[Federal Register: August 13, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 156)]
[Page 43426-43431]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Copyright Office
[Docket No. 98-2B]


AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of proposed fee increase and public hearing.


SUMMARY: The Copyright Office issues this notice to inform the public 
that the Office will hold a public hearing in the course of a 
rulemaking proceeding during which the Office proposes to increase the 
fees set forth in 17 U.S.C. 708(a). The proposed fees would recover a 
significant part of the cost to the Office of registering claims, 
including supplementary and renewal claims, of recording documents, of 
issuing receipts for deposits, of issuing additional certificates, and 
of making and reporting searches.

DATES: A public hearing will be held on Thursday, October 1, 1998, 
beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Dining Room A, 6th Floor, (yellow core) of 
the James Madison Memorial Building, of the Library of Congress, First 
Street and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. 
Anyone desiring to present oral testimony should notify the Copyright 
Office by no later than September 10, 1998. Written comments are 
invited from both those who wish to testify and those who plan only to 
file initial or reply comments. All initial written comments must be 
filed on or before September 18, 1998. All reply comments must be filed 
on or before October 15, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Those who wish to present oral testimony should notify 
Marylyn Martin, Office Manager, Office of the General Counsel by fax 
(202) 707-8366 or by telephone (202) 707-8380. Interested parties 
should submit an original and fifteen copies of written comments. If 
delivered BY MAIL, address to Office of the General Counsel, GC/I&R, 
P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, D.C. 20024. If delivered 
BY HAND, copies should be brought to: Office of the General Counsel, 
Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-403, First 
and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn J. Kretsinger, Assistant 
General Counsel, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, 
Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380; Telefax: (202) 707-


I. Background

Benefits of Registration and Recordation

    Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, that 
is, fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. This protection 
generally lasts for the author's life plus an additional 50 years after 
the author's death, or if the work is made for hire, for a term of 75 
years from publication or 100 years from creation, whichever is 
shorter. The rights granted to authors are broad and protection is 
worldwide because of multilateral and bilateral treaties.
    Registration of claims to copyright and recordation of transfers of 
copyright ownership are optional.<SUP>1</SUP> However, there are 
certain benefits. Registration establishes a public record of the 
copyright claim; this record includes the name of the author, the name 
and address of the claimant (owner), the type of authorship and the 
scope of the claim, and the date and nation of first publication, if 
applicable. A bibliographic entry prepared by the Cataloging Division 
is available online through the Copyright Office's website.

    \1\ In a recent case, a court found that Federal copyright law 
takes precedence over state laws having to do with the legal 
validity of any legally recognizable interest in or share of 
ownership in copyright. Documents having to do with security 
interests in copyright may be recorded in the Copyright Office.

    Registration made within three months after publication of the work 
or before an infringement of the work will entitle the copyright 
claimant to statutory damages and the possibility of recovering 
attorney's fees. Statutory damages are an important remedy because it 
may be difficult to prove the extent of the economic injury that the 
infringement has caused. Statutory damages allow the court to consider 
what is just compensation rather than actual damages. With respect to 
attorney's fees, timely registration makes this remedy a possibility. A 
court is not obliged to award reasonable attorney's fees and is 
authorized to do so only to the prevailing party.
    If a work is registered before or within five years of publication, 
registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the 
validity of the copyright and the facts stated in the certificate. 
Although such evidence is rebuttable, the prima facie status is 
valuable; this is especially true when infringement takes place years 
after the work was published, when facts are sometimes difficult to 
ascertain and prove. With respect to the copyrightability of the work, 
the registration is important. The Office examines a work and issues a

[[Page 43427]]

certificate only when it determines that the work deposited represents 
copyrightable authorship and that the other legal and formal 
requirements of the law have been met. The Office's decisions are 
accorded great weight by courts; generally, their review of Office 
determinations is limited to the high standard of ``abuse of 
discretion,'' meaning that a court will defer to the expertise of the 
Office unless the registration or refusal to register is considered so 
arbitrary that the court determines it to constitute an abuse of the 
Register's discretion.
    Additionally, the Copyright Office develops, services, preserves 
and stores the official records, which include the original application 
for registration, the deposit copies or phonorecords not selected by 
the Library for its collections or exchange programs or identifying 
material submitted in place of actual copies or phonorecords, any 
correspondence concerning the copyright claim, and an online catalog 
consisting of bibliographic records. Copies of unpublished works must, 
by law, be retained for the entire life of the copyright. Published 
works are retained for the period determined practicable by the 
Register and the Librarian, which at present is five years from the 
date of deposit unless the work is a pictorial, graphic, sculptural or 
architectural work where the retention period is 10 years. This 
material may be inspected by the public. Copies of records other than 
deposit materials may be requested and can be certified. With respect 
to deposit materials, the Office provides certified and uncertified 
copies of materials within the custody of the Office when certain 
conditions are met.
    With respect to transfers of copyright ownership, although 
recordation is not mandatory, there are several advantages. For 
example, recordation can, under certain conditions, establish 
priorities between conflicting transfers, or between a conflicting 
transfer and a nonexclusive license. Recordation can provide the 
advantage of according a document ``constructive notice''--a legal 
concept meaning that members of the public are deemed to have knowledge 
of the facts stated in the document; in other words, they cannot claim 
they were unaware of the document or its contents.
    The Office does not attempt to judge the legal sufficiency of a 
document; it does check to see that certain requirements are met and 
verifies certain information. Documents accepted for recordation are 
numbered, imaged, and indexed under the titles and names they contain 
for the public record. The original document is returned to the sender 
with a certificate of record bearing the date of recordation and the 
volume and page number where the document can be located. Information 
about recorded documents is available on the Office's Website; recorded 
documents are available for inspection and copies of such documents may 
be made or requested.

History of Copyright Fees in Relation to Costs of Providing 

    In 1870, Congress centralized registration of copyrights in the 
Library of Congress. The fee for registering a claim to a copyright was 
set at fifty cents, an amount sufficient to cover the entire cost of 
registration at that time. Copyright fees were increased in 1909 and 
1928, and the Copyright Office remained self-sufficient until 1942, 
when, for the first time, revenues fell short of expenditures. Another 
increase in 1948 brought income above expenditures again, but only for 
one year. From that time, fee increases were never sufficient to cover 
all of the Office's operating costs, and the percentage of costs 
covered by income eroded greatly between legislated fee increases.
    In 1965, a fee increase from $4 to $6 brought income from 62% to an 
estimated 80% of expenses. A 1978 fee increase to $10 brought revenues 
to about 80% of costs, but by 1989, revenues had again diminished to a 
new low of 40% of costs. The most recent fee increase, to $20, enacted 
in 1990 and made effective in 1991, raised income to about 65% of 
expenditures; the House Judiciary Committee defeated an amendment to 
increase the fee to $30, which would have achieved full-cost recovery. 
H. Rep. No. 279, 101st Cong., 1st Sess. 4 (1989).

History of the Fee Structure

    The 1990 legislation adjusted all of the copyright fees enumerated 
in the copyright law and also gave the Copyright Office authority to 
adjust fees at five-year intervals, based upon the change in the 
Consumer Price Index. Public Law 101-318, 104 Stat. 287 (1990). Under 
this authority, in 1994, the Acting Register of Copyrights appointed an 
internal committee to study costs and recommend revised fees. The 
committee examined what 17 U.S.C. 708(b) would permit as a statutory 
fee increase, and comprehensively analyzed the costs to the Office of 
providing special services. In 1994, the Copyright Office increased 
fees for special services.<SUP>2</SUP> As a result of the committee's 
analysis, the Acting Register concluded that a 1995 increase in 
statutory fees to the limit permitted under 17 U.S.C. 708(b) would be 
minimal and would not be cost effective given the administrative costs 
associated with increasing fees. The Office did not increase fees in 
1995 and was unsure what years would be computed in increases to the 
Consumer Price Index the next time it increased fees; consequently, it 
sought a clarifying legislative amendment. The current fee proposals 
resulted from that effort.

    \2\ Special service fees are not at issue here. They were again 
increased effective July 1, 1998, pursuant to a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NOPR) published April 1, 1998. 63 FR 15802 (April 1, 
1998), and final rule, 63 FR 29137 (May 28, 1998).

The Fee Structure Enacted in 1997

    Amendments to the copyright fee structure were made part of the 
Technical Amendments Act which was enacted on November 13, 1997, Public 
Law 105-80, 111 Stat. 1529 ( 1997). Among other things, this Act 
revised 17 USC 708(b) and set out specific guidelines for the Copyright 
Office to change the fees specified in the statute. It authorized the 
Register to adjust fees to recover a greater percentage of the Office's 
costs of providing services. The main directives of this Act are:

    1. The Register shall conduct a study of the costs incurred by 
the Copyright Office for the registration of claims, the recordation 
of documents, and the provision of services. This study should also 
consider the timing of any increase in fees and the authority to use 
such fees consistent with the budget.
    2. On the basis of the study, and subject to congressional 
approval, the Register is authorized to fix fees at a level not more 
than that necessary to recover reasonable costs incurred for the 
services described plus a reasonable adjustment for inflation.
    3. The fees should also be fair and equitable and give due 
consideration to the objectives of the copyright system.
    4. The Register must then submit a proposed fee schedule with 
the accompanying economic analysis to Congress for its approval. The 
Register may institute the new fees 120-days after the schedule is 
submitted to Congress unless Congress enacts a law within the 120-
day period stating that it does not approve the schedule.

Copyright Office's Response

    In the spring of 1997, while Congress was considering the proposed 
fee legislation that became part of the Technical Amendments Act, the 
Register conferred with the Director of the Library's Financial 
Services Directorate (FSD) on how to proceed. Based on this discussion, 
the Register appointed a group of Copyright Office staff members to 
conduct a fee study and to recommend appropriate fee changes. With the 
advice of FSD, the

[[Page 43428]]

Copyright Office hired two consulting firms, Abacus Technology 
Corporation (Abacus) and Ron Young, with expertise in cost accounting 
and federal cost accounting regulations to assist in this effort.
    On March 25, 1998, the Office's Fee Analysis Task Group (FEATAG) 
submitted a report to the Register of Copyrights. The report presented 
the results of the commissioned economic study and analysis of the 
costs that the Copyright Office incurs in registering claims, recording 
documents, and providing related services, and recommended a new 
schedule of fees.
    The core of the economic study and analysis was done by Abacus, a 
private consulting firm who developed a methodology for determining the 
Office's full costs and the fees required to recover part or all of the 
    Abacus documented all of the Copyright Office costs. The Office 
determined that some costs not related to providing specified 
registration and related services should not be included in the study. 
It directed Abacus to exclude all Licensing Division and Copyright 
Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) unit costs since they are paid from 
other appropriated funds. It also directed Abacus to exclude policy 
costs, the costs of the Copyright Acquisitions Division, whose primary 
responsibility is securing copies of works published in the United 
States that have not been deposited for the Library of Congress' 
collections, and certain overhead expenses associated with these 
activities. Policy expenses excluded certain staff from the Office of 
the General Counsel and the Public Information Office and all Policy 
and International Affairs staff.
    The study used the activity based costing (ABC) methodology 
approved under the new managerial cost accounting standards as 
described in Managerial Cost Accounting Standards for the Federal 
Government, Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards, no. 4, 
published by the Office of Management and Budget, on July 31, 1995. 
Under this approach, resource costs were assigned to activities, and 
activities were assigned to specified services. Most Copyright Office 
activity costs were directly related to fee services. Certain general 
and administrative costs related to fee services were treated as 
indirect costs and were allocated proportionately across all fee 
    Based on those cost parameters, Abacus proposed the fees which were 
presented in its report. Ron Young and Associates reviewed the Abacus 
report for compliance with the new federal financial accounting 
standards. FEATAG's final report to the Register made recommendations 
on the fees based upon Abacus's cost determinations and policy factors 
such as fairness, equity, and the objectives of the copyright system, 
with adjustments for elasticity in demand for services. This report is 
available on the Copyright Office's website via the 

    \3\ The full FEATAG, report may be accessed at http://
lcweb.loc.gov/copyright. In addition, both the FEATAG Report and 
ABACUS Report are available for inspection and copying in our Public 
Information Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., LM-402, 
Washington, D.C. 20540 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time 
Monday thru Friday except holidays.

Fee Policy Considerations

    In developing its fee recommendations, FEATAG considered several 
policy issues on fees and fee structures, both from the point of view 
of equity and fairness and of practicality and potential administrative 
burden. The Office resolved three of these policy issues as follows:

    1. Basic filing fee. Should the basic filing fee be the same for 
all administrative classes of material, e.g., Class TX (literary 
works), Class VA (pictorial, graphic, sculptural and architectural 
works), Class PA, works of the performing arts including but not 
limited to music, lyrics, choreography, motion pictures and other 
audiovisual works), Class SR, (sound recordings); and all types of 
work within a given class, e.g., poems, databases, novels, computer 
programs, illustrations, sculptures, photographs, feature films, 
instructional television programs? Or should a distinction be made 
based on the Office's administrative classification or alternatively 
on the type of the work?

    The Office concluded that for administrative efficiency, generally 
the fees should be the same for all types and all classes of works. 
With respect to types of works, in order to institute different fees 
for types of works within a class, the Office would need to develop 
separate applications. Additionally, distinguishing different types of 
works is not always easy. What is a feature film? What is an 
instructional television program? With respect to administrative 
classification, many works contain authorship in more than one class, 
and filers are asked to choose the class representing the preponderance 
of material. Claims filed correctly but submitted on the wrong 
application are generally registered without question. The Office does 
not wish to ``measure'' content to determine whether the correct class 
was chosen and perhaps to assess a higher fee. Further, it prefers that 
filers not be influenced by a lower fee to select an inappropriate 
application form.

    2. Published versus unpublished. Should there be different fees 
for published or unpublished works?

    The issue can be looked at from two different perspectives--one 
argues for a higher fee for unpublished works; the other argues for a 
higher fee for published works. The first argument is that the cost of 
processing a claim in an unpublished work is higher than the cost of 
processing a claim in a published work; additionally, the Office is 
required to store a copy of the unpublished work for the life of the 
copyright. In the case of published works, the Office either doesn't 
store the material because it has been selected by the Library or 
stores it for a limited number of years. The second argument is that 
published works have entered the stream of commerce and may be earning 
royalties or other income. Therefore, at the time of registration, the 
copyright in a published work arguably is more valuable than the 
copyright in an unpublished work.
    After much discussion, the Office decided that different fees based 
on the status of the work could not easily be justified; moreover, 
there would be a considerable administrative burden in such a fee 
structure. Therefore, the Office decided not to propose different fees 
based on the publication status of a work.

    3. Works made for hire versus independently authored works. 
Should a greater fee be charged for works made for hire?

    There was considerable discussion on whether there was a basis to 
charge a higher fee for works made for hire. However, again the 
administrative burden of different fees coupled with some uncertainty 
concerning the authorship status on the part of many registrants, led 
us to reject any differentiation.

Discussions of Copyright Objectives and Fairness and Equity

    In May of 1998, the Register contacted representatives of 
interested groups who register claims to offer them the opportunity to 
meet and discuss the forthcoming fee increases and to voice their 
membership's initial concerns. A number met with the Register; others 
submitted comments.
    These representatives suggested several alternatives to the fee 
schedules offered by ABACUS and/or recommended by FEATAG. Various 
groups representing individual authors told the Office that the fee 
suggested in the FEATAG report, $45, was too high. They stressed the 
importance of keeping the registration fee low to keep

[[Page 43429]]

registration affordable. Several representatives cautioned that income 
from statutory fees should be used only for providing the direct 
service, e.g. registration, recordation, certification. A few 
spokespersons indicated that most of their members do not register 
under the current registration procedures for various reasons and 
anticipated that higher fees will result in even fewer registrations.
    Several representatives suggested that there should be more group 
registration opportunities to ease the burden and cost of registering. 
One indicated that a doubling of the current fee would be satisfactory, 
but only if this group of authors could register a very large number of 
images for one fee. Other spokespersons questioned why those who 
register daily newsletters must pay more than those who register daily 
newspapers under the existing fee schedules.
    Other suggestions were that the Office keep basic registration and 
recordation fees low and seek increased revenues from special services, 
i.e., raise the fees even more for special handling and other special 
services, consider volume discounts for quantity registrations, balance 
an increase in fees with a discount for each registration filed by 
those with deposit accounts, and provide reduced fees for those who use 
the electronic registration and deposit system when this is available 
for users. Another suggested that the Office increase fees for 
registrations by those who commercially exploit works such as 
publishers or motion picture companies. Several suggested providing an 
exemption for small businesses. One representative suggested a ``means 
test'' to determine the ability of the individual author to pay. 
Another suggested assessing the fee at a level commensurate with the 
value of the work.

II. Current Initiatives and Office's Initial Response to These 

Existing Registration Options

    The Office wants to keep fees within a reasonable range in order to 
encourage registration and increase the value of the public record. 
Consequently, the Office has explored the possibility of providing 
registration at a lower fee for claims by individual authors.
    The Office notes that it already offers two registration options 
that benefit individual authors who wish to register more than one 

    (1) Unpublished works can be assembled into a collection and 
registered as a single work under a collective title. The Office 
examines the claim for copyrightability of the whole and does not 
identify any works within the collection that may not be 
independently copyrightable. Only the collection titles are 
cataloged; individual titles are not cataloged, even when listed on 
the application. The option does, however, provide an economical 
means of registering a number of unpublished works.
    (2) Contributions to periodicals can be registered on a single 
application and with a single fee. This option is provided for in 
section 408(c)(2) of the law; it offers a single registration for 
works that were first published as contributions to periodicals, 
including newspapers, within a twelve-month period.

    The Office is considering offering another form of group 
registration for unpublished works by individual authors. This option 
would permit registration of up to ten unpublished works in one class, 
listed by title on the form, and each examined for copyrightability by 
the Copyright Office. Each title would appear on the certificate of 
registration and be entered into the Catalog of Copyright Entries. The 
fee would be determined by the number of items in the group, with a 
minimum fee not less than the fee for a single work.

Special Fee for Daily Newsletters

    The Office considered the request to include daily newsletters with 
daily newspapers instead of with other serials but concluded that daily 
newsletters should continue to be assessed the same fees as other 
serials. The Office is not proposing to change the existing fee for 
serials other than to increase the minimum number of works that can be 
registered in one group. The special newspaper fee is only available to 
newspapers who are willing to provide the Library of Congress with a 
microfilm deposit that meets certain archival standards; the cost of 
preparing such copies generally is between $1000 and $1200 per year. 
Moreover, this deposit exceeds the deposit requirements set forth in 
the law.

Offering Additional Group Registrations

    The Office included group fees in this NOPR, although they are 
special services rather than statutory ones in order to propose 
increases to all filing fees at the same time. It is currently 
considering additional group registration options. When it is ready to 
publish these new group options, the Office will need to amend its 
regulations. At that time, these options and their accompanying fees 
will be addressed in a separate rulemaking proceeding.

Assessing a Short Fee Service Charge

    The Office notes that it increased certain fees for special 
services in an earlier rulemaking, including proposing for the first 
time a charge of $20.00 for submitting a fee that is insufficient to 
cover the requested service after the new fees go into effect. This 
short fee will only be assessed for fees that go into effect in 1999 
and will only be assessed for insufficient payments made beginning six 
months after from the effective date of the new fees.

Reduced Rate for Individual Authors

    In order to respond to the plea on behalf of individual authors to 
keep registration within reach financially, the Office proposes an 
alternate schedule of fees including a reduced fee for unpublished 
single works, not including collections registered under a single 
title, of which the author is an individual (not an employer for hire) 
and where the author is claiming copyright. The reduced fee, proposed 
at $35 for individuals, would negatively affect the Office's income.
    To determine the impact on the Copyright Office's income the Office 
reviewed a number of registrations completed in 1997 in each of the 
unpublished series TXu, VAu, PAu, and SRu to see what percentage would 
have qualified for the reduced fee had it been available. Applying the 
percentages to the projected receipts for Fiscal Year 2000, the Office 
would forfeit $1.4 million in income by adopting the reduced fee for 
individual authors. This loss of income would be much greater if the 
lower fee for individuals were applied to collections, to published 
works, or to unpublished works by joint individual authors all of whom 
were claiming copyright. The Office is, therefore, not proposing to 
offer the reduced fee for these categories.
    The second fee schedule shows the adjustment that would have to be 
made in fees for other claims to make up for the income lost through 
this accommodation. Those claims in Classes TX, VA, PA, and SR that did 
not qualify for the reduced fee would be subject to a higher fee of 
$50. The Office proposes keeping the fee for serials at $45. The lower 
fee for serials is justified by the lower cost to process them.

III. Proposed New Statutory and Filing Fees

    Based on the discussions thus far and the analysis done by the 
Office, the Office is proposing two different fee schedules. Schedule I 
contains the fees suggested by the FEATAG report, rounded to the 
nearest $5. Assessment

[[Page 43430]]

of fees at the level proposed in Schedule I would enable the Office to 
recover a significant portion of the costs of providing these services 
and thus fulfill its congressional mandate. Schedule II includes a 
reduced fee for individual authors who meet the criteria set out above 
and adjusts other fees accordingly to recover the revenue lost to the 
Office by this adjustment.
    The Office is not proposing any changes at this time for 
Recordation of Notices of Intent to Enforce copyrights restored under 
the Uruguay Round Amendments Act and group registration of serials.

                                                   Schedule I                                                   
 Statutory service with no special rate for individual                                                          
                        authors                                                Proposed fee                     
Registration of a claim in literary materials other      $45.                                                   
 than serials (Form TX).                                                                                        
Registration of a claim in a serial (Form SE)..........  45.                                                    
Registration of a claim in a work of the performing      45.                                                    
 arts, including sound recordings and audiovisual works                                                         
 (Form PA).                                                                                                     
Registration of a claim in a work of the visual arts     45.                                                    
 (Form VA).                                                                                                     
Registration of a claim in a group of contributions to   3/contribution-45 minimum.                             
 periodicals (GRCP), including group renewals.                                                                  
Registration of a renewal claim (Form RE)                                                                       
    <bullet> Claim without addendum....................  45.                                                    
    <bullet> Claim with addendum.......................  60.                                                    
Registration of a correction or supplement to a claim    65.                                                    
 (Form CA).                                                                                                     
Registration of a claim in a group of serials,           10/issue-45 minimum.                                   
 including daily newsletters, (Form SE/Group).                                                                  
Registration of a claim in a group of daily newspapers   55.                                                    
 (Form G/DN).                                                                                                   
Registration of a restored copyright (Form GATT).......  45.                                                    
Registration of a claim in a group of restored works     10/claim-45 minimum.                                   
 (Form GATT/Group).                                                                                             
Providing an additional certificate of registration....  25.                                                    
Any other certification................................  65.                                                    
Search--report prepared from official records (per       65.                                                    
Search--locating records (per hour)....................  65.                                                    
Recordation of document (single title).................  50.                                                    
    <bullet> Additional titles (per group of 10 titles)  15.                                                    
Recordation of Notices of Intent to Enforce (NIEs)       30                                                     
 (single title).                                                                                                
    <bullet> Additional titles.........................  1.                                                     

                               Schedule II                              
 Statutory service with a special rate for                              
            individual authors                      Proposed fees       
Registration of a claim in a single work    $35.                        
 submitted by a qualified individual                                    
 author in classes TX, VA, PA, and SR.                                  
Registration of a claim in literary         50.                         
 materials other than serials (Form TX).                                
Registration of a claim in a serial (Form   45.                         
Registration of a claim in a work of the    50.                         
 performing arts, including sound                                       
 recordings and audiovisual works (Form                                 
Registration of a claim in a work of the    50.                         
 visual arts (Form VA).                                                 
Registration of a claim in a group of       As in Schedule I.           
 contributions to periodicals (GRCP),                                   
 including group renewals of contributions                              
 to periodicals.                                                        
Registration to a renewal claim (Form RE)                               
    <bullet> Claim without addendum.......  45                          
    <bullet> Claim with addendum..........  60                          
Registration of a correction or supplement  As in Schedule I.           
 to a claim (Form CA).                                                  
Registration of a group of serials,             Do.                     
 including daily newsletters (Form SE/                                  
Registration of a group of daily                Do.                     
 newspapers (Form G/DN).                                                
Registration of a restored copyright (Form      Do.                     
Registration of a group of restored             Do.                     
 copyrights (Form GATT/Group).                                          
Providing an additional certificate of          Do.                     
Any other certification...................      Do.                     
Search--report prepared from official           Do.                     
 records (per hour).                                                    
Search--locating records (per hour).......      Do.                     
Recordation of a document (single title)..      Do.                     
<bullet> Additional titles (per group of        Do.                     
 10 titles).                                                            
Recordation of Notices of Intent (NIEs)         Do.                     
 (single title).                                                        
<bullet> Additional titles................      Do.                     

IV. Request for Comments

    The Office seeks comments on the suggestions made by the parties 
and the fee schedules proposed above. The Office also seeks comments on 
the following specific questions:
    1. Do you agree that individual authors of unpublished works should 
pay a lower registration fee? If so, why? If not, why not?
    2. Are there other distinctions that the Office should make in 
assessing fees?
    <bullet> Should a corporation with a certain net worth pay more 
than others? Should there be a small business exemption? If so, how 
should this be determined?
    <bullet> Should a distinction be made between published and 
unpublished works in setting registration fees? If so, is this 
equitable given the fact that many commercially valuable works, 
including computer programs, databases, and motion pictures, are often 
registered in unpublished form?

[[Page 43431]]

    <bullet> Should there be a higher fee for works made for hire?
    3. The Office did not suggest different fees for different classes 
or types of works. Instead for administrative efficiency and cost 
concerns, it suggested the same fee for all classes and types of works 
(except serials). Do you agree with this decision? If not, how would 
you recommend structuring the fees and why?
    4. Are there other practical alternatives for fee increases that 
will allow the Office to recover its reasonable costs?
    5. Based on the fees proposed in Schedule I, who is unlikely to 
register? Based on the fees proposed in Schedule II, who is unlikely to 
    6. In assessing fees for the registration and related services 
detailed in the schedules set out above, the Office concluded that 
certain costs should be recovered through appropriations. It also 
distinguished between direct and indirect costs in assessing what costs 
should be recovered. Do you agree with the Office's exclusion of such 
costs in assessing fees for registration and related services? If not, 
why not?
    7. Are any of the specified fees too high? If so, why?

    Dated: August 6, 1998.
Marybeth Peters,
Register of Copyrights.

    Approved By:
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 98-21738 Filed 8-12-98; 8:45 am]