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of the copyright fee of $6 together with one copy of the work and application, the foreign author or proprietor may at any time within six months from the date of first publication abroad deposit in the Copyright Office an application for registration and two copies of the work which shall be accompanied by a catalog card in form and content satisfactory to the Register of Copyrights.
“For every additional certificate of registration, $2.
"For certifying a copy of an application for registration of copyright, and for all other certifications, $3.
"For recording every assignment, agreement, power of attorney or other paper not exceeding six pages, $5; for each additional page or less, 50 cents; for each title over one in the paper recorded, 50 cents additional.
"For recording a notice of use, or notice of intention to use, $3, for each notice of not more than five titles; and 50 cents for each additional title.
"For any requested search of Copyright Office records, works deposited, or other available material, or services rendered in connection therewith, $5, for each hour of time consumed."
Mr. Sr. ONGE. Mr. Cary, if you please, come forward.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE D. CARY, DEPUTY REGISTER OF COPY.
RIGHTS; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM P. SIEGFRIED, ASSISTANT REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS
Mr. Cary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My name is George D. Cary, and I am the Deputy Register of Copyrights.
I would like to introduce to you Mr. William P. Siegfried, the Assistant Register, who is in charge of budget and fiscal matters. He will be available for questioning if you have any problems on the details in this area.
Mr. Sr. ONGE. We welcome Mr. Siegfried.
Mr. Cary. The present statutory fees of the Copyright Office, which have remained unchanged for 17 years, do not reflect the consistently spiraling increase in the general price level over that span of time. The resulting decrease in the ratio of return to the Government from the present fee schedule has caused some concern to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for the past several years. H.R. 2853 was introduced by Mr. Steed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, for the express purpose of producing a more appropriate ratio between Coypright Office fees and expenditures.
I might add that, with some necessary changes, the fee schedule of that bill has been adopted in section 708 of the bill for general revision of the copyright law, H.R. 4317, as has just been noted by the chairman. So in a very real sense the bill under consideration may be said to be a part of the revision program.
The present Copyright Act of 1909 is more than a half century old. During that time, the Congress has enacted only two general revisions of the fee schedule, the first in 1928 and the most recent in 1948. From 1909 until the fiscal year 1942 the applied fees of the Office exceeded its expenditures. In other words, for some 33 years the Office was making money for the Government. This relationship was reversed beginning with fiscal year 1943, and the ratio of fees to costs continued to decline until the enactment of the 1948 fee schedule. As a result of the 1948 amendment, Copyright Office income once more exceeded expenditures, but not for long—for only 1 year, in fact. Since fiscal year 1950 the ratio of the applied fees to expenditures has dropped from 100 to 63 percent for the fiscal year just ended, 1965. It is this
downward trend that has given rise to the concern of the Appropriations Committees.
If I may at this point, I would like to read you a few sentences that appeared in the reports of those committees so that the committee here will have some idea of what we face.
I read here from House Report No. 442, the 89th Congress, 1st session, to accompany H.R. 8775. This is dated June 3, 1965, and Mr. Steed is the gentleman who submitted the report.
About the Copyright Office he has this to say:
Costs have so increased since fees were last raised in 1948 as to materially lower the percentage of cost recovery. In contrast to 1949 when there was a cash recovery of 103 percent, the recapture factor has steadily gone down. Since 1961, it has ranged around 62 to 64 percent. Some thought was given to making the appropriation increase contingent on approval of a reasonable upward adjustment of fees and unless some action is taken that may have to be done in future budgets.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voiced some similar language which appears in Senate Report No. 424, 89th Congress, 1st session, to accompany H.R. 8775. This report is dated July 6, 1965, and the sentences are as follows:
The operations of this office result in cash receipts to the Government although recovery from fee receipts is diminishing from year to year. The estimated percentage of fees as applied to costs for fiscal year 1966 is 62 percent as compared to 103 percent in 1949. Fees have remained the same since 1948 and in view of rising costs, it is the committee's opinion that pending legislation raising the registration fee should be given priority consideration the appropriate legislative committees.
The cause of this decline, it seems clear, is that the Office's operating costs have increased at a considerably faster rate than the cash income from fees. For example, the income from fees in the fiscal year 1965 was only some 44 percent greater in 1965 than in 1949, but the appropriations for the Office were some 144 percent greater in 1965 than in 1949. The continued upward trend of our economy was, of course, a principal factor, as reflected by a 95 percent increase in the average annual salary of the employees of the Office, which increased from $3,518 in 1949 to $6,880 in 1965. The increase in staff was only 20 percent (from 211 to 255) during this period, although the total registrations—which are an indication of the activity of the Office-increased some 45 percent. Other major factors in the increased costs were the accelerated upward trend in miscellaneous costs, such as the printing of the Catalog of Copyright Entries and contributions under The 1957 amendments to the Retirement Act. These costs rose some 150 percent between 1953 (the first year of a new fiscal allotment system) and fiscal year 1965.
Another factor should be considered in viewing the problem of income to the Government from the activities of the Copyright Office. Under the provisions of the copyright law, the Librarian of Congress is authorized to select, from the works deposited in the Copyright Office, any items which he wishes to add to the collections of the Library, or for exchange purposes. Thus, in one sense, it may be considered that the total value of the material selected for the Library's collections is another form of income to the Office, and in this sense the Office has been more than self-sustaining down through the years. But, even when the value of deposits is added to the income from fees, the ratio of income of deposits and fees to cost has also gone down. For example, in 1950 the ratio of fees plus the value of deposits to the costs of operation was 166 percent. This ratio has declined over the intervening years to an estimated 109 percent for the fiscal year ending in June 1966.
It is our experience, based upon the 1928 and the 1948 fee increases, that in the year immediately following the increase the number of registrations will decline somewhat but the monetary income will increase. Allowing for such an expected drop in the number of registrations, it is our estimate that the fee schedule provided in the bill would return to the Government approximately 80 percent of the moneys appropriated to the Office. This percentage is in line with the 75 percent of return provided for in the recently enacted Patent Office fee bill.
The amount of each fee increase is modest. For example, in the case of the large majority of registration fees, the increase will be from $4 to $6. In view of the other increases throughout the economy since 1948, it would seem that the increase of $2 in the registration fee would not be a serious obstacle to registration.
A somewhat different situation exists in the case of renewals of original claims, where the present fee is $2. If this were increased to $6, the increase would be proportionately much higher than for other classes or services. We believe that a fee of $4, rather than $6, in the case of renewals, would be appropriate.
The present law does not provide a fee for the recordation of noticesof-intention-to-use a musical composition on a phonograph record, although the recordation of a notice-of-use does require a fee. Consequently, an identical fee is proposed for recordation of a notice-ofintention-to-use. I might add this is the only new feature of the bill in the sense that it adds something that is not there. Most other fees are raised in a smaller amount, as will be seen by reference to the appendix to this statement which contains, among other figures, a comparison of the present and proposed fees.
Finally, H.R. 2853 proposes to increase the maximum price for the entire set of Catalogs of Copyright Entires. Current law provides that such full set of catalogs shall not exceed $25 and permits the Register of Copyrights to set a price for the individual parts of the catalog. Based upon the increases in the cost of printing other Government publications, it is believed that the full set of catalogs should be listed at a price of $75, as provided for in the bill.
In conclusion, I wish to state that the Copyright Office supports H.R. 2853 and recommends its early approval.
1 Under 1928 law, unpublished works registered for $1.
Under 1909 and 1928 laws, photographs registered with or without certificate. This option no longer available. Not applicable.
4 Under 1909 law recording fees based on number of words in documents; above figure for basic 300 words. Under 1928 law, charge was for record book page. In 1948 and the bill, charge is for documents up to 6 pages.
1 Prior to 1953 the Copyright Office appropriations were for salaries and printing the Catalog of Copyright Entries. The appropriations did not cover miscellaneous costs, i.e., miscellaneous printing, supplies, postage, etc.
2 Value of material transferred to Library of Congress increased.
* Value of material transferred to Library of Congress increased. • Estimated.
Allocation of Copyright Office appropriations, 1949-66
NOTE.-Prior to 1953 the Copyright Office appropriations were for salaries and printing the Catalog of Copyright Entries only. The appropriations did not cover miscellaneous printing, supplies, postage, etc.