USPS Delivery to U.S. Copyright Office Disrupted Since October

Posted on January 10, 2002

ail delivery from the U.S. Postal Service to the Copyright Office has been disrupted since October 17, 2001. The Copyright Office has not received any mail since that date. Because of the deadly anthrax mailings in October, USPS mail delivery to the Library of Congress, which the Copyright Office is part of, has been on hold. Mail from private carriers is still being delivered on time.

The anthrax mailings which occurred in October, 2001 killed five people and infected 13 others in the United States. The mailings also caused widespread disruptions in mail service, especially in the Washington D.C. area. The Hart Senate Office Building is still closed and little mail has been received in many government buildings.

A new problem may be caused by the irradiation procedures now being used on mail sent to the D.C. area to destroy the anthrax bacteria. The irradiation process may damage tapes, videos and film. On November 11th, several people became ill, and two were hospitalized, because of an irradiated package containing copy paper wrapped in plastic. The irradiation process caused a noxious gas to be released when the package was opened. These kinds of incidents suggest that it may be a while before postal mail delivery returns to normal in the Washington D.C. area -- even if there are no additional anthrax mailings. There have been no new anthrax cases since November 21, when 94 year old Ottilie Lundgren died from inhalation anthrax in Oxford, Connecticut.

At this time the Copyright Office does not know when regular mail delivery will resume. In the meantime, materials can still be sent to the Copyright Office by a private carrier. If you submitted copyright materials after October 17th, the Copyright Office recommends against resending the information. The Copyright Office says that mail will still be delivered to the Copyright Office once regular mail delivery resumes. The Copyright Office posts updates on its website and is maintaining a FAQ for those with questions.