Registration of Claims with Physical Deposit Copies During Temporary Building Closure
Issue No. 811 - April 2, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and the U.S. Copyright Office has implemented extended telework requirements to reduce the number of onsite staff. To mitigate the effect of this temporary closure on the examination of electronic applications accompanied by physical deposits, the Office will offer applicants the option of providing an additional electronic copy of the work so the claim can be examined remotely.
For Applications Before April 2, 2020
Effective April 2, 2020, the Office may contact applicants who have filed an electronic application for which a physical deposit copy has already been received to offer the option of uploading an electronic copy of the work so the claim can be examined remotely. The submission of an electronic copy will be allowed only when the registration specialist assigned to the claim contacts the applicant to offer the option.
If the applicant agrees to use this option, the applicant must submit both an electronic deposit copy and a declaration form, under penalty of perjury, stating that the electronic copy is identical to the physical copy previously submitted. The applicant may upload the declaration form in the same manner as the electronic deposit copy. The registration specialist assigned to the claim will send the declaration form to the applicant and will provide the applicant with instructions for uploading the completed declaration and the deposit to the appropriate claim.
Applicants must wait until the registration specialist contacts them and provides instructions for the upload. Applicants should not contact the Public Information Office regarding this option unless they have heard from a registration specialist and are having difficulty with the upload process.
For Applications Filed On or After April 2, 2020
Effective April 2, 2020, for newly submitted electronic applications for published works that require the submission of “best edition” physical copies of the deposit, the applicant will have the option of uploading an electronic copy of the work in addition to mailing the required physical copies. If the applicant submits the voluntary electronic copy, registration specialists will be able to examine the claim remotely.
Applicants who use this option must submit both an electronic deposit copy and a declaration form, under penalty of perjury, stating that the electronic copy is identical to the required physical copies that the applicant will mail to the Office together with the shipping slip generated in eCO. Applicants may use the declaration form provided here. The applicant may upload the declaration form in the same manner as the electronic deposit copy. If an applicant decides to use this option, registration specialists will be able to examine the claim remotely once they receive the application, fee, electronic deposit copy, and declaration. If an applicant decides to use this option, teleworking Registration Specialists will be able to examine the claim when they receive the application, fee, electronic deposit copy, and declaration.
For both of the options above, if the applicant cannot, or prefers not to, submit an electronic copy, examination of such claims will begin in the order received once registration specialists resume in-Office examination. Although examination of the claim will be delayed, the effective date of registration will generally be the date that the Office received the application, fee, and physical deposits.
These interim processes apply during the temporary closure of the Library to electronic applications for published works for which physical deposits are required under the Office’s regulations. These options are not available to applicants submitting paper applications.
These measures are exceptional in nature and temporary in duration and are projected to terminate when the Library resumes normal operations.
For applicants filing electronic applications for which physical copies are not required to be submitted, the Office strongly encourages the submission of electronic deposits.
Please refer to U.S. Copyright Office NewsNet Issue 807 for applications requiring special handling.
The Acting Register’s announcement is available at copyright.gov/coronavirus/, which also provides general information about Copyright Office operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).