How to File a Copyright Application with the U.S. Copyright Office
This is your starting point for all things related to the registration of copyrights. Choose a category below to find out more about the different works typically. An application for copyright registration contains three essential elements: a completed application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, and a nonreturnable deposit—that is, a copy or copies of the work.
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.
Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be.
A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others. Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U. Registration is recommended for a number of reasons.
Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration.
Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within five years of publication, how to clean a gutters is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. The United States has copyright how to file for a copyright with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights.
However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country. For a listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States, see Circular 38aInternational Copyright Relations of the United States. What does copyright protect? When is my work protected? Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
Is my copyright good in other countries?
Instruction for Filing copyright registration form Online:
If you file using a paper application, our only requirement is that all three elements—the application, the copy or copies of the work, and the filing fee—be sent in the same package. Please limit any individual box to 20 pounds. Oct 02, · While you do not have to publish your work before applying for copyright protection, you can only register a copyright for something if you own the legal rights to the work. Step 2. Complete an application for copyright protection. Formal registration of a copyright is not required to receive protection under U.S. law, since an author is entitled to copyright protection from the moment of the creation of a work in a tangible format.
This article is provided for educational purposes only. Nothing on this website is intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is created by your access to this article. Please do not rely on the information presented in this article without consulting a lawyer for application to your specific facts and circumstances. Formal registration of a copyright is not required to receive protection under U. However, formal registration with the United States Copyright Office is required in order to bring suit against an alleged infringer.
For unpublished works, enter the year your work was completed. For published works, enter the year of completion, date your work was first published, and the nation in which work was first published. The author may be either an individual or an entity, but not both. Enter the name of individual certifying the application. Step 2 : Authorize your payment by entering and confirming your email address. Join our creative community We Started a Conversation. Will you lend your voice? Join us Maybe later Step-by-Step Guide: Registration of a Copyright.
Filing a Copyright Application There are three parts to filing a copyright application. First, you must complete an application. Second, you must pay a fee. Third, you must mail a physical copy, or upload a digital copy, of the work to the Copyright Office.
Click the box below to confirm your selection. Note that filing fees are non-refundable. Enter your account number. Confirm that your contact information, including your name, organization, phone number, email address, and mailing address, is correct.
Step 2 : Select the link that corresponds to your account number. You may upload a digital copy of your work directly into the system if it meets one of the following criteria: 1 the work is unpublished, 2 the work is published only electronically, 3 the work is a published work for which the deposit requirement is identifying material, and 4 the work is not a published work for which there are special agreements that require a hard-copy submission to the Library of Congress.
All other classes of works must be mailed to the Copyright Office. For a list of acceptable file types, click here. Postal Service or express courier. Note that the Copyright Office will not return these items.
For packing instructions, click here. For multiple works, you must create additional Shipping Slips. Attach the Shipping Slips to the corresponding works and mail the work s to the address provided on the Shipping Slip.
As the Copyright Office does not confirm receipt of your mailed work, be sure to request your commercial carrier to provide an acknowledgement of receipt. For more detailed information on this process, click here. Confirming Your Submission Once your application has been submitted electronically, you should receive an email indicating that the Copyright Office has received it. The Copyright Office does not otherwise provide a confirmation of receipt.
The processing time for electronic filings varies, but could take up to eight months. Note that for works that meet all of the requirements for registration, the effective date of copyright registration will be the date that the Copyright Office received the completed application, payment submission, and a copy of the work in an acceptable format. Related Articles.