Copyright Registration: Protect Your Creative Work

Copyright is a form of legal protection under U.S. law (Title 17, U.S. Code) that provides you with the
exclusive legal rights to control your original creative works.

You can register

  • Written Work
  • Sound Recordings
  • Visual Arts & Design
  • Screenplays & Scripts
  • Music & Lyrics
  • Logo Artwork
  • Websites
  • Photography
  • Film & Video
  • Computer Programs
  • Technical Works
  • And More

When You Register a Copyright

  • Your copyrighted work may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or publicly displayed without your permission.
  • You establish a public record with the U.S. government of your claim of ownership of the material registered.
  • To prove or enforce your ownership, registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is required in order to sue someone who has copied your original work.
  • Your copyright registration is effective on the date that the complete application package is received by the Copyright Office.

When you submit an order, here’s what we’ll do for you:

  • Review your application for accuracy, common errors, and completeness.
  • Contact you if we have any questions about your application.
  • Prepare all appropriate government applications.
  • File your application electronically with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Send you confirmation of the filing including your Library of Congress Case Number.
  • Provide you with telephone, email & live chat support throughout the process.

Once Registered

  • The U.S. Copyright Office will mail your Certificate of Registration directly to you.
  • You can take legal action against someone who has copied your original work.
  • You do not have to wait to receive your Certificate of Registration before you publish or distribute your work.
  • You do not need permission from the U.S. Copyright Office to place a copyright notice on your material.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Copyright?

A copyright is a form of legal protection granted by the laws of the United States to authors of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other works such as websites and computer programs.

A copyrighted work may not legally be copied, reproduced, distributed or publicly displayed without the consent of the author or copyright owner.

In the United States, registration of a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is required in order to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit.

When is my copyright considered registered?

The “effective date of registration” is the date that your application, fee and a copy of your work is received by the U.S. Copyright Office.

You do not have to wait to receive your Certificate of Registration before you publish or distribute your work.

Can I register more than one work?

You can register several similar works (songs, poems, photos, drawings, etc) on a single application for the same price if you created and own all of the individual works in the collection.

On the application, you must give the “collection” a single title. You can also indicate the individual titles.

How do I send my work?

When your application is ready for filing, you can electronically upload or send a hard copy by mail or courier directly to the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

For websites, we can download the entire site for you and submit the files as required.

How long does copyright protection last?

Generally, for most works, the duration of copyright protection is for the author’s life plus 70 years after the author’s death.

What if someone copies my work?

The owner of a registered copyright may be entitled to relief such as:

  • Injunction, impounding and disposition of infringing material
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Actual damages and profits of the infringing party, or
  • Statutory damages up to $150,000 if the infringement was committed willfully

The copied work need not be identical to the original to infringe a copyright. The legal test of infringement is “substantial similarity” – whether an ordinary observer would recognize the work as having been copied in whole or in part from the earlier one.

What’s the proper copyright notice?

Placing a copyright notice on your work puts the world on notice that you are claiming ownership. (You do not need to indicate any copyright number.) The date should be the year of publication or creation. For example:

Copyright © 2014 COPYRIGHT OWNERS NAME. All rights reserved.

Can I register my business name or slogan?

Business names and short slogans are not subject to copyright protection.

Even if a name or slogan is novel or distinctive it cannot be protected by copyright, but a name or short slogan might be protected by trademark registration if it’s used to identify a product or service.

When do I pay the government filing fee?

For copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office, there is a government filing fee of $35.00 for a single application (or $55.00 for all other filings).

For your convenience, we do not collect this filing fee from you.

Only once our service is complete and your application is being filed, will you then be required to submit the filing fee directly to the U.S. Copyright Office.

Is my registered copyright valid in other countries?

The United States has copyright treaties with most countries throughout the world. Currently, a U.S. copyright is respected in about 190 countries around the world.

Can I register from outside the U.S.A.?

Yes. There is no requirement that the applicant be a U.S. citizen or resident. We have helped clients from all around the world with U.S. copyright registration.

Need more information?

See our Copyright Guide for more detailed information about copyright law and the registration process.