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Backlog at the Copyright office grows to two (2) years

According to Anthony Verna, who blogs at Trademark, Copyright, and Entertainment Law Forum, the Copyright office now reports that its backlog for registration of copyrights is now as long as two years.

Given that copyright registration is a prerequisite to pursuing a copyright infringement lawsuit, it is very important that copyrights be registered as early as possible.

There are also some important advantages to filing copyright registrations early:

If a registration is filed within 3 months (not 90 days, as previously stated) after first publication of a work, the successful plaintiff in an infringement suit will be entitled to statutory damages and  a possible award of attorneys fees.

Therefore, it is imperative that works be registered as soon as possible.  Failure to do so could make it difficult to pursue infringers later on.

Our office can advise and assist with copyright registration.  Please give us a call to discuss your options.

(the above changes reflect a correction received from a reader.  Thank you, Bugley, for keeping me honest.)

4 Responses to Backlog at the Copyright office grows to two (2) years

  1. I applied for a copyright in March 2009 and the Office is just getting to it now…11/11. And it was an electronic submission. I think I could get a patent in the same amount of time.

  2. Hi Gordon,

    I was curious about this so I called the copyright office early this morning.

    It is true, the backlog is up to two years for printed submissions.

    For internet submissions they told me it is 6 to 8 months.

    Bob Pinkus

  3. Despite that backlog, the way I understand from reading elsewhere, your copyright will be dated and be effective from the date the application is received at the Office.

    So, if during that two year wait a plagiarism case arises before you receive the approved copyright will your application copy, on its own, be sufficient as proof, or would you have to again petition the Office to provide the actual proof?

    • Yes, most Courts will accept a proof of mailing or affidavit tat the registration has been filed.

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