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Do you need to expedite a copyright registration filing?

The Library of Congress’ Copyright Office calls this application “Special Handling.” Now, it does require a hefty fee of $800 on top of the $55 fee for a normal application.

Special handling is the expedited processing of an online or paper application for registration of a claim to copyright or for the recordation of a document pertaining to copyright. It is granted in certain circumstances to those who have compelling reasons for this service. It is subject to the approval of the chief of the Receipt Analysis and Control Division, who must consider the workload of the Copyright Office at the time the request is made.

Special handling is granted only in the following specific circumstances:
• pending or prospective litigation
• customs matters
• contract or publishing deadlines that necessitate the expedited issuance of a certificate

If you are the author or copyright claimant and you receive a letter in regards to the ownership or other litigation threat and you need to file, special handling must be your route to receive the copyright certificate before litigation is filed.

Once a request for special handling is received and approved, every attempt is made to process the claim or recordation within five working days. However, no guarantee is made that the work can be processed within this time. If correspondence is required, the Office makes every effort to process the claim expeditiously after the reply is received. Once a claim is processed, the Office either issues the certificate of registration or notifies the applicant of any defect in the claim. In the case of a document, the document is returned with a certificate of recordation.