As of 3 weeks ago when I last "ganged", it was 9 months electronically ($35) and 1 1/2 years by mail ($45) - but either way your images are considered to be legally copyrighted upon receipt, err - your check is cashed by the CO. 3 years ago, it was 6 - 8 months, mail only.
Electronic Submission = a couple of days to legally protected status.
Legally, recovering damages for infringement is nearly impossible and you are not considered a "professional" photographer unless your images are copyrighted. Get what you can - for you, for us.
thanks for the time frame correction ROL ..
it is good to know ..
silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
artwork often times sold for charity
PM me for details