Copyright Office Proposes New Fee Schedule

June 28, 2018
Post by Brandon W. Clark

The Copyright Office recently announced a new proposed fee schedule that would increase the majority of fees associated with filings at the Copyright Office. The proposal comes after an extensive assessment performed by consultants Booz Allen Hamilton. The proposed fee increase would help the Copyright Office offset regular costs, while also providing the Copyright Office additional resources to modernize its processes and systems.

The Copyright Office is attempting to strike a balance between ensuring that services are accessible and priced to achieve maximum usage, while still recovering enough of the Office’s costs. It’s important to note that the Copyright Office has never recovered its full costs from user fees. Instead, the Office has traditionally recovered approximately 60% of its costs through fees; the remainder is provided through appropriated dollars from the U.S. treasury. The proposed fee increase would keep this percentage consistent.

While the majority of fees would slightly increase, I’ve drawn attention to a few of the more frequently encountered fees below:

  • Currently, copyright application fees range from $35 -$85 with the Standard Application fee being $55. The proposed fees would range from $55-$125 with the Standard Application fee being $75.
  • Special handling in the case of pending or prospective litigation, customs matters, or contract deadlines that necessitate the expedited registration are currently $800 per application. The Copyright Office proposal would increase the fees for expedited processing to $1000 per application.
  • Copyright transfer/assignment fees are currently $105 while the proposed transfer/assignment fee would be $125.

The last comprehensive fee increase came in May of 2014, and if approved, the new fee schedule would likely go into effect in early 2019.

The Copyright Office is providing an opportunity to the public to comment on the proposed changes before it submits the fee schedule to Congress and comments can be submitted at the following link: Written comments must be received by September 21, 2018.

Brandon W. Clark is the Chair of the Copyright, Entertainment & Media Law Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information, please visit or contact Brandon directly via email at

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