The Copyright Office announced on March 24, 2014 that, for the first time in nearly five years, it will adopt a new fee schedule for registration, recordation, special handling, licensing and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) services. All fee increases will take effect on May 1, 2014.
The major changes to the fee schedule include an increase in online copyright application filing fees from $35 to $55. With the revised schedule, the Copyright Office also created a new online application form to streamline registration of single works created by single authors that are not classified as works made for hire. This new online application has a lower filing fee of $35. To encourage copyright owners to apply online, the fees for filing paper applications will increase from $65 to $85. Fees for group registrations, mask works, restored copyrights, certification, special handling, vessel hulls, FOIA and secure test processing services also increased. Renewal fees for works created prior to 1978 have decreased from $115 to $100 and renewal addendums have decreased from $220 to $100 to encourage copyright owners to continue to renew registrations. With respect to cable television and satellite carrier filings, the Office increased the fee for amending a Statement of Account from $100 to $150. (The fee schedule for initial Statement of Account filings by cable or satellite companies, which was implemented last year, is not impacted by the new fee schedule).
To determine the updated fee schedule, the Copyright Office engaged in a study to evaluate its current budgetary requirements. A series of questions and proposed changes were published in the Federal Register to elicit public comment on the new fees. The Copyright Office balanced its financial constraints with policy concerns to ensure that the new schedule would encourage participation in the registration and recordation process. Since the Copyright Office is funded through its collection of fees and federal appropriations, the new fee schedule ensures that it will be able to recover a significant part of its costs associated with rendering its services. The Copyright Office estimates that roughly 91% of new copyright claims are filed online through the Copyright Office’s electronic filing system. In 2011, the Copyright Office recovered only 65% of its costs to process online claims and 63% of its costs to process paper applications. The new fee increases are projected to recover nearly 73% of costs to process online claims and 68% of the costs to process paper applications, helping the Copyright Office to maintain a more balanced budget.
More information about the new fee schedule can be found on the Copyright Office’s website.