[Videolib] Copyright searches fee info

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Mon, 05 Jun 2006 10:27:54 -0400

This was posted on AMIA archive listserv and I thought it might be of
interest to this group

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To: AMIA-L@LSV.UKY.EDU
Subject:    [AMIA-L] Copyright Search Fee Increases
Date:    Jun 5, 2006 3:46 AM
FYI

Sally Fisher

Major fee increases proposed for copyright searches

* From: John Mark Ockerbloom <ockerblo@[redacted]>
* Subject: Major fee increases proposed for
copyright searches
* Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 16:12:33 EDT

If you use the Copyright Office's search service to
check for renewals
and registrations of copyright, or are interested in
the potential of
orphan works, you should know that the Copyright
Office is planning
various increases of its fees effective July 1,
including major increases
in search-related fees.

Up until 1999, the fee they charged for searching
copyright records was
$20 per hour. In 1999, citing the need to cover
costs, the Copyright Office
raised the fee to $65 per hour. Some time later (I'm
not quite sure when),
this was increased slightly to $75 per hour.

The new schedule proposes doubling this, to $150
per hour. For folks
concerned about whether they'll be able to afford a
search with these higher
fees, they're also proposing adding yet another fee:
$100 just to give
an estimate of how much a search will cost you! (They
haven't charged for
this to date.)

See http://www.copyright.gov/reports/fees2006.html
for more details
on the new fees they plan to charge.

So:

-- If you are thinking of requesting any copyright
search services from
the Office, get your requests in their hands before
the end of this month
to avoid the higher fees.

-- If you are concerned about the impact of the
new fees, you may want
to contact the Copyright Office, and your legislators,
protesting the search
fee increases. (The fees will go into effect unless
the Office reconsiders,
or Congress intervenes.)

Note that the new fees could have a major impact on
the uptake
of "orphan works" (since the "reasonable search"
requirements are likely to
require a search of copyright records) and on the
ability of people to post
online copies of other works whose copyright status
might not be obvious.

The rationale given for increasing search fees by the
extent proposed
includes an assertion that the service benefits "only
or primarily the user
of that service" and therefore should be priced
accordingly, in part
"not to undercut or greatly exceed the price of those
in the private
sector who provide the same service." (See pp. 7-8 of
the fee study linked
to from the URL above.) This assumption of limited
benefit clearly does
not apply when orphan works are revived, or other
"lost" works are reposted
online for the rowld to enjoy. And the Copyright
Office should
not increase its fees merely to protect the business
models of the private
sector.

There isn't much time left to act. Feel free to pass
the word along
to other forums and concerned folks.

John Mark Ockerbloom
Editor, The Online Books Page
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com
212-629-6880

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.