A certificate of registration or an office action is usually issued within six to nine months of submission of the application.
Books, articles and any original works in a "tangible medium of expression" are protected by U.S. copyright law.
Certain works are subject to U.S. Copyright Office mandatory deposit requirements and must be deposited with the Library of Congress within three months of publication.
To obtain a registration, an applicant submits to the U.S. Copyright Office a completed application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, and a nonreturnable deposit of the work being registered. The deposit requirements vary depending upon the type of work and whether the work is published or unpublished.
The application and deposit are examined by a Copyright Examiner who evaluates the submission for originality and compliance with the registration process. The Copyright Examiner does not search Copyright Office records in completing the evaluation. The time the Copyright Office requires to process an application varies, depending on the amount of material that is submitted.