Who Can Register?

Who Can Register a Copyright?

Only the author of an original work or someone who has obtained rights through the author can register a copyright.


  • If created during the scope of employment, it is considered a “work made for hire” and the
    employer – not the employee is considered the author.
  • The creators of joint works are co-owners of the copyright unless they have agreed to the contrary.
  • A minor may register a copyright, although state laws may regulate their business dealings.

The following persons are legally entitled to submit a copyright application:

The Author – This is either the person who actually created the work or, if the work was
“made for hire”, the employer or whomever the work was prepared for.

The Copyright Claimant – This is either the author of the work or a person or organization that has obtained ownership rights from the author either by written contract, assignment, will or other
transfer of rights by the author.

The Owner of Exclusive Rights – Any of the exclusive rights that make up a copyright can be
transferred and separately owned. An owner of any of these individual exclusive rights may apply for registration
of his or her claim in the work.

The Authorized Agent – Any person or organization duly authorized to act on behalf of the author, other copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive rights may apply for copyright registration.


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