What The Copyright Registration Process Looks Like

Maybe you’re in need of copyrighting something but not sure where to start. The whole thing can seem overwhelming. Let’s break down what the copyright registration looks like. First, you must have an original creative work, such as a book, a song, a poem or a cartoon you’ve written. Basically anything you’ve designed and created that you want to keep your rights to.

Go to copyright.gov and find the application that best suits your creation and properly fill it out. There are five main ways to do this:

  1. Visual Form VA
    This application form VA is for any visual arts unpublished creations or works. They can be two and three dimensional in nature and include graphics and sculptures. Fine art, graphics, globes and maps, photographs, art prints and reproductions, technical drawings, models and diagrams, and some architectural works.

    2. Literary Form TX
    This TX form of application should be used for fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, poetry, ad copy, reference materials and collections of information, catalogs and computer programs.

    3. Sound Recording Form SR
    Use this SR application form if you want to copyright any published or unpublished sound recordings, or a compilation of sounds, music, and spoken words. One exception is audiovisual creations such as movies, sound tracks for a motion picture where the audio is separate. They are regarded as the whole work.

    4. Performing Arts Form PA
    The performing arts form PA is for use of unpublished and published performing arts creations. Any body of work created to be “performed” in front of an audience or indirectly through devices such as TV or Internet and Youtube. Different types of performing arts consist of dramatic works with music, choreography and pantomime, musical creations with or without words, and movies or other audiovisual films.

    5. Single Series Form SE
    Single series form SE is used for every single issue within a series. A serial is a work issued or anticipated to be issued in consecutive chronological parts that are numbered and go on endlessly. These include newspapers, magazines, journals, proceedings and transactions of societies.

    Get Registered!
    To register your soon to be copyright creation make sure you have chosen the correct application and make sure it is fully completed. Get your correct files together. Filing by paper (snail mail) for the above forms, PA, TX, SA, SR, VA is more expensive at $85. Filing electronically online is the way to go at $35 for a single application, one author, one work, and not for hire. A standard application, which is all other filings, costs $55. Then later there are renewal
    and supplementary filing registration fees. Send in your creation for copyright.


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