How to Register a Copyright in Minnesota?


Copyright registration is an important step for creators and owners of original works in the state of Minnesota. By registering a copyright, creators and owners can establish a public record of their ownership and take legal action in case of infringement. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in registering a copyright in Minnesota.

Determine Eligibility

Before registering a copyright, it is important to determine whether the work is eligible for copyright protection. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, the following types of works are eligible for copyright protection:
  • Literary works: This category includes books, articles, poems, and other types of written work. It also includes computer programs and software.
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words: This category includes musical compositions, sheet music, and lyrics.
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music: This category includes plays, screenplays, and other types of dramatic works.
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works: This category includes choreographed dances and other types of performance art.
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works: This category includes photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other types of visual art.
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works: This category includes films, videos, and other types of audiovisual works.
  • Sound recordings: This category includes recordings of music, spoken word, and other sounds.
  • Architectural works: This category includes architectural plans and designs.
It is also important to note that the work must be original and fixed in a tangible form. This means that the work must be written down, recorded, or otherwise captured in a way that it can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated to others.

Search for Existing Copyrights

Before registering a copyright, it is a good idea to search for existing copyrights. This can be done by searching the U.S. Copyright Office's online database, as well as other online databases and registries. The purpose of this search is to ensure that the work is not already protected by copyright and to identify any potential conflicts. This can help to avoid issues such as copyright infringement and wasting money on registering a copyright for a work that already exists.

Fill out the Copyright Application

The next step is to fill out the copyright application. This can be done online through the U.S. Copyright Office's eCO system or by mail. Make sure to provide the following application in your application:
  • A description of the work: This should include the title of the work, the type of work it is, and a brief summary of the content.
  • The author's name and contact information: This includes the name, address, phone number and email address of the author or authors.
  • The date the work was created: This should be the date the work was completed or first published.
  • A fee for registration: The fee for registering a copyright is currently $55 for electronic registration or $85 for paper registration.
It is also important to include a deposit of the work being registered, which can be either an electronic copy or a hard copy. This deposit serves as a sample of the work for the copyright office to use for comparison and identification purposes.

Submit the Copyright Application

Once the application is complete, it must be submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office. The application can be submitted online through the eCO system or by mail. The copyright office will review the application and deposit to ensure they meet all legal requirements.

Wait for Approval

After the application is submitted, it can take several months for the copyright office to process and approve the registration. The copyright office will send a notice of registration once the copyright is approved. The approval process can take longer if the application is incomplete or if the deposit is not in compliance with copyright office regulation.

Enforce Your Copyright

Once the copyright is registered, the owner can take legal action to enforce their rights. This includes pursuing legal action against anyone who infringes upon the copyright, such as reproducing, distributing, or selling the work without permission. The copyright owner can also license the work to others for a fee, or transfer the copyright to another party through a written agreement. It is important to note that registering a copyright does not automatically guarantee that the work is protected from infringement. The copyright owner must take the necessary steps to enforce their rights and protect the work from unauthorized use. This includes regularly monitoring for infringement and taking legal action when necessary.


Registering a copyright in Minnesota is a straightforward process, but it is important to ensure that the work is eligible for copyright protection, that a search for existing copyrights is conducted, and the application is filled out correctly. By following these steps and submitting the application to the U.S. Copyright Office, the copyright owner can protect their work and enforce their rights. It is important to note that the registration process can take several months, so it's best to plan accordingly. Once the copyright is registered, the owner can take legal action to enforce their rights and protect their work from unauthorized use.