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On February 19, 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a new fee schedule.  The following fee adjustments will be of interest to many authors:

  • The fee for a single author to register copyright in a single work (not written as a work-for-hire) was $35 for an application submitted electronically; it has now been raised to $45.
  • All other copyright registration applications for single works were $55, if filed electronically; that fee has now been raised to $65.

Some authors may be interested in the following fees:

  • The fee to register a group of contributions by a single author to periodicals in a single year stays the same, at $85.
  • The fee to register a group of unpublished works was $55; it has now been raised to $85.
  • The fee to record a notice of termination of rights or a notice of intention to enforce a restored copyright was $105; it has now been raised to $125.

The fee to designate an agent to receive notices of claimed copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act stays the same at $6.  You should have such a designated agent if you allow other people to post on your website, or else you run the risk of being held liable if they post infringing material. If you have such an agent, please remember to update this designation annually.

The Authors Guild provided input in the fee rulemaking process, and while we would have liked to see a few of the fees be lower, all in all, the fees for the types of applications authors will generally submit are only increasing by $10.  We are still waiting for a group registration process for online text works, which would allow writers to register together all of the online articles, blogs, etc. they have written over a certain period. Hopefully the rule permitting this type of group registration will be issued soon.