Registering Your Copyright: What You Need to Know
Copyrights are a form of legal protection that grants the original author or creator of an artistic work exclusive rights to exploit, reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works. Registering your copyright is an important step in protecting your work and ensuring that you receive the full benefits of copyright protection. In this blog post, we'll break down the steps involved in registering a copyright.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
To be eligible for copyright protection, the work must be original and creative. This means that it must be something that you created yourself—it can't be copied from another source. Additionally, the work must also be "fixed," meaning it must be in some tangible medium of expression from which it can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. This includes works such as books, photographs, sculptures, paintings, sound recordings, and computer programs.
Step 2: Search for Existing Copyrights
Before registering your copyright you should conduct a search for existing copyrights to make sure your work does not infringe on someone else's copyrighted material. The U.S. Copyright Office ("USCO") has created an online search database where you can look up any existing copyrights to make sure that your work is unique and eligible for registration. It's also important to note here that even if you don't register your copyright with the USCO it still applies under federal law; however registering your copyright provides additional legal protections if someone violates it in any way.
Step 3: Fill Out The Application
Once you have determined eligibility and searched for existing copyrights it is time to fill out the application form with all of your relevant information such as name(s) associated with the copyrighted material and contact information. Depending on what type of material is being registered (i.e., literary works vs visual arts) there may be different forms required so make sure to check out all available forms before submitting yours. Once completed submit your form along with appropriate fees and wait for confirmation from USCO indicating that you have successfully registered your copyright.
Registration is an important step in protecting your copyrighted materials from potential infringement or misuse by others without permission or license agreement from you as the original creator/owner of said materials—so make sure not to skip this step. If done correctly registering a copyright can help ensure that no one else will use or profit off of something that rightfully belongs to you so take these steps seriously. Doing so will help protect you against potential legal action down the line due to accidental infringement from an unregistered piece of content.
If you have copyright-related questions, feel free to contact Curington Law, LLC for more detailed information at (312) 766-6671 or online. We can help ensure that your copyright rights are properly protected.