The U.S. Copyright Office is closed indefinitely following the federal government shutdown, but photographers can still take steps to protect their work product.
The copyright office’s online registration system is still operational, and photographers who file their registration now can ensure it will be processed at the earliest possible date. No registrations will be processed until the government reopens, and it’s reasonable to anticipate that there may be a backlog of applications by that time. For that reason, photogs should file registrations as soon as possible.
Registering now will also provide the earliest “effective date of registration” according to the shutdown notice. The notice on the copyright office website does not clarify what the “effective date” will be for registrations received during the shutdown, so photographers should save any documentation of the date of registration in case there is confusion down the line.
For Frequently Asked Questions about the online filing system, follow this link. NPPA is monitoring the situation so if you have any experiences, good or bad, registering your work during the shutdown, please share it with us by emailing [email protected]