Blog Post

Copyright Office website shuts down; patent office and SEC have money for “a few weeks”

Offices, national parks and landmarks across the United States closed Tuesday as a result of the government shutdown, and now it appears some digital places that will have an impact on the tech industry are closed as well. This morning, the website of the U.S. Copyright Office states that is “not available” and adds that security software is monitoring for unauthorized uploads or changes. Here’s a screenshot:

screenshot of shut CR office

While the Copyright Office website is shuttered, the one for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is operating normally, though it carries a message that it will “continue to operate as usual for a period of several weeks.” An earlier report noted the USPTO has enough reserve cash to stay open for a little while.

Time reports that the situation is the same at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where carryover balances will allow the agency to operate as normal “for a few weeks.” The federal court system, meanwhile, will carry on as usual since judicial services are considered “essential.”

Update: NASA’s website is down too and so is and Ars Technica surveyed 50 odd agencies, and couldn’t find a clear rationale as to why some sites are up and some are not.

Other iconic federal sites felt the shutdown effect immediately on Tuesday morning:

Image by mj007 via Shutterstock

4 Responses to “Copyright Office website shuts down; patent office and SEC have money for “a few weeks””

  1. Scott Jensen

    Obama is trying to shut as much down of the federal government as he can in such a way that he thinks will anger people but not get him any blame. But as I said in another comment here on this website: The biggest danger for Obama and the Democrats is that the public not only doesn’t care that the federal government is shut down but doesn’t even notice.

    • No Scott, your analysis is wrong. Reason they are shutting down various offices and websites is because they are running out of funds to keep those operations on not that Obama is shutting them down when there are financial resources to keep them going. Because the budget has not been approved there are no funds allocated to keep those organizations and their services online. Furthermore, the reality is that the Republicans are holding the budget hostage and not approving it and so the blame is on them not Obama or the Democrats as you put it.
      Another thing I might add, this is such a monumental blunder for the Republican party because by acting in such a childish manner they have essentially and almost immediately made enemies with all federal employees and the general public who are serviced by the various federal departments. Way to go in shooting your self in the foot GOP!!! That’s one way to turn off potential voters away from your party…

  2. Davin Peterson

    The Copyright Office is part of the Library of Congress, which is also closed to the public. The Library of Congress has also shut down its website.