Unless you’ve visited the U.S. Copyright Office‘s homepage in the last few months, you may not be aware that United States Postal Service mail delivery to the office has been disrupted since October 17 due to concerns about anthrax. It remains unclear when delivery will resume. In the meantime, the Copyright Office encourages the use of private carriers, such as UPS or FedEx, whose shipments are arriving on schedule. Senders should verify that the carrier will deliver to zip code 20559, where the office is located.
The mail hold is especially problematic since the effective date of registration is assigned when the Copyright Office actually receives a properly completed application form, the appropriate filing fee, and a deposit of the work being registered.
For those who have already shipped items via USPS to the Copyright Office, eventual delivery of all mail is expected. Interim regulations have been drafted that will allow for the petition of an earlier date of receipt if necessary with proper documentation. It is suggested that the item not be sent again to avoid duplicate submissions except in cases of a Special Handling request or for those who have received a mandatory notice from the Copyright Acquisitions Division requiring deposit within 90 days. In those cases, applicants may resend using a commercial carrier, but should note that the submission is a duplicate. The office also advises that the decontamination of incoming packages may affect the quality or destroy tapes and CDs. Notification will be sent to applicants if a replacement copy is needed.
Up-to-date information concerning mail delivery is available at the Copyright Office Web site or call (202) 707-3000 for a recorded message or to speak with an Information Specialist.