How To Copyright Work
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
Copyright is a facet of “Intellectual Property” and is a bundle of rights and protections involving many facets of literature, music, film, art and architecture. These rights and protections allow a work’s maker/owner to authorize or prohibit such actions as: broadcast, translation, adaptation, reproduction, performance/communication, claims of authorship or changes to the work.
Copyright in the U. S. occurs automatically and without notice as soon as a work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression,” whether or not human senses can readily detect it. However, registration of a copyright is the basis for greater remedies, including legal action, to protect a work. The U. S. Copyright Office provides methods of registering online or via paper forms.
Online registration is accomplished through an eCO account here: https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=eco.copyright.gov
Paper filing for: Literary Work via Form TX here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formtx.pdf/
Visual Arts require Form VA here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formva.pdf
Performing Arts require Form PA here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formpa.pdf
Sound Recordings require Form SR here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf
Single Serial of work intended to be submitted in successive parts requires form SE here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf
The fee schedule for online and paper registrations is revised effective May 1, 2014 and is found here http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl04_2014.pdf
DO’S AND DON’TS
Do register online here: https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=eco.copyright.gov
DO register by paper filing with forms for:
a. Literary Work here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formtx.pdf/
b. Visual Arts here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formva.pdf
c. Performing Arts here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formpa.pdf
d. Sound Recordings here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf
e. Single Serial here: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf
DO use the fee schedule effective May 1, 2014 here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl04_2014.pdf
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.