08 / 08 / 2015

The Basics Of Filing A Copyright

Do you an original work that you’d like to copyright? The process isn’t too complicated and in many cases you can do it yourself online.

Intellectual property protection is very important to ensuring that you have legal recourse against those who might steal or “borrow” your creative work. Although you may still have recourse without a copyright in some situations, your case will not be near as strong.

Some people choose to file their copyright themselves to save money, as opposed to hiring an attorney. The US Copyright Office has an online system for handling this procedure and they are very helpful with the entire process.

Of course, if you’d rather have a copyright attorney do it for you, we’d be happy to help you out. Also, if you have legal questions regarding protecting your creative works that you can’t find answers to, get in touch with us and we can help you fully understand your options.

Filing a Copyright

To file a copyright online, you simply go to copyright.gov and use their online registration system.

The three things required of you are:

  1. Your application
  2. Your payment of $35 or $55 (depending on what you want to copyright)
  3. Your work in the form(s) you intend to sell. If you are only going to sell your work digitally, then you can send those files. However, they require two copies of the physical form of your work if you plan on selling your work in physical form.*

*For example, let’s say you want to copyright an album you recorded. If you only plan to distribute that album on iTunes then you only need to send them the digital copy of the album. However, if you are going to also sell CD’s for that album, you must send two copies of the CD you want to copyright.

Do you have specific questions about using their online filing system? Take a look at the FAQ section on the copyright.gov website to learn more.

Would you like to do a search of existing copyrights? The US Copyright Office provides a tutorial that you can download to walk you through the process -- or you can always have us conduct a search for you.

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