Licensing Frequently Asked Questions
What is the basic function of the Licensing Section?
The Licensing Section collects royalty fee payments and maintains public records filed by cable operators for retransmitting television and radio broadcasts (section 111), from satellite carriers for retransmitting nonnetwork and network television broadcasts (section 119), and importers or manufacturers that distribute digital audio recording technology products (DART) (section 1003). In general, the section deducts its operating costs from royalty fees collected and invests the balance in interest-bearing securities with the U. S. Treasury for later distribution to copyright owners. The section also collects filing fees to cover part of the costs in administering the cable and satellite licenses.
Are Cable/Satellite Operators required to pay Filing Fees, per filing, for each accounting period?
Effective January 1, 2014, pursuant to the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA), which granted authority to the Copyright Office to establish fees for the filing of statements of account (SOAs) under the section 111, 119, and 122 statutory licenses, the Office now assesses filing fees for all SOAs for current, past, and future accounting periods. For details, see the Federal Register, November 29, 2013 (78 fr 71498). Please be advised that the filing fee is deducted before the royalty payment is credited; thus the omission of the appropriate filing fee will result in an underpayment of royalty fees. Please remit the royalty fee and filing fee in one EFT payment. (SOA1 filing fee: $15; SOA2 filing fee: $20; SOA 3 and Satellite SOA: $725.00).
What are the current fees associated with the Licensing Section services?
Licensing Section fees are on the Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov/licensing/ldocs.html.
How do I make royalty payments to the Licensing Section?
As of July 1, 2022, remitters are required to use the U.S. Treasury Department's Pay.gov system to submit EFT payments for current, past, and future royalty and filing fees. Using Pay.gov benefits both remitters and the Copyright Office because it ensures that the Office can receive, reconcile, and post payments in the same transaction. It also provides remitters with the convenience of using a credit or debit card as a form of payment. Most importantly, using Pay.gov eliminates the need for remitters to separately complete the remittance advice form. Instead, remitters provide the remittance advice form through Pay.gov at the same time they submit payments.
For more information on royalty payments, go to www.copyright.gov/circs/circ74.pdf or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I contact the Licensing Section?
The Licensing Section is located in the Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, at 101 Independence Avenue between First and Second Streets S.E., Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. All mail to the section should be addressed to:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20557-6400*
*The four-digit zip code extension ensures direct delivery to the Licensing Section. Failure to use it often results in long delays.
You may also contact the Licensing Section by telephone, facsimile, or email at:
Tel: (202) 707-8150
Fax: (202) 707-0905
Licensing Section staff members are available to answer questions between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
How do I search the Licensing Section database?
Click on http://licensing.copyright.gov/search/ and follow the menu options.
How do I view Licensing Section public records?
Copyright registration records, the card catalog, and copies of Licensing Section records are available for public inspection and copying in the Copyright Office Public Records Reading Room (CPRRR) Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., eastern time, except federal holidays. For a list of available Licensing Section public records, see www.copyright.gov/circs/circ75.pdf. Some cable statements of account records may be obtained electronically on the Copyright Office website at http://licensing.copyright.gov/search/. Photocopies of current unexamined statement of account filings are available for public viewing in the CPRRR. Microfilmed copies of examined statement of accounts from prior years are also available in the CPRRR.
If you require more information or need to see examined statements of account for recent accounting periods, please contact the Information Unit by phone at (202) 707-8150 or by email at email@example.com. You may also use the phone on the computer work table conveniently located near the front of the CPRRR.
Where is the Copyright Office Public Records Reading Room?
The Copyright Office Public Records Reading Room (CPRRR) is located in room LM–404 of the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress at 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540. The CPRRR provides registered users access to the card catalog, copyright registration records, and licensing public records.
All patrons using copyright records in public service areas are required to have reader identification cards issued by the Library. The cards are free and can be obtained by presenting a valid driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or passport at the reader registration station in room LM–140 on the first floor of the James Madison Memorial Building near the Independence Avenue entrance. The reader registration station is open8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and federal holidays. Researchers must register in person at the reader registration station. The Library cannot take registrations via telephone or the Internet. Go to www.loc.gov/rr/readerregistration.html for more information.
How do I get copies of Licensing Section public records if I cannot go to the CPRRR?
The Licensing Section will search its public records and provide a report of its findings. Please be advised that there are limitations on searches and that searches are not always conclusive. There is a $200.00 minimum fee for this service. Additional hours beyond the first hour are $200.00 per hour or fraction thereof. For further information, go to www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html.
Copies made by staff are 50 cents per exposure with a minimum fee of $12.00. Email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (202) 707-8150 to speak with a staff member. For more information, go to www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf.
Where can I get informational circulars and forms?
Circulars and forms are on the Licensing Section website at www.copyright.gov/forms.
What is the function of the Copyright Royalty Board?
The Copyright Royalty Board is comprised of three copyright royalty judges who have authority for adjusting the rates and terms of the statutory licenses and determining the distribution of royalties from the statutory license royalty pools that the Library of Congress administers. The Librarian of Congress appointed the first three judges on January 11, 2006. The judges serve staggered six-year terms. For more information on the Copyright Royalty Board, go to www.loc.gov/crb.