Copyright Office to Reinstate Pre-Pandemic Notifications in eCO

Issue No. 999 - February 23, 2023

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The U.S. Copyright Office will reinstate automated notifications and claim closures in the electronic registration system (eCO), which were suspended in 2020. Beginning on March 1, 2023, the Office will email applicants whose deposits have not been received. These applicants will have forty-five days to submit the missing deposit. If the Office does not receive the deposit, the claim will be closed, and the filing fee will not be refunded.

The Office is taking this action because of thousands of incomplete registration claims that it cannot process. In each claim, the work being registered (the deposit) is missing.

The notifications were suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Office was unable to process incoming physical deposits, and the Office recognized that some applicants might not be able to submit physical deposits during the emergency. Now that the Office has returned to normal operations, it will resume notifying applicants if their deposit is missing, and it will close these applications after forty-five days if the deposit is not received.

To avoid closure and ensure the shortest processing time for an application, the Office strongly encourages applicants to submit the required deposit promptly after submitting the application and payment. The effective date of registration is established only when the Office has received all of the material required for registration—the application, fee, and deposit copy or copies.

More information about using the eCO system and submitting a deposit can be found on the Online Registration Help page. Please contact the Copyright Office’s Public Information Office with additional questions. The Public Information Office can be reached through this contact form or by phone at (202) 707-3000 or toll-free at 1-877-476-0778.

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Reminder: Physical deposits must include a printed shipping slip with the correct mailing address and barcode to match the deposit with the application. Without a shipping slip, the Office will not be able to process your claim, and the system will close the claim. Step-by-step instructions for generating a shipping slip are provided on the Office’s website.

When sending a physical deposit, write “ATTENTION: MCA/WQE” for easy identification.