If your business discovered that its revenue covered only 70% of its costs, it would be time for a re-examination of operations, both in terms of revenues and costs. The Copyright Office has issued some rule changes affecting both.

New Fees

According to the U.S. Copyright Office’s notice in the February 19, 2020 Federal Register (85 Fed. Reg. 9374, 9375), historically, the fees collected by the Copyright Office covered only 60% of its costs, and, more recently, only 70% of its costs. It has announced a new fee schedule, which includes many higher fees, some lower or unchanged fees, and some new fees. The new fee schedule goes into effect on Friday, March 20, 2020.

We wanted to remind our readers that, as of January 1, 2018, all paper designation of “notice and takedown” agents will become invalid.  As we have previously written, in order to have a valid “notice and takedown” procedure in the copyright laws (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), the website owner must designate an agent to receive notices of claimed copyright infringement, and register that agent with the Copyright Office.  The good news is that the cost of the electronic registration is only $6.

Every website owner (called a “service provider” in the DMCA) that is currently registered for DMCA takedown notices with the Copyright Office will need to re-register under the new electronic system by no later than December 31, 2017. Any website owner that does not have a registered agent, but wants the advantages of the “notice and takedown” safe harbor under § 512 of the DMCA should register an agent by December 31, 2017.  (All paper designations will become invalid as of January 1, 2018.)