Request to Reopen an Application Closed for Failure to Reply

When a registration specialist communicates with an applicant regarding an application for copyright registration, the Copyright Office provides a deadline by which a reply is required. If no response is received by the deadline, the Office will close the file. When a file is closed, an application must be refiled, with a new application, filing fee, and deposit copy or copies.

If the failure to respond to the communication was caused by extraordinary circumstances, the applicant may request that the Office reopens the file. If the request is made in writing and within a reasonable time, a showing of good cause is made, and the Office has the deposit copies in its possession, it is within the Office’s discretion to reopen a file.

Please submit your complete request to reopen an application for registration using the form below. Your request will be received by the Registration Program and considered in due course. The Registration Program will communicate with you when a determination has been made.

NOTE: It may be up to eight months before a determination is made regarding a request to reopen.

  1. Why was my application closed?

    The Office requires an applicant to respond within an appropriate timeframe to correspondence sent by a registration specialist. In the original communication, the registration specialist indicated that a reply was required within a certain amount of days. For more information, see Section 605.7 of the Compendium.

  2. What can I do after my application was closed?

    If you wish to proceed with an application for registration, you must reapply for registration by submitting a new application, filing fee, and deposit copy or copies. If the failure to respond was caused by extraordinary circumstances, you can request to reopen your application by filling out this form.

  3. I submitted a request to reopen, but have decided to file a new application. What do I do?

    Resubmit the form on this page, with a notification in the final text box that you have decided to refile your application. The Registration Program will remove your request to reopen from consideration.

  4. When are applications reopened?

    Cases closed for failure to reply are opened only in extraordinary circumstances. The Office may grant a request to reopen if:

    1. The request is made in writing;
    2. The request was made within a reasonable amount of time after the original deadline;
    3. A showing of good cause is made; and,
    4. The Office has the deposit copy or copies for your application.
  5. When and how will I hear a reply from the Office?

    Whether your case is reopened will depend on an official determination from the Registration Program. Requests to reopen a case are handled in the order in which they were received. Each request requires a factual investigation and independent determination whether the request can be granted. As such, we do not provide a timeline for a determination.

    If your request is approved, you will receive a phone or e-mail communication from a representative from the Registration Program. If you submitted an application online, your case status will be set to “Open.”

    If your request is denied, you will receive a letter from the Registration Program with the explanation for denying you request.

  6. How do I prevent future applications from being closed?

    1. Add [email protected] to your trusted e-mail list.
    2. Prior to submitting your application, review the e-mail address you provide to the Office, to make sure it is correct and actively checked.
    3. Regularly check the e-mail account until you receive your certificate.
    4. Notify the Copyright Office if you change your e-mail address before your case has been approved.
    5. If you need more time to reply, send correspondence to the registration specialist using the thread-ID requesting more time.

Contact Info

Confirm Email

Application Information

Case number
Title of Work
Claimant Name
Date of Application
Email Used on Application

Request to Reopen

Please provide the basis for your request to reopen your application. The Copyright Office will only reopen a case if (1) the failure to reply in a timely manner was caused by extraordinary circumstances; (2) the request to reopen is made within a reasonable amount of time after the original deadline; and (3) the Office has the deposit copy(ies) of the original application on file. In the comment box below, please provide a brief explanation as to the reason(s) for not replying to a Copyright Office correspondence.