Copyright Registration Fees Go Up

Posted on 3/25/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The United States Copyright Office of the Library of Congress has published a final rule establishing adjusted fees for copyright registration. The new fee structure will go into effect on May 1, 2014.

The fee for an application filed online will increase from $35 to $55. The fee for an application filed on paper will increase from $65 to $85.

Currently, approximately 91% of all new copyright claims are filed electronically through eCO. Additionally, online applications are attractive because, on average, the Office require between two and five months to complete most claims filed electronically, versus five to eleven months for most claims filed on paper applications.

In fiscal 2011 the office only recovered about 65% of the cost to process online claims and 63% of the cost to process paper applications. The Office estimates that under the new fee structure the revenues generated by all types of copyright registrations fees (photography being only a small part of it) will be roughly $28 million annually.

During the comment period after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) was published on March 28, 20122 the American Society of Media Photographers and Professional Photographers of America claimed that ‘‘proposed fee increases would be catastrophic for working photographers and would drastically reduce the frequency of their copyright registrations,’’ which would be ‘‘devastating to photographers and detrimental to the public record, users of photographs, and the Copyright Office.’’

Some of the comments noted that ‘‘a price increase that nearly doubles the cost of group registration for photographers appears to fly in the face of the Copyright Office’s mission to increase participation in the registration process.”

For more details see the Federal Register.

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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