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Copyright Registration Process

Learn about the Copyright Registration Process

Step 1: The Application Process
We begin by preparing and filing your Copyright registration request with the U.S. Copyright Office. Trained in the methods used by the U.S. Copyright Office in examining applications, our professionals' filing methods ensure that our clients' works register as fast as possible with few delays.

To file for protection of your Copyright we require certain information about the work as well as a deposit of the work to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Information Required
In regard to the information required, you will need to provide us with the following:

Title: The Title of the Work You Wish to Copyright.
Authors: The Name(s) of the Author(s) of the Work.
Claimant(s) or Owner(s): In Copyrights the person or entity filing for protection of the Work is often not the author of the Work (e.g., a company owns and wishes to copyright a software program written for them by an independent contractor under a work-for-hire agreement; a company wishes to Copyright their logo created by a third-party logo design company). In these instances the name of the Author and Claimant or Owner would differ. The Claimant is the person or entity who is claiming ownership of the Work to be registered.
Date(s) of Creation & Publication: The Date the Work was Created as well as the Date the Work was First Distributed or Offered to Be Distributed to the Public or Otherwise, if any.
Derivative Work or Compilation: From time-to-time our customers seek to protect updates of their prior Works known as a Derivative or new parts to an existing work known as a Compilation. Although this generally does not apply, if this is the case we will need to know the name and registration number, if any, of the prior work.

Deposit Required
In regard to the requirement for a deposit, for all Copyright Registrations we must provide the U.S. Copyright Office with a deposit of the Work to be registered. Examples of deposits needed for the various forms of Works that may be registered are as follows:

Books, Manuscripts, and Other Literary Writings: A copy of the complete Work to be protected.
Photographs: A copy of the photograph to be protected.
Motion Pictures, Video Recordings, and the Like: A copy of the complete Work to be protected.
Audio Recordings: A copy of the complete Work(s) to be protected (Note, multiple songs on one album may be protected under one Copyright Registration).
Musical Compositions: For compositions (e.g., music in written form) a complete written copy of the music with lyrics, if any, to be protected.
Computer Programs: A complete copy of the computer code to be protected provided that the code is under 50 pages in length. If the code exceeds 50 pages in length then a copy of the first and last 25 pages of code of the code for the program sought to be protected.
Web Pages and Web Sites: A complete copy of the web page and/or web page content sought to be protected.

Step 2: The Examination Process
Unlike trademarks once filed the registration of copyrights entails a far less rigorous examination process. The U.S. Copyright Office does not conduct an evaluation as to whether your applied-for work would infringe upon any existing Copyright Registration. Rather, their role is limited to making sure that all procedural requirements for registration of the Work have been completed including, but not limited to the submission of the mandatory deposit of the Work to be protected. Provided that there are no procedural irregularities in the application the Copyright Registration will issue.

Step 3: Registration of Your Copyright
Approximately four months after the submission of the application you will receive your Copyrights Certificate of Registration.

As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors.

Works created on or after January 1, 1978, are not subject to renewal registration. As to works published or registered prior to January 1, 1978, renewal registration is optional after 28 years but does provide certain legal advantages.



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