New Copyright Registration Fees Proposed

If you’re looking to file your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, now is probably a good time. The Copyright office has submitted to Congress a proposal to raise rates for basic registrations, beginning as early as July 1st of this year.

The proposal (PDF), filed in March, lays out the case for the rate increase, citing that registration fees have been covering less and less of the operating costs of the office, down to nearly 55% in the most recent fiscal year. The remainder of the USCO’s budget is provided by taxpayers.

The proposal calls for an increase in the rate (PDF) for a basic registration from $30 to $45, or a 50% increase. Group registrations go up moderately with group registrations for published photographs rising from $30 to $75, or a 150% increase.

Other services are slated to increase as well including research by the copyright office, from $75 to $150 per hour, and the addendum to a renewal claim (needed when renewal was sought but not completed on older works) rises from $30 to $220.

The proposal, however, did contain some good news. Item one on page eight stated that the USCO’s electronic filing system is scheduled to become "universally available" next year. According to the proposal, the USCO will charge a lower fee for electronic registrations citing both lower cost and an incentive to move filers over to the electronic system.

Anyone who has waited for several months to receive their copyright registration, as I have, will be very happy to hear that news.

In the meantime though, anyone looking to file a registration in the near future might want to consider doing so soon not only to avoid the higher rates, but the potential backlog of registrants trying to beat the deadline for the lower fees.

[tags]Copyright, Copyright Office, Intellectual Property, Content Theft, Plagiarism[/tags]

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