Copyright Registration Backlog
Here's the recent Washington Post story about it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/18/AR2009051803171.html?hpid=topnews. And see the blog "Exclusive Rights" (http://www.exclusiverights.net) for comment and analysis.
Again: Other countries don't even have a registration requirement. Also, in order to bring the U.S. into compliance with the international Berne Convention, the Copyright Act of 1976 softened previous registration requirements so that copyright inhered in creation of the work but the ability to sue depended on registration.
This is one of those practical reasons why the Second Circuit ruling in the Freelance case -- that unregistereds cannot even be part of a settlement class -- is unworkable. On grounds of judicial efficiency alone, I hope and expect the Supreme Court to see that issue differently.