On April 23, the U.S. Copyright Office released its final rule on the registration process for architectural works. Applicants will no longer need to submit a paper application nor physical deposit materials to register architectural works. Instead, applications and deposit materials can be electronically filed.
The final rule will go into effect May 23, and any paper applications submitted after this date will be refused registration. In fact, paper applications will be accepted only for "exceptional" circumstances, such as not having access to a computer or the internet.
This new protocol for architectural works should prove beneficial for several reasons, including speed to registration, streamlined deposit options, clear effective date for registration, and other clarifications. The timing of the new protocol is auspicious, too, given the U.S. Supreme Court's recent declaration that registrations, as opposed to applications, are required for litigation to commence.