612.7 (H) Future Date of Publication
As a general rule, the date of first publication cannot be later than the date that an online application is certified or the date that the application is received by the U.S. Copyright Office. The electronic registration system will not accept an online application where the submission date precedes the date of publication. If the applicant provides a future date of publication in a paper application, the registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine whether the work has been published, and if so, whether publication occurred on the date specified in the application.
• On January 1st, the applicant submits a paper application and states that the work will be published on February 1st. The registration specialist examines the application on June 1st. The specialist will communicate with the applicant to determine if the work was, in fact, published on the date specified in the application.