Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1412.1 Statutory Basis for Setting Filing Fees


1412.1 Statutory Basis for Setting Filing Fees


Since 1997, the U.S. Copyright Office has undertaken a series of studies to determine what fees to charge for specific services relating to registration. The Office revisits its schedule of fees approximately every three years, a process during which it seeks public comment, adopts some fees, and makes recommendations for other fees to Congress.


The majority of the Office’s fee adjustments are guided by Section 708 (B) of the Copyright Act, which states that, before adjusting certain fees, the Register must conduct a study of the Office’s costs for registering claims and must consider the timing of any fee adjustments and the Office’s authority to use the fees consistent with the Office’s budget. Section 708 (B) also states that the Register may, based on the results of the fee study, adjust some fees “not more than necessary to cover the reasonable costs incurred by the Copyright Office for … services … plus a reasonable inflation adjustment to account for any estimated increase in costs.” Finally, Section 708 (B) mandates that certain fees “shall be fair and equitable and give due consideration to the objectives of the copyright system.”


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