How to Register a Copyright in Vermont?


A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that gives creators exclusive rights over their original works, such as songs, books, software, or photographs. By registering a copyright, you are legally establishing the ownership of your work, and you can take legal action against anyone who violates your rights. In Vermont, you can register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, which is the federal agency responsible for registering copyrights in the United States.

Determine Eligibility

Before you register a copyright, you need to determine whether your work is eligible for protection. To be eligible, the work must be original and creative, and it must be fixed in a tangible form, such as a book, song, or software code. Common types of works that can be protected by copyright include:
  • Works of literature, including novels, poetry, and essays
  • Musical works, such as songs and compositions
  • Dramatic works, such as plays and musicals
  • Choreographic works, such as dance routines and ballets
  • Pictures and photographs, including digital images
  • Software programs, including computer code and mobile apps
  • Maps and architectural plans
It is important to note that some works, such as ideas, names, and short phrases, are not eligible for copyright protection. Additionally, works that are not original, such as reproductions of other works, may not be eligible for protection.

Search the Copyright Office Records

Before you register your copyright, it is recommended that you search the records of the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure that your work is original and not already registered. This will help you avoid any potential legal disputes over ownership and will provide you with valuable information about the status of your work. The Copyright Office maintains an online database that you can use to search for existing copyrights. You can also hire a professional search service to conduct a more thorough search on your behalf.

Prepare and Submit the Copyright Application

Once you have determined that your work is eligible for copyright protection and have conducted a search of the Copyright Office records, you are ready to submit your application. To do this, you will need to prepare a complete and accurate application form, along with any required attachments and fees. Include the following information on the application form:
  • The title and type of your work
  • Your name and address
  • The date the work was first published, if applicable
  • A brief description of the work
  • A statement declaring that you are the creator of the work and that it is original
It is important to be as accurate and detailed as possible when filling out the application form, as any errors or inaccuracies could delay the processing of your application or result in denial of registration. You can submit your application online through the Copyright Office's eCO system, or you can submit a paper application by mail.

Pay the Application Fee

The U.S. Copyright Office charges a fee to process each copyright application. The fee for a standard application is $55 for electronic submissions and $85 for paper submissions. In some cases, there may be additional fees for registering multiple works or for registering works with special requirements, such as sound recordings or architectural plans. You can pay the fee using a credit card or by mailing a check or money order to the Copyright Office.

Wait for Processing and Approval

After you submit your copyright application, the U.S. Copyright Office will review it to ensure that it is complete and accurate. This process typically takes several months, during which time you can check the status of your application online. Once your application is approved, you will receive a certificate of registration, which serves as legal proof of your ownership of the copyrighted work.

Protect Your Copyright

Having a registered copyright provides you with legal protection, but it is still important to take steps to protect your work from infringement. This includes using a copyright notice, such as the familiar © symbol, on all copies of your work and seeking legal action against anyone who violates your rights.


Registering a copyright in Vermont is a straightforward process that provides important protection for your original works. By following these steps, you can ensure that your work is eligible for protection, conduct a thorough search of the Copyright Office records, and submit a complete and accurate application form. By taking these steps, you can secure your rights and protect your work from infringement.