Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2400

623.2 Justification for Special Handling

623.2 Justification for Special Handling


The U.S. Copyright Office will grant a request for special handling in the following situations:


• Pending or prospective litigation.


• Customs matters.


• Contract or publishing deadlines that necessitate the expedited issuance of a certificate.


The Office may refuse to grant special handling if the request is not sufficiently justified, or if the Office is unable to process the request based on the Office’s workload or budget at the time the request is made. The Office will not grant any request for special handling in connection with a request for reconsideration of a refusal to register.


Examples:


• Timothy King discovers that a website published his photograph of the Dalai Lama without his permission. He intends to send a cease and desist letter to the website demanding that the photo be removed from the site. Before sending the letter, Timothy submits an application to register his work and asks the Office to process the application on an expedited basis due to pending or prospective litigation. The request for special handling will be granted.


• The Pomegranate Company submits an application to register a motion picture and asks the Office to process the application on an expedited basis. In the Note to Copyright Office field the applicant explains that it intends to record its registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to prevent infringing copies from being imported into the United States. The request for special handling will be granted.


• I.P. Asset Advisors intends to make a loan to a songwriter. The company intends to take a security interest in the songwriter’s works as collateral for the loan. The loan agreement stipulates that the security interest must be recorded with the Office on or before the date that the deal closes. The company submits a copy of the loan agreement and asks the Office to record the document on an expedited basis. The request for special handling will be granted.


See Fees for Special Handling of Registration Claims, 74 Fed. Reg. at 39,900-01(August 10, 2009); Policy Decision: Revised Special Handling Procedures, 56 Fed. Reg. at 37,528 (August 7, 1991); Policy Decision Fixing Fees for the Special Handling of Import Statements and Documents, 50 Fed. Reg. at 46,206 (November 6, 1985).

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