March 18, 2020
Earlier today, the Copyright Office announced some changes in its special handling requirements and passing along some additional information about the impact of the coronavirus on the registration system. The entire announcement is here. In sum, it says:
- The Office has implemented extended telework requirements that result in a reduced number of onsite staff. As a result, the processing of paper registration applications and the examination of physical deposits will be delayed. The Office is strongly encouraging applicants to submit applications online to avoid this delay.
- The Office is adopting an interim policy for the “special handling” of applications for registration on an expedited basis. For special handling claims that are submitted electronically and for which electronic deposits are permissible under the regulations, these claims will continue to be examined within five business days by examiners that are teleworking. For electronic applications that require the submission of physical deposits of the best edition, applicants must still send the physical deposits, but the Office is temporarily allowing applicants to additionally upload an electronic deposit of that same work. The electronic deposit must be accompanied by a declaration or similar statement certifying, under penalty of perjury, that the electronic deposit is identical in content to the physical deposit that has been sent to the USCO. This will allow teleworking examiners to examine such claims within five business days. These measures are exceptional in nature and temporary in duration, and are projected to terminate when the Office reopens its buildings to the public.