How to Apply For a Copyright
From your U.S. Gov Info/Resources Guide
Registering a copyright makes it easier to prove your ownership of works of art, literature, music, software, etc.
Time Required: 1 Hour
- Make sure what you want to copyright is your original work of art, literature, poetry, music, multi-media, computer software, etc. See the U.S. Copyright Office Web site.
- Visit the U.S. Copyright Office Web site to determine the exact category of your work and for detailed information. (See Related Features for links.]
- Either contact the U.S. Trademark Office to request an application form or download one from their Web site. (See Related Features for links.]
- Complete the application.
- Mail the completed application and a copy of the work to be copyrighted along with a $20 filing fee to the U.S. Copyright Office.
- The Copyright office will send you a certificate of registration in from 6 - 8 months.
- A copyright protects only the physical expression of a work. It does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.
- Names, like company or organization names, names of performing groups, or names of people cannot be copyrighted.
- Copyrights remain in effect for the lifetime of the certificate holder plus 70 years unless renewed.
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