Licensing


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The Library of Congress is adopting a federal best practice by transferring its payment processes to the U.S. Treasury. As of April 3rd, the U.S. Treasury began issuing all checks and electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments on behalf of the Library. As a result of this change the U.S. Treasury may subject some payments to reductions under the Treasury Offset Program, through which the Treasury collects delinquent debt owed to federal and state agencies. For frequently asked questions about the Treasury Offset Program, visit https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsservices/gov/debtColl/faqs/debt_questions.htm.


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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 (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.


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.