Top of page

photo of someone pressing send on a keyboard
You can now send us your litigation notices by email.

Send Us Your Litigation Notices by Email

Share this post:

The following is a guest post by Jordana Rubel, assistant general counsel in the Copyright Office’s Office of the General Counsel.

photo of someone pressing send on a keyboard
You can now send us litigation notices by email.

You may have heard that the Supreme Court recently confirmed that you are required to register a U.S. work before you can file a lawsuit alleging that someone has infringed the copyright in the work. But what do you do if you applied to register the work and the Copyright Office refused your application?

We want you to know that you can file your lawsuit in this situation, but you must tell the Copyright Office about the suit. You are required (based on section 411(a) of the Copyright Act) to send a copy of your complaint to the Office of the General Counsel, so that the Register can decide whether she wants to participate in the lawsuit to explain to the court why the Copyright Office did not believe the work was copyrightable. A new rule that goes into effect on May 26, 2020, allows you to send your complaint to my colleagues and me by email to [email protected] instead of sending a paper copy through the mail. You are also required to send a copy of the complaint to the U.S. Attorney for the district where the court is located and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Copyright Office also tracks other information about copyright infringement cases filed across the country. My colleagues and I in the Office of the General Counsel have worked with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to develop a system that will allow courts to digitally send notices through the federal courts’ Case Management system informing the Copyright Office every time a copyright case has been filed or resolved (see section 508 of the Copyright Act) or requesting the Register’s views on registration issues (see section 411(b )). Not only will this system make it easier for courts to send these required notices, it will also enable the Copyright Office to make these materials available and accessible to the public in digital format.

To find out more about the new rule, visit our rulemaking page. You can also contact the Public Information Office online or by phone at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778.

Comments (3)

  1. What rights do citizens of jurisdictions that have good diplomatic ties with the USA have please?

  2. It seems like every DSP, ASCAP, and the whole music industry got a pass on infringement.Like driving with out a license from 2018-2021.The MMA says now is time to pay dues. With 3 years of highway robbery ? The facts and all the evidence are long way gone. Recovery will take more time with The MLC making changes in rules instead of trying to catch the highway thieves that are long gone….I stayed behind, I forgot my Copyright Registration.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. Your submission may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.