Online Copyright Registration
The most common form of intellectual property protection is Copyright. It protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies and software programs. Copyright registration ensures that you have a record of your original work within the U.S. Copyright Office system to help prevent plagiarism or other misuse of your work. Registering your copyright is also an important step in protecting your intellectual property and can help deter potential infringers from using your work without permission.
Original works of writing fixed in a physical medium of expression are protected by copyright, a legal provision based on the U.S. Constitution
. Originality is essential to establishing copyright protection, but copyright does not extend to ideas or facts themselves.
Copyright protection automatically applies once you express your ideas in some tangible way—whether written down on paper or recorded on a computer file, for example—and that expression can be fixed (made permanent) with ink on paper or pixels on screen. You don't need to apply for federal registration; copyright registration is voluntary under current law; however, this may change at some point in the future due to ongoing efforts by Congress and others who feel it would be beneficial for creators to register their work with the Copyright Office instead of relying exclusively on state laws regarding infringement suits (more about this later).
Copyright Registration Process
- Register your copyright: You should register your work as soon after creating it as possible, and you can still do this if the work was created in 2010 or earlier.
- Get an ID: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has made it illegal to copy any copyrighted materials without first obtaining permission from the owner of that material or by providing a valid reason for doing so (for example, news reporting). This means you must have an ID number before you can share or post anything online that contains copyrighted material including articles, photos and videos among others.
- Protect your work: If someone else tries to use one of your images without paying for it then they may face legal action against them but only if there is proof of ownership.
- Make sure you're protected: We recommend checking out our other services such as DMCA takedown notices which will let you keep control over what happens when someone steals something from where ever they downloaded it from originally; it could mean losing revenue while waiting months before getting back control over those sales again once everything's resolved so make sure never leave anything unprotected.
Copyright Registration Benefits
Copyright registration is a simple and inexpensive way to protect your intellectual property. It's also a legal requirement—without it, you may not be able to sue in federal court or collect damages in any case brought against you.
- It's easy: The process only takes about 10 minutes, and we'll walk you through the whole thing step by step. You don't need an attorney to register for copyright; just follow our instructions and we'll do the rest.
- It costs less than $100: We offer affordable rates for both new and renewal registrations based on how long it's been since your last filing—and of course, we offer discounts for students who are enrolled at least part-time at an accredited university or college (check out our full list of fees). Even better? Your first two years with us are free! That means if you're registering within two years after publication date of one work or within three years after publication date of multiple works then there won't be any charge whatsoever.
Registering a Copyright
To register a copyright, you must own the following:
- The work (in this case, a song)
- A tangible copy of that work (a recording)
- A signed application form with a non-refundable filing fee paid to the US Copyright Office
Upload your Work and Pay the Fee
To start, use our online registration wizard to select from over 100 categories of works that are eligible for copyright protection. Then add each item you want to register using its title, author(s), and date of creation. You'll be asked for details such as whether or not any changes were made after publication or distribution; if so, these details must also be provided in order to receive complete coverage under federal law (e.g., "distributed with modifications"). It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more depending on how many items you have uploaded.
Registering your copyright is the best way to protect your work and your intellectual property. Registering a copyright grants you exclusive rights to use, reproduce, distribute and publicly display your work in any form.
You are not required to register a copyright for works of art that are not intended for commercial gain or profit. However, as many artists earn money from their creations, it's important that they do everything they can to protect their creations from theft and misuse by others.
When looking at all of the benefits that come with registering your copyright, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to do so. With the right information and guidance, you can take steps toward protecting your work and making sure that no one steals it or uses it without permission.