U. S. Copyright Office to Adjust Fees Beginning Aug. 1

The U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress has announced it is adjusting its fees for copyright services. The new fees are scheduled to take effect on Aug. 1, 2009.

Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, submitted a report to Congress in March analyzing changes in costs arising from the reengineering of the Copyright Office in 2007 and the introduction last year of an electronic system for processing copyright applications. The report also considered general economic factors and the requirement in copyright law that fees be fair and equitable and support the objectives of the copyright system.

The proposed fee for filing a copyright application online, using the new electronic Copyright Office known as eCO, remains $35. The report concluded that the Copyright Office realizes substantial savings from eCO as a result of not having to process a paper form, manually enter and quality-review data, and process a fee payment.

Fees for other filing options, however, will rise. The proposed new fee for using fill-in Form CO is $50, an increase of $5. The new fee for paper applications is $65, an increase of $20. The report stated that these fees reflect the Copyright Office’s desire to “discourage use of the traditional paper forms, which are the most costly to provide and process, by imposing a fee that reflects this greater cost.”

The Copyright Office is proposing that corresponding fees stay the same or be reduced for services for which costs have remained constant or dropped since fees were last adjusted in July 2006. For services where costs have gone up—specifically those requiring manual work by staff—the Copyright Office is proposing fee increases to offset rising costs. In addition to registrations filed on paper applications, services affected include document recordation and record searches.

Each year, the Copyright Office typically forwards to the Library’s collections more than a million deposited copies, including books, maps, music and motion pictures.