If your business discovered that its revenue covered only 60% of its costs, it would be time for a re-examination of operations. According to the U.S. Copyright Office’s notice in the May 24, 2018 Federal Register (83 Fed. Reg. 24054), historically, the fees collected by the Copyright Office covered only 60% of its costs. It has proposed for public comment a new fee schedule, which includes many higher fees and some new fees.
The fee familiar to most – the fee to apply for copyright registration for a written, visual, or musical work –would increase from $55 to $75 for an electronic application. For applicants who file the most common types of applications via paper, the fee would increase from $85 to $125.
The Copyright Office has also created some new fees. For example, with respect to supplemental registrations, the new fee for electronic filings would be $100 (the existing fee for paper filings would increase from $130 to $150). In addition, the Copyright Office has proposed new fees for voluntary cancellation of a registration, which would be $150, and for matching an unidentified deposit to its deposit ticket ($40). There is also a proposed new fee for a litigation statement, in the amount of $100.
The fee for expedited handling (called a “special handling fee for a claim” by the Copyright Office) would increase from $800 to $1,000.
Of particular interest to readers who have registered their web sites for copyright protection and who have elected to use the copyright law’s “safe harbor” for notice of infringement claims by designating an agent to receive those claims, the fee for recordation of a designated agent remains unchanged from the current rate of $6.
For those who maintain a deposit account in order to pay fees to the Copyright Office, make sure you pay with a check that’s good. The proposed fee for a replenishment check that is dishonored (returned for insufficient funds) would increase from $100 to $500.
The notice also includes proposed changes to several other fees.
Comments on the new fees are due by Monday, July 23, 2018.