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§ 201.6 Payment and refund of Copyright Office fees.

(a) In general

(1) Electronic payments. All fees for online applications and services must be paid by electronic payment through

(2) Mailed payments. All fees mailed to the Copyright Office should be in the form of a money order or check payable to the U.S. Copyright Office. Currency will not be accepted; any payment received in currency will be refunded via check, and the registration or other service request will not be processed. Where the statutory fee is submitted in the form of a check, the registration of the copyright claim or other record made by the Office is provisional until the funds associated with the check are received. In the event the fee is not paid, the provisional registration or other record shall be expunged.

(3) In-person payments. All fees for services rendered in person at the Copyright Office Public Information Office must be paid by cash, money order, check, or credit or debit card.

(4) Foreign remittances. Foreign remittances must be redeemable without service or exchange fees through a United States institution, must be payable in United States dollars, and must be imprinted with American Banking Association routing numbers. Postal money orders that are negotiable only at a post office are not acceptable. International checks and money orders must be drawn from a United States bank and payable in United States dollars for the full amount of the fee required. Uncertified checks are accepted subject to collection.

(5) Other. In addition to the payment options in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section, payment for any application or service can be made using a Copyright Office deposit account.

(b) Deposit accounts

(1) Establishment. Persons or firms may prepay copyright expenses by establishing a deposit account.

(2) Minimum balance. The Office will automatically notify the deposit account holder when the account goes below a minimum balance of $450.

(3) Contact information.

(i) Deposit account holders are responsible for keeping contact information with the Copyright Office current.

(ii) If the Copyright Office is unable to correspond with the deposit account holder (e.g., due to returned/undeliverable postal or email), the Office will deem the deposit account undeliverable.

(4) Inactivation.

(i) The Copyright Office will inactivate a deposit account if there has been no activity in the account for 24 months.

(ii) The Copyright Office will inactivate a deposit account if the deposit account holder overdraws his or her account.

(iii) The Copyright Office will automatically notify the deposit account holder when the account has been inactivated.

(5) Closure.

(i) An inactive deposit account will be closed no sooner than 30 days from the date of the inactivation notice if there continues to be no activity in the account or if insufficient funds remain in the deposit account after the deposit account holder overdraws the account.

(ii) The Copyright Office may permanently close a deposit account if the deposit account holder overdraws his or her account twice in any calendar year.

(iii) An undeliverable deposit account as defined in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section will be closed after the Copyright Office has made at least three unsuccessful attempts, including at least one attempt by phone if a deposit account holder provided a telephone number, to correspond with the deposit account holder. Attempts at corresponding with the deposit account holder may be considered unsuccessful if the postal or email correspondence is returned as undeliverable.

(iv) Any funds remaining in a closed deposit account will be applied to any pending or processed service request(s) for which payment is due. If there are insufficient funds to cover the total of all fees due for any service, the service request(s) will not be processed.

(v) Any balance remaining in a closed deposit account will be refunded to the account holder in accordance with Copyright Office policies. Unredeemed refunds will be handled in accordance with Library of Congress and U.S. Treasury rules and policies.

(vi) The Copyright Office may refer any overdraft in a closed deposit account for collections.

(6) Further information. For information on deposit accounts, see Circular 5 on the Copyright Office's website, or request a copy at the address specified in § 201.1(b).

(c) Refunds.

(1) Money remitted to the Copyright Office for basic, supplementary or renewal registration, including mask works and vessel designs, will not be refunded if the claim is rejected because the material deposited does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or because the claim is invalid for any other reason. Payments made by mistake or in excess of the fee will be refunded, but amounts of $50 or less will not be refunded unless specifically requested. Except for services specified in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, before making any refund for fees remitted in relation to non-registration copyright services, the Copyright Office shall deduct an administrative processing fee in an amount equivalent to one hour of the requested service, or the minimum charge for the service.

(2) In instances where money has been remitted to pay for recordation of a document, and it is determined that the document cannot be recorded, the basic recordation fee covering one title will be retained as a filing fee. Any additional money over the basic fee for one title will be refunded, but amounts of $50 or less will not be refunded unless specifically requested.

(3) For services where fees are calculated on an hourly basis, such as preparation of a search report, certification of certain Copyright Office records, or location and retrieval of records, in instances where the request is withdrawn before work is begun by the staff member responsible for providing the service, the Copyright Office will retain half of the hourly charge for administrative expenses, and refund the remaining portion of the fee subject to paragraph (c)(1) of this section. In addition, the fee for an estimate of a search fee is non-refundable. This policy applies to requests to the Records Research and Certification Section, and requests to the Licensing Section.

(d) Return of deposit copies. Copies of works deposited in the Copyright Office pursuant to law are either retained in the Copyright Office, transferred for use in the permanent collections or other uses of the Library of Congress, or disposed of according to law. When an application is rejected, the Copyright Office reserves the right to retain the deposited copies.

[24 FR 4955, June 18, 1959, as amended at 46 FR 25442, May 7, 1981; 56 FR 7813, Feb. 26, 1991; 59 FR 38371, July 28, 1994; 74 FR 32809, July 9, 2009; 76 FR 9231, Feb. 17, 2011; 82 FR 9356, Feb. 6, 2017; 86 FR 32642, June 22, 2021; 87 FR 59308, Sept. 30, 2022]

Source: GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (
Data current as of 07/18/2024