[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 199 (Tuesday, October 14, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60658-60662]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-24269]



Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 201

[Docket No. RM 2008-9]


AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: This notice of proposed rulemaking is issued to inform the 
public that the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is 
considering adoption of new fees for registration of claims, special 
services and Licensing Division services, and that the Office intends 
to submit a schedule of

[[Page 60659]]

proposed new statutory fees and fees for certain other services to 
Congress. The proposed fees would recover a significant part of the 
costs to the Office of registering claims and provide full cost 
recovery for many services provided by the Office which benefit only or 
primarily the user of that service. The new fees are based on reliable 
information regarding the costs of providing services, and reflect new 
electronic processing of most claims implemented in the Copyright 
Office in 2007.

DATES: Comments should be in writing and received on or before November 
13, 20083.

ADDRESSES: If hand delivered by a private party, an original and ten 
copies of any comment should be brought to Room LM-401 of the James 
Madison Memorial Building between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the envelope 
should be addressed as follows: Office of the General Counsel, U.S. 
Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-401, 101 
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. If hand delivered 
by a commercial courier, an original and ten copies of any comment must 
be delivered to the Congressional Courier Acceptance Site located at 
Second and D Streets, NE., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
The envelope should be addressed as follows: Office of the General 
Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office, LM 401, James Madison Building, 101 
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC. Please note that CCAS will 
not accept delivery by means of overnight delivery services such as 
Federal Express, United Parcel Service or DHL. If sent by mail 
(including overnight delivery using U.S. Postal Service Express Mail), 
an original and five copies should be addressed to U.S. Copyright 
Office, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tanya M. Sandros, General Counsel, or 
Kent Dunlap, Principal Legal Advisor for the General Counsel, 
Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 708 of the copyright law establishes 
two separate procedures for adjusting fees for Copyright Office 
services to account for increases in costs. For fees for services 
specifically enumerated in section 708(a)(1)-(9), ``statutory fees,'' 
the fees are adjusted according to the procedures set forth in section 
708(b). This procedure includes the completion of a cost study, and the 
forwarding of an economic report and proposed fee schedule to Congress, 
which takes effect unless Congress enacts a law within 120 days 
disapproving of the new fees. The second procedure concerns fees for 
services not specifically enumerated in section 708(a)(1)-(9), and for 
the purposes of this rulemaking, these fees are termed ``discretionary 
fees.'' For these fees, section 708(a) authorizes the Register to set 
the fee at ``the cost of providing the service.'' As with the statutory 
fees, the Copyright Office adjusts the discretionary fees after 
conducting a cost study to determine the cost of providing the service.
    The Copyright Office has instituted fee adjustments under this 
provision on four separate occasions. The first schedule was adopted in 
1999. See 63 FR 43426 (August 13. 1998) and 64 FR 29518 (June 1, 1999). 
Three years later a second adjustment was made raising many copyright 
fees, but leaving the basic registration fee at $30. 67 FR 38003 (May 
31, 2002). The third fee adjustment was adopted in 2006, in which most 
statutory fees were again raised due to an increase in costs. In this 
instance, the basic registration fee was increased from $30 to $45. 71 
FR 15368 (March 28, 2006) and 71 FR 31089 (June 1, 2006). The last fee 
adjustment was adopted in 2007 establishing a lower basic registration 
fee of $35 for copyright claims submitted electronically. 72 FR 33690 
(June 19, 2007).
    In the 2007 adjustment lowering the fee for electronic submission 
of basic copyright registration, it was stated that fee adjustment 
would likely be revisited once the electronic, online process for 
registering a claim was operational for a sufficient period of time so 
as to yield reliable information on the actual costs involved in 
providing the service. Electronic submission of basic claims to 
copyright was opened to beta testers in July 2007 with an increasing 
number of beta testers added over the next 11 months. Beginning July 1, 
2008, the Office made online, electronic submission of copyright claims 
available to the general public, and it also introduced a new 
application, Form CO. The advantage of Form CO is its 2-D barcode that 
captures the information as entered online on the application form and 
from which the Copyright Office retrieves the information for 
    The Office has gained experience in the past 15 months in using its 
new IT system for processing three different types of submissions of 
claims to copyright. Claims may be submitted electronically, by mailing 
a completed Form CO that incorporates a 2-D barcode, or by submitting 
existing paper forms, i.e., Forms PA, VA, SR, TX or SE. Each type of 
submission requires a significantly different degree of effort to 
process. Therefore, the Office is proposing a fee adjustment for each 
of these three types of submissions to recover the appropriate portion 
of the cost of providing such service.

I. Overview

    The expenses of the Copyright Office have always been substantially 
funded through the fees for providing services, although the percentage 
of cost recovery has varied. For the last fifty years, cost recovery 
through the charging of fees has ranged from 50% to 80% of the expenses 
of the Copyright Office. In fiscal year 2005, the Copyright Office 
collected $23,788,227 in fees, sufficient to offset 56.9% of the total 
expenditures of the Copyright Office. In fiscal year 2006, during the 
last three months of which higher fees applied, the Office collected 
$24,126,884 in fees, sufficient to offset only 51.3% of the total 
expenditures of the Copyright Office. In fiscal year 2007, the 
Copyright Office collected $29,261,052 in fees, offsetting 60.5% of the 
Copyright Office's total expenditures. Programs relating to mandatory 
deposit, domestic and international copyright policy and public 
information have been generally paid for by appropriated funds.
    In order to meet the legal requirements for adjusting fees, the 
Copyright Office undertook a cost study to evaluate the cost of its fee 
services. Based upon that study, the Office proposes to adjust its fees 
to reflect the costs associated with the reengineered processes. The 
proposed new fees are being disclosed to the public at this time in 
order to provide an opportunity for public comment. The Copyright 
Office plans to implement the new fees on or about April 1, 2009.

II. Discretionary Fees

    For services other than those mentioned in section 708(a)(1) 
through (9) identified as ``other services'' in the law, and identified 
in this notice as ``Discretionary Fees,'' the Register is authorized to 
fix the fees at the actual cost of providing the service. The fees 
proposed here are based on a study of the costs of providing these 
services. Where costs have increased, the fees have been raised. In 
some cases the fees remain the same, or where costs have decreased, the 
fees have been lowered.
    This notice will not discuss each fee increase individually where 
fees have been adjusted either to recover the cost of the service or to 
account for the rate of inflation since the last fee adjustment. 
However, the Copyright Office believes

[[Page 60660]]

further clarification is useful for the following fees:
    1. Recordation of an Interim Designation of Agent to Receive 
Notification of Claimed Infringement under Sec.  512(c)(2) (Online 
Service Provider Designation). The Copyright Office has recorded and 
indexed designations of online service providers at a flat rate up to 
the present time. In practice, some of these documents are very simple 
while others include several or even many domain names that must be 
indexed in the Office's online record. To recover the extra cost 
associated with processing the larger number of domain names, the 
Office proposes a fee for the filing itself, with an additional fee for 
each group of 1 to 10 additional domain names.
    2. Service Charge for Uncollectible and Non-negotiable Checks. 
Before the reengineering of Copyright Office processes, the Office did 
not register in-process claims and canceled completed registrations 
when an uncollectible check was returned from the bank. Under the new 
system, processing is merely suspended until the filer sends a valid 
payment. Returning non-negotiable checks and writing for replacements 
for failed payments is a direct cost to the Office. Modern businesses 
recover such costs by imposing a service charge, and the Office is 
adopting the same approach.
    3. Licensing Division Fees. The Licensing Division of the Copyright 
Office provides services related to statements of account for cable, 
satellite, and DART usage. In this case, fees are set based on a 
separate study relating to the budget and expenditures of the Licensing 
Division. In addition, it charges fees for searching, certification and 
copying of licensing records. These services are similar to those 
performed by the Information and Records Division and the costs are 
also parallel. Consequently, fees are adjusted on the basis of the cost 
of providing the service regarding the filing of an Amended Statement 
of Account in accordance with Sections 111, 112, 114, 119, & 1003, 
Recordation of Licensing Agreement under Section 118; and search, 
certification, and copying fees.
    4. Refund Policy. The Copyright Office intends to harmonize its 
refund policy with respect to refunds of fees for non-registration 
services, including document recordation and Licensing Division non-
royalty fees. Heretofore, when a document that had been filed was not 
recorded, the entire fee was refunded. In the future, the Office will 
retain a portion of the fee to offset the administrative cost of 
processing the request to record the document. In this case, under 37 
CFR 201.6(c), the Office will retain a processing fee in an amount 
equivalent to the minimum fee set for the service, and will refund only 
the fees paid beyond that amount. With respect to the various Licensing 
Division fees, the regulation will be applied in the same manner.

III. Statutory Fees

    The Copyright Office now offers two additional options for filing 
basic copyright claims beyond the traditional paper application: 
electronic filing via the Office's new ``electronic Copyright Office'' 
(eCo) and filing a new application Form CO filled out and printed from 
the Web site with the data encoded in 2-D barcodes.
    In July 2006, the basic registration fee was increased to $45. At 
that time, the Office established prospectively a lower fee of $35 for 
filers who would use the electronic filing system still in development 
at that time. In July 2007, when the system became available to the 
public for beta testing, the lower fee was implemented. The cost study 
just completed validates the lower fee, demonstrating a substantial 
cost savings to the Office in processing electronic claims.
    In its proposed schedule of fees, the Office has revised its 
registration schedule and presents a three tier system for basic 
registration fees to accommodate the addition of Form CO. On July 1, 
2008, the Office implemented its new Form CO and 2-D barcode filing 
option on its Web site. The 2-D barcode captures the data entered into 
Form CO and, when scanned in the Office, populates the various fields 
with the digitized data, eliminating the need for any transcription. 
Users who complete the new Form CO on the Copyright Office Web site, 
print it from the Web site, and submit it with the fee and deposit copy 
or copies, will be charged a fee that is higher than the eCO filing 
fee, but lower than the fee for paper filings using old applications 
without the 2-D barcode. The fee level was determined from the cost 
study for processing applications by stripping out the known costs that 
would not be incurred in processing the Form CO claims. Review of the 
costs associated with implementation of Form CO has demonstrated that 
the deleted costs were in fact directly related to processing steps 
avoided in processing these claims.
    The highest fee for submission of a claim for registration is 
reserved for filers who submit the traditional paper application forms. 
The higher fee reflects the level of manual intervention required to 
create the digitized information, and other associated costs. In turn, 
these filers, like their counterparts, will receive a certificate 
created from the digital data drawn from a scanned image of the 
    In addition to the registration fees associated with basic 
copyright registration, fees have been adjusted in some of the other 
areas of copyright registration, as have other statutory fees. The 
Copyright Office believes further clarification is useful for the 
following fees:
    1. Supplementary Registration and Additional Certificate of 
Registration. These statutory fees are being adjusted downward. The 
cost of providing these services has declined over recent years due to 
automation of processing systems. In such circumstances, it is 
appropriate to pass these savings on to the customer.
    2. Group Registration for Database Updates, Group Registration for 
Published Photographs, and Group Registration for Contributions to 
Periodicals. In the case of these three group registration options, the 
applicant files the traditional registration form, and in the case of 
published photographs, the use of an adjunct form listing the 
individual titles of the photographs. The fees for these groups are 
exactly the same as the fees for claims in individual works in these 
categories. A group submission reduces the Office's costs and is seen 
as a win-win for the Office and its customers. The fees for these 
groups will increase for paper fillings, in concert with the fees for 
individual basic registrations. When group registration is available in 
the 2-D barcode and electronic filing options, the fees will parallel 
those for individual claims, as well.
    3. Making and Reporting of a Search. The fee for searching and 
preparing a report from Copyright Office records is adjusted for 
inflation to maintain the current level of cost recovery. The Office 
has determined, however, to apply a 2-hour minimum charge to searches 
performed by the Records Research & Certification Division. This step 
will bring the Office's charges more in line with the fees charged for 
this service by providers in the private sector and will make recovery 
fairly consistent with actual costs. The minimum fee for searches done 
by the Licensing Division remains at the current rate of a 1-hour 
minimum due to the limited scope of the typical search.
    4. Notice of Intention to Obtain a Compulsory License under Section 
115(b). This fee has not been adjusted since 1978 and it has become 
both a windfall for filers who have only one

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title in their notice and a burden for those notices with many titles. 
The Office intends to balance the fee so that it is fairer to users and 
better reflects the relative cost of processing the single-title versus 
multiple-title notices, by charging a fee for processing the notice 
itself, with an additional fee for each group of ten additional titles 
beyond the first. The proposed fee is based on the cost of providing 
this service and increases the basic filing fee, while reducing the 
cost per title when multiple titles are included in the filing. This is 
the same approach the Office uses to set fees for the recordation of a 
document with additional titles and the recordation of an Interim 
Designation of Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement 
under Sec.  512(c)(2). The Office anticipates adjusting its processes 
to accept electronic filings in the future, at which time, it will 
consider an adjustment to these fees to reflect the efficiencies and 
savings associated with electronic filings.

IV. Proposed New Statutory and Filing Fees

    Based upon the cost study prepared by the Copyright Office, the 
Copyright Office is proposing a new fee schedule for registration and 
related services, special services, and Licensing Division services. A 
comparison of existing and new fees is included in the following 

                                                                                Current fees      Proposed fees
               Registration, Recordation, and Related Services
(1) Registration of a basic claim in an original work of authorship:
    Form CO (electronic filing).............................................               $35               $35
    Form CO (2-D barcode application completed online)......................                45                50
    Forms PA, SR, TX, VA, SE (paper filing).................................                45                65
(2) Registration of a claim in a group of published photographs, database
 updates, or contributions to periodicals (Form GR/CP):
    Form CO (electronic filing, when available).............................                35                35
    Form CO (2-D barcode application completed online, when available)......                45                50
    Forms PA, SR, TX, VA, SE (paper filing).................................                45                65
(3) Registration of a renewal claim (Form RE):
    Claim without Addendum..................................................                75               115
    Addendum................................................................               220               245
(4) Registration of a claim in a mask work (Form MW)........................                95               105
(5) Registration of a claim in a group of serials (Form SE/Group) [per                      25                25
 issue, with minimum 2 issues]..............................................
(6) Registration of a claim in a group of daily newspapers and qualified                    70                80
 newsletters (Form G/DN)....................................................
(7) Registration of a claim in a restored copyright (Form GATT).............                45                65
(8) Preregistration of certain unpublished works............................               100               115
(9) Registration of a correction or amplification to a claim (Form CA)......               115               100
(10) Providing an additional certificate of registration....................                40                35
(11) Certification of other Copyright Office records (per hour).............               150               165
(12) Search-report prepared from official records (per hour) [minimum 2                    150               165
    Estimate of search fee..................................................               100               115
(13) Location of Copyright Office records (per hour)........................               150               165
    Location of in-process materials (per hour).............................               150               165
(14) Recordation of document, including a Notice of Intention to Enforce                    95               105
 (NIE) (single title).......................................................
    Additional titles (per group of 10 titles)..............................                25                30
(15) Recordation of Notice of Intention to Make and Distribute Phonorecords                 12               105
 (single title).............................................................
    Additional titles (per group of 10 titles)..............................               N/A                20
(16) Recordation of an Interim Designation of Agent to Receive Notification                 80               105
 of Claimed Infringement under Sec.   512(c)(2) (single name)...............
    Additional domain names (per group of 10 names).........................               N/A                30
(17) Issuance of a receipt for a Sec.   407 deposit.........................                20                30
(18) Registration of a claim in a vessel hull (Form D/VH)...................               200               220
                              Special Services
(1) Service charge for deposit account overdraft............................               150               165
                         Licensing Division Services
(1) Recordation of a Notice of Intention to Make and........................                12               105
\1\ New item; fee not currently listed in 37 CFR 201.3(d).

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V. Request for Comments

    The Copyright Office is publishing the proposed new fees and 
modification of the refund policy in order to provide the public with 
an opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustments. The Office 
anticipates implementation of the new fee schedule by April 1, 2009.

    Dated: October 8, 2008.
Marybeth Peters,
Register of Copyrights.
 [FR Doc. E8-24269 Filed 10-10-08; 8:45 am]