million
decrease in the Copyright Office Basic fund. In addition, we request
a $5.6 million decrease in permanent net appropriations spending authority
and a corresponding permanent increase in offsetting collections spending
authority due to the July 1, 2006, fee increases that bring in more annual
receipts. The net impact on the total spending authority is zero.
Office requests the elimination of the CARP fund since these program
activities have been transferred to the Copyright Royalty Board, an independent
entity under the Librarian of Congress and requests mandatories and price
levels for the Licensing Division. I will discuss these requests in more
detail, after I provide some brief highlights of the Office’s work
and an overview of our accomplishments in reengineering.
Review of Copyright Office Work
Policy and Legal Activities
We have continued to work closely with the Subcommittee
on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the House Committee
on the Judiciary on, for example, Orphan Works, Remedies for Small Copyright
Claims, Music Licensing Reform, and Fashion Design Protection. The Office’s
primary focus was on Orphan Works for which the Associate Register for
Policy and International Affairs testified on March 8, 2006, before the
House Subcommittee. As a solution to the orphan works problem, the Office
proposed a new section 514 for Title 17 which was introduced in the Congress.
The bill was not enacted during the 109th Congress; enactment of this
legislation is one of our top priorities for FY 2007 and FY 2008.
The Copyright Office participated in numerous multilateral, regional,
and bilateral negotiations and U.S. delegations to meetings of international
organizations in FY 2006. This included heading the U.S. delegation to
the 14th and 15th sessions of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s
Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, which considered
the draft basic proposal for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting
The Office also continued to assist the Justice Department
in a number of important court cases related to copyright or with significant
copyright implications, including cases on the copyrightability of settlement
prices, the constitutionality of various provisions of the copyright
law, refusal to register certain claims, and Supreme Court cases raising
Registration and Recordation
During FY 2006, the Copyright Office received 594,125 claims to copyright
covering more than a million works and registered 520,906 claims, including
20,434 registrations submitted electronically. We recorded 13,016 documents
covering more than 350,000 titles of works. During the year, the Office
transferred 1,120,791 copies of registered and nonregistered works valued
at more than $41 million to the Library of Congress for its collections.
Public Information and Education
The Office logged more than 31 million external hits on key pages of
its website during the year—a six percent increase over the previous
year. In FY 2006, the Office responded to 338,831 requests for direct
reference services, and assisted 8,886 members of the public in person,
taking in 12,758 registration applications and 2,463 documents for recordation.
The Office answered 106,141 telephone inquiries, 8,380 letter requests,
and 29,795 email requests for information from the public.
In response to public requests, the Office searched 12,792 titles and
prepared 832 search reports and assisted 8,886 visitors to the Copyright
Card Catalog. The Office published twenty issues of NewsNet, an electronic
news update about the Copyright Office and copyright-related activities,
to 6,333 subscribers.
The Licensing Division collected nearly $227 million in royalty payments
during FY 2006 and distributed royalties totaling more than $191 million.
The division worked on developing options for electronic filing for cable
Statements of Account to be tested in a pilot e-filing program, scheduled
for FY 2007.
The Copyright Office has many to thank for the support we have had during
the past seven years for our Reengineering Program initiative. We especially
thank the Committee for the support you have given us through appropriations;
we thank the Architect of the Capitol for their dedication to completing
the facilities work on time and within budget; and we thank the Library’s
infrastructure units, the labor organizations, and our own staff, whose
support has been crucial to our success.
Online service is at the heart
of improvements coming to the Office as part of this major reengineering
effort. The Copyright Office of the future is scheduled to arrive this
year with the full implementation of eCO, the electronic Copyright Office,
which combines the efficiency and cost savings of an integrated, enterprise-wide
information system with the reach of the World Wide Web. The eCO system
will improve the timeliness of our services, increase public access to
copyright records, and provide better tracking of individual items in
the workflow. At the same time, eCO will greatly enhance our ability
to acquire digital works for the Library’s collections. This is
particularly important since we expect the number of “born digital” works
submitted for deposit to trend upward indefinitely.
implementation efforts in FY 2006 continued to focus on the three components
that support the reengineered processes: information technology, facilities,
and organization. Because the three components are interconnected and
the Office must provide uninterrupted customer service, the Office will
implement all components at one time when it switches to new processes
At that time, the Office will release eCO Service to the public who
can submit applications, deposits, and fees electronically through a
portal on the Copyright Office website. This will reduce the paperwork
and the effort involved in submitting an application and, as a further
incentive, we are proposing to offer a reduced fee for this online registration.
A copy of the work being registered can also be uploaded along with the
electronic application or submitted separately in hard copy according
to the Library’s best edition regulation. In addition to reducing
the burden for the applicant, online registration will also reduce the
cost to the Copyright Office in the long term. For applicants who choose
not to use the eCO Service, we will also put in place the capability
to process paper applications.
Enhanced online search capability for Copyright Office records will
be implemented in 2007 for searching registrations and recordations created
since 1978. The eCO Search feature will have the look and feel of the
Library’s bibliographic record system. The copyright record will
clearly delineate the information provided by the applicant and the bibliographic
information taken from the deposit copy.
During FY 2008, the Office will
refine the information technology processes through adjustments and reconfiguration
of the software. Despite the testing and pilot processing that has been
done and will continue, the first year of use may be a challenging year
as the system is exercised under full load. A help desk will be available
to staff and the public to assist them in their use of the new system.
On the organization front, the Copyright Office presented its reorganization
package to the Library’s Office of Human Resources Services on
November 20, 2006. The package included the plan for the reorganization
and 125 new position descriptions that were created to align job duties
with our new business processes under reengineering. The Librarian reviewed
and approved the reorganization package and implementation will begin
almost immediately in order to have staffing completed in time for the
move back to the Madison Building. The Office must bargain any impact
of the reorganization with the labor organizations.
Training has already begun to provide staff with skills needed in their
new positions and will intensify in the spring of 2007. For the past
16 months, examiners and catalogers have been cross-trained to be able
to perform both duties in the new registration specialist position. The
Office hired a Training Specialist in 2006 and she refined the Training
Plan to include methods for training 35 trainers who will in turn train
the staff in eCO. Training in soft skills, such as effective communication
and team building, was required of the entire staff involved in the reorganization.
The project passed two major milestones in FY 2006. First, nearly all
staff and contractors moved to swing space locations to permit the renovation
of Copyright Office space in the Madison Building. Approximately 75 percent
moved to temporary swing space in Crystal City in July 2006; others moved
to swing space within the Capitol Hill complex; and a few remained in
place until the new space was ready for occupancy. Second, after years
of planning, the Architect of the Capitol began the renovation of Copyright
Office space in the Madison Building. The Architect of the Capitol is
making great progress and remains on schedule to complete the renovation
of Copyright Office space in the Madison Building this year. Of particular
note, the new Copyright Public Record Reading Room, which houses the
Office’s card catalog comprising some 30,000 individual catalog
drawers in 1,234 cabinets, opened to the public on December 11th of last
year. Most Office staff that remained on Capitol Hill during the renovation
have already moved into their newly renovated space, and staff currently
working in temporary office space in Crystal City will move back to the
Madison Building beginning June 1 and ending August 10, 2007.
FY 2008 Budget Request
No new funding is needed for reengineering in FY 2008. Rather, the Office
is reducing its offsetting collections authority for reengineering by
$6.1 million and its net appropriation authority by $4,036,000 for a
total reduction of $10.1 million since most of the reengineering program
will be completed in FY 2007 except for the IT system, which will be
completed in FY 2008 with adjustments and reconfiguration of the software
With respect to renewal registrations, the Office is reducing its offsetting
collections authority by $850,000 and reducing staff by five due to the
fact that the number of renewal registrations will decrease significantly
in FY 2007 and remain at that level or lower from that point on.
When renewal registration was required, the Office annually registered
approximately 52,000 claims. Since the enactment of the automatic renewal
provision in 1992, the number of renewal claims has decreased each year.
In FY 2006, the Office received approximately 8,782 renewal claims bringing
in fees of approximately $531,305. In FY 2007, we believe that amount
will drop to about $150,000 and continue at that level or lower in FY
2008 and thereafter.
Adjustment of Fees
The Office requests an increase in offsetting collections spending authority
of $5.6 million that is matched by a reduction in net appropriation spending
authority of $5.6 million due to an increase in its fees in July 2006.
In accordance with § 708 of the copyright law, the Office completed
a cost study and, for services specifically enumerated in § 708(a)(1)-(9)
(statutory fees), submitted the cost study and proposed fee schedule
increase to Congress on March 1, 2006. The major change was the increase
in the basic registration fee from $30 to $45. Congress took no action
and the Office implemented the new fees. The new fees are projected to
bring in an additional $5.6 million in receipts.
On February 21, 2007, the Office submitted a second cost study, entitled “Analysis
and Proposed Copyright Fee Adjustments,” to Congress. The key proposal
is a lower fee of $35 for electronic registration. The Copyright Office
plans to implement the use of the lower fee service on or after July
1, 2007, to coincide with its transition to the new, reengineered processes
and the initiation of eCO Service. The lower fee for electronic filings
has been proposed for two reasons. First, the proposed fee adjustment
for basic registration filings is being adopted in anticipation of lower
processing costs which will be realized once the Office has had an opportunity
to fully integrate the new processes. Electronic filings will be processed
in fewer steps than paper filings and thus represent a savings to the
Office. Moreover, a lower fee will provide applicants with a strong incentive
to file electronically.
The impact of electronic filing on the Office will not
be known for at least one year. Until that time the Office will be unable
to project any fee or staff adjustments.
Copyright Records Preservation
The Office requests $1 million in offsetting collections authority to
use no-year receipts to fund the digitization of 70 million pre-1978
copyright records. The key objectives of this record digitization project
are (1) disaster preparedness preservation of pre-1978 public records
and (2) provision of online access to those public records. Copyright
records are vital to the mission of the Library and the Copyright Office
and they are important to the public and the copyright industries that
are a significant part of the global economy. The pre-1978 records document
the ownership and copyright status of millions of creative works. Loss
of these sole-copy public records due to a site disaster would trigger
a complex and expensive intellectual property ownership dilemma.
The first stage would cost approximately $6 million over a six year
period and would achieve the preservation goal and very basic online
access. The second stage would add item level indexing, enhanced searching
and retrieval, costing between $5 million and $65 million depending on
the extent of fields indexed.
With respect to CARP, the Office is reducing its offsetting collections
authority by $297,000 and terminating the CARP Fund.
Madam Chair, I ask you to support the FY 2008 Copyright Office budget
request for the Basic and Licensing Appropriations of $50.1million for
a permanent decrease in the Copyright appropriations of $6.6 million.
Our request includes a non-recurring funding for the Records Preservation
I thank the Congress for its past support of the Copyright Office requests
and for your consideration of this request in this challenging time of
transition and progress.