Licensing


What's New

Attention Cable Operators: Beginning with the 2019/1 (January 1–June 30, 2019) accounting period (filing period July 1 to August 29, 2019), certain Form SA3 cable systems may be required to pay a separate per-program royalty (the Sports Surcharge) in addition to the requisite royalties under section 111 of the Copyright Act. The Sports Surcharge went into effect January 1, 2019, for affected cable systems after the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) Judges issued a final rule (83 FR 62714) on December 6, 2018. To learn more, see the article in our Spring-Summer 2019 issue of The Licensing Connection newsletter.


For more information about this regulation, who is affected, and how to make a Sports Surcharge payment, review the instructions at https://www.copyright.gov/licensing/111/sports-addendum-instructions.pdf. To access the Sports Surcharge Addendum (Form SS) and make your royalty payment, go to https://pay.gov/public/form/start/584643809.


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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 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. 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.


Visit the Copyright Royalty Board website for information on determination of rates and terms for the copyright statutory licenses and for determinations on distribution of statutory license royalties collected by 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 Copyright Office Chief Financial Officer, the Library of Congress Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the U.S. Treasury. This section is also responsible for ascertaining the 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.