Payment and refund of Copyright Office fees.
(a) In general.
All fees sent to the Copyright Office should be in the form of a money order, check or bank draft payable to the Register of Copyrights. Coin or currency sent to the Office in letters or packages will be at the remitter's risk. Remittances from foreign countries should be in the form of an International Money Order or Bank Draft payable and immediately negotiable in the United States for the full amount of the fee required. Uncertified checks are accepted subject to collection. Where the statutory fee is submitted in the form of a check, the registration of the copyright claim or other record made by the Office is provisional until payment in money is received. In the event the fee is not paid, the registration or other record shall be expunged.
(b) Deposit accounts.
Persons or firms having 12 or more transactions a year with the Copyright Office may prepay copyright expenses by establishing a Deposit Account. The Office and the Deposit Account holder will cooperatively determine an appropriate minimum balance for the Deposit Account which, in no case, can be less than $450, and the Office will automatically notify the Deposit Account holder when the account goes below that balance.
The Copyright Office will close a Deposit Account the second time the Deposit Account holder overdraws his or her account within any 12-month period. An account closed for this reason can be re-opened only if the holder elects to fund it through automatic replenishment.
In order to ensure that a Deposit Account's funds are sufficiently maintained, a Deposit Account holder may authorize the Copyright Office to automatically replenish the account from the holder's bank account or credit card. The amount by which a Deposit Account will be replenished will be determined by the deposit account holder. Automatic replenishment will be triggered when the Deposit Account goes below the minimum level of funding established pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and Deposit Account holders will be automatically notified that their accounts will be replenished. Funding through automatic replenishment is required if a Deposit Account holder, who has had an account closed because it has been overdrawn twice within any 12 month period, wishes to re-open the account.
Money remitted to the Copyright Office for basic, supplementary or renewal registration, including mask works and vessel hulls, will not be refunded if the claim is rejected because the material deposited does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or because the claim is invalid for any other reason. Payments made by mistake or in excess of the fee will be refunded, but amounts of $50 or less will not be refunded unless specifically requested, and refunds of less than $2 may be made in postage stamps. Except for services specified in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, before making any refund for fees remitted in relation to non-registration copyright services, the Copyright Office shall deduct an administrative processing fee in an amount equivalent to one hour of the requested service, or the minimum charge for the service.
In instances where money has been remitted to pay for recordation of a document, and it is determined that the document cannot be recorded, the basic recordation fee covering one title will be retained as a filing fee. Any additional money over the basic fee for one title will be refunded, but amounts of $50 or less will not be refunded unless specifically requested, and refunds of less than $2 may be made in postage stamps.
For services where fees are calculated on an hourly basis, such as preparation of a search report, certification of certain Copyright Office records, or location and retrieval of records, in instances where the request is withdrawn before work is begun by the staff member responsible for providing the service, the Copyright Office will retain half of the hourly charge for administrative expenses, and refund the remaining portion of the fee subject to paragraph (c)(1) of this section. In addition, the fee for an estimate of a search fee is non-refundable. This policy applies to requests to the Records, Research and Certification Section, and requests to the Licensing Division.
(d) Return of deposit copies.
Copies of works deposited in the Copyright Office pursuant to law are either retained in the Copyright Office, transferred for the permanent collections or other uses of the Library of Congress, or disposed of according to law. When an application is rejected, the Copyright Office reserves the right to retain the deposited copies.
17 U.S.C. 702, 708(c)
[24 FR 4955, June 18, 1959, as amended at 46 FR 25442, May 7, 1981; 56 FR 7813, Feb. 26, 1991; 59 FR 38371, July 28, 1994; 74 FR 32809, July 9, 2009; 76 FR 9231, Feb. 17, 2011]