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Copyright Registration

Easy Steps to Register a Copyright

Easy Steps to Register a Copyright

In order to begin the copyright registration process, the proper copyright application must be filed with the United States Copyright Office. There are various methods in which to complete a copyright application, with the online version possibly being the easiest and simplest. 
Firstly, an individual seeking copyright registration with the Copyright Office, or eCO, must log on and create an account. This may be done by accessing the United States Copyright Office official website. This website provides for a clear, step-by-step procedure to successfully complete the account registration process.
Once an account is created, the copyright application and copyright registration procedures can be started. The online process is divided into three steps:
1.The application form, which asks for basic information such as name of the applicant, type of claim, description of the works distributed, pertinent contact information, and rights to other claimants;
2.The payment process, which can be done via credit or debit card or electronic funds transfer;
3.Deposit of work, where a digital copy may be uploaded if it meets at least one of these certain requirements:
    Currently unpublished work
    Work is to be published electronically only
    A published work for which electronic deposit is made for the purpose of identification requirements
    A published work for which certain exemptions were already imposed by the United States Copyright Office and a hard copy of the work is required to be sent separately.
If the work to be entered into the copyright registration procedure does not meet the listed criteria, the online form is still an option. The deposit must simply be sent by mail to complete the process. A shipping slip is available for printing that must be included with mail-shipped deposit. 
It must be filled out accordingly and there are further instructions to be followed provided on the shipping slip itself. The mailing address is also located on the shipping slip. Online filings provide for a faster processing time of the copyright application and the overall copyright registration progress. 
The online application also allows for a lower-priced filling fee of $35 for a basic claim, as well as the ability to track the deposit shipment. In certain situations, the online application must be used for certain categories of deposits, as defined by the United States Copyright Office.
For those who prefer the traditional paper method, a new CO form is available that uses bar code scanning technology, thus making it more efficient in the copyright application process. The CO form is also available online through the United States Copyright Office website and can be filled out, printed, and mailed along with the basic copyright registration fee for the CO form, which is $50. The CO form was created to replace older paper versions of the copyright application, which were divided into categories depending on the nature of the work being deposited:
    Form TX: Used for literary works
    Form VA: Used for visual arts works
    Form PA: Used for performing arts works
    Form SR: Used for sound recordings
    Form SE: Used for single serials, publications of a serial nature such as magazines, newsletters, newspapers, etc.
The older copyright applications are also available online and must be mailed with the necessary works deposit materials, along with a fee for basic copyright registration, which is $65, made by check or money order.

Quick Overview of Copyright Registration and Preregistration

Quick Overview of Copyright Registration and Preregistration

Copyright registration exists for the sole purpose of protecting an individual or corporation from the possibility of infringement or violation of copyrights. Copyright registration, as allowed by provisions of copyright law, gives the opportunity to copyright owners to bring lawsuits of copyright infringement. The only way to legally be granted the opportunity is to have their copyrighted works registered with the United States Copyright Office.
Due to advances in technology, the piracy or illegal distribution of copyrighted works before they are published or commercially released has become an issue in terms of legal dispute. Because legislation requires that published works be registered within three months of publication or release in order to be eligible by legislature to pursue a copyright infringement lawsuit, the legal structure would not provide for the opportunity of those individuals or owners whose works are currently unfinished and not yet publicly published or distributed to file such a lawsuit. 
Therefore, preregistration became a new option and has relevant importance in terms of copyright procedure to protect the copyright owners and their yet unpublished works from infringement.
Preregistration is strictly available to only those individuals that have works that are unpublished or in the process of being completed for commercial distribution. The United States Copyright Office determined that only certain types of works are vulnerable to have their copyrights infringed, such as movies, music, books, computer programs, video games, and commercially-viable photographs. 
Though preregistration does not replace the formal copyright registration process, it does allow for individuals to protect their copyright materials and products before they are released or unfinished.
Applying for preregistration, as stated by law, also assumes the copyright owner’s responsibility of complying to the formal copyright registration process once the work is published or released. The application and preregistration process is simple and can be conveniently completed online at the United States Copyright Office website.

Easy Guide to Apply for Preregistration of Copyright

Easy Guide to Apply for Preregistration of Copyright

In order to further protect copyrighted works and their perspective owners, preregistration was a new procedure introduced by the United States Copyright Office as an available option. There is a certain procedure specialized for preregistration, and specific provisions that must be observed in considering the option. 
Firstly, preregistration is advised to those that believe that their work or materials are likely to be infringed before they are released or published. Secondly, it is also recommended to consider preregistration if an individual has begun on a work or material but has not fully completed or finished it and is intending on registering upon its completion. Preregistration is only available to those that meet those works or materials that meet the following:
  The work is not currently published
  The work is in the process of being published or for commercial distribution, in physical or digital format
  The work is meets one of these classifications:
  Motion pictures
  Musical compositions
  Sound recordings
  Computer programs, which includes video games and their various formats
  Photographs that are to be distributed for advertising or marketing purposes
  Literary works to be published in book form
To apply for preregistration, the only currently available format is online; there are no paper applications available. The online application also includes a certificate that states there is expectation for the work to be distributed for commercial purposes, as well as providing for the application being filled out in a truthful and honest manner. 
A fee is imposed for all those who wish to apply for preregistration, which is $115 and non-refundable, regardless if the application is approved or denied. The fee is for filling purposes and can be made with a credit card, existing Copyright Office Deposit Account, or ACH. ACH is an option where money is transferred from a personal or corporate account to the Copyright Office by electronic means.
The application also requires a description of work to be preregistered, which is to include the basic and simple features of the work. The description itself will be available as part of the online public record. No actual certificate will be issued for preregistration. However, an e-mail will be sent by the Copyright Office containing a confirmation notice, date and time, and preregistration number.
Preregistration is effective on the day that the application is completed and the fee is paid in full. It is important to note that preregistration is not a form of copyright registration, but simply the intention to regularly register for copyrights. It is required by copyright law that once a copyright is preregistered, that it be normally registered within three months of the work’s release or initial publication, or within one month that the copyright owner is made aware of copyright infringement or violation. 
If the copyrights are not fully or normally registered after the allotted time, the Copyright Office may impose a fee as allowed by law and the legal suit will be considered in terms of copyright infringement.

Copyright Registration-Preregistration: Importance of Preregistration

Copyright Registration-Preregistration: Importance of Preregistration

Preregistration was instituted by the United
States Copyright Office as a new method for further
protecting individuals or companies from copyright infringement and violation.
It is a direct contingent to the Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act of
2005, and its provisions allowed for the Copyright Office to accept and process
applications for preregistration of unpublished or unreleased works or
materials that have the intention to be used for commercial distribution and
availability.


The ART Act, as it is commonly referred to,
was enacted in to
Federal legislation on April 27th, 2005. The
ART A
ct was a direct result of many works and
materials being made available through illegal means, as well as the release
and distribution of yet unpublished or unreleased works.

An example is the notorious case that heavy metal band Metallica had when it
filed suit against Napster, a software program designed for file sharing. The
band was made aware of their music being circulated that was currently still
being produced for release at a later time, as well as their entire back
catalog of music. File sharers would distribute and download the music without
purchasing it, and in this particular case, obtaining music that was not yet
released by the band or record companies. 


Metallica filed suit claiming that Napster
was violating and infringing copyright laws. Copyright laws state that in order
to file suit for infringement, the works must be registered upon their release
. This proved to be a problem because the works were not yet completed and
released and were already being pirated and illegally distributed.
Preregistration was inst
ituted as a form to protect the illegal piracy or distribution of
works or materials and protect the copyright owner from infringement
violations.

However, preregistration is available only to those copyright owners that
intend to register their works because of the commercial viability and
distribution intentions. The Copyright Office, therefore, limited the types of
works that could be available to be preregistered to those to be commercially
distributed and meet the following criteria:

 

         Musical
compositions and sound recordings


         Motion
pictures


         Literary
works to be published in book form


         Computer
programs and video games


         Photographs
to be used in advertising or merchandising


These type of works have been evaluated and determined as susceptible to be
copyright infringed before their actual publication or distribution.
Preregistration applies only to those works that are still unfinished or
unpublished and have commercial intention to be released or distributed.
Preregistration does not preclude the regular copyright registration process
and must be completed as
a provision for preregistration by copyright
laws.


The copyright owner must complete the normal
copyright registration procedures within three months of the release or
publication of the preregistered work or product, or within a month’s time of infringement
of the work or product preregistered. Copyright registration already allows for
protection of copyright infringement, but the preregistration option of
copyright registration is designed to allow for further provisions for that
protection. It is important to note that it does not act as a replacement of
the regular copyright registration process.

Your Guide to Copyright Registration

Your Guide to Copyright Registration

Background

Copyright registration exists for the sole purpose of keeping
records of copyrighted works or materials. The proper registering of a
copyright is not necessary in the actual ownership of a copyright. Copyright is
an inherent international right for an individual as provided under the Berne
Convention
 Implementation Act of 1988, as well as the
Copyright Act of 1790 under United States legislation.

Though copyright registration
is not necessary or required for securing a copyright, it is strongly
recommended for published or commercially-distributed works, for it protects
the copyright owner from infringement violations. Under law, it is necessary
for a published work to be registered in order be eligible or able to file a
lawsuit concerning copyright infringement.

Copyrights can be registered by
filing an application with the United States Copyright Office
. The application itself has its proper
requirements regarding the necessary materials and information regarding the
work or material being submitted for registration.

Copyright Deposit

Copyright deposit is the mandatory legal requirement of the actual
submission of copies of actual works or materials that are being considered for
copyright registration. Copyright deposit is part of the copyright registration
process and is legally required in order to verify that the works or materials
are eligible to be copyrighted.

The copyright process itself
may prove to be challenging for it provides for different guidelines depending
on the context or nature of the work being submitted for review and eventual
registration. Because copyright registration is not necessary to obtain a
copyright, it also directly applies to copyright deposit, for it only is
necessary for the registration process. Individuals that have the intention of
publishing or commercially distributing their works are required to register
and deposit the appropriate copies as part of the process.

In certain cases, the United States Copyright Office may make
exemptions regarding the materials that are required to be deposited. An
example would be an individual seeking the copyright of a limited edition
sculpture, where the deposit of a copy would prove to be a burden if only a single
copy exists and is considered a valuable piece of art, thus making it unfair
for the artists to be mandated to make a deposit. In such a case, the copyright
office may simply ask for visual proof, such as photographs, for the
registration process.

Preregistration

Preregistration is a relatively new process instituted by the
United States Copyright Office that is meant to further protect individuals
from copyright infringement. The preregistration option exists for those works
that are currently under production or have begun produced and are unfinished,
with the intention of publication or commercial distribution or availability of
said work.

Preregistration allows for the
work to be protected as it is completed, for under regulation provision of copyright
law a work must be first published and registered to allow for a proper
copyright infringement lawsuit to be filed.

Preregistration is offered to those who seek to register certain
types of works such as motion pictures, music recordings and compositions,
sound recordings, computer programs, video games, and literary works to be
published in book form. Preregistration is not necessary and does not replace
the original copyright registration progress. It only exists for further
protection and consideration of the owner of the copyright and the work itself,
and if preregistered, must undertake the regular registration process once the
work is completed and published as mandated by copyright law.

Copyright Application

The copyright application is provided by the United States
Copyright Office and is necessary to be completed in order to begin the
copyright registration process. Copyright applications are available through
the Copyright Office’s website in various forms. The Copyright Office strongly
encourages and recommends application through the eCO, or Electronic Copyright
Office, which provides for an electronic application.

The eCO application allows for
the copyright application and registration process to be more efficient and is
simpler and more cost effective for the person submitting the application.
However, because of the nature of the copyright registration process, only
certain types of works or materials are eligible for the eCO application. Some
may choose the electronic option, but must also print out a Shipping Slip so
they can submit copies of their work that cannot be processed or submitted
online.

Paper applications are also
available online as well. An individual may fill out the form on screen and
print it out in its completed form to be submitted with the proper copies of
the works being considered for copyright registration.

How to Register a Copyright

The copyright registration process can be a slightly tedious
process, depending on the option employed by an individual seeking to register
a work or type of material. The United States Copyright offers both online and
paper methods for the application process to be considered for the person’s
convenience and preference, as well as to meet the certain requirements imposed
by the Copyright Office and registration process. Only certain types of
materials or works can be considered eligible for an online application. However,
the paper applications are available to be printed out on the Copyright Office’s
website as well.

For certain types of works, the
application can be completed and submitted electronically, and the actual
submission the work’s copies can be shipped to the Copyright Office via mail
separately. The paper application process will naturally take longer than the
electronic version and also prove to be less cost effective. However, depending
on the nature of the work or material being registered, it may prove to be the
only viable option.

An individual must then obtain
the proper application form, which is categorized depending on the nature of
the work. The application processes all institute a filing fee that must be
submitted with the application form, regardless of which method is employed,
electronic or traditional paper. 

3 Basic Questions Answered About Copyright Registration

3 Basic Questions Answered About Copyright Registration

Copyright
registration is the process by which an official record is produced for the
purpose of being able to verify a copyrighted work. Copyright registration,
therefore, becomes an integral process of obtaining and securing a copyright
and becomes the key factor in the protection of the copyrighted work, as well
as the copyright owner.

Copyright
registration also provides for the validity or verification in the case of
illegal infringement and any subsequent legal claims or cases that might arise
out the dispute of copyright ownership. Copyright registration can, as a
result, produce an original copy of the work from the Government to prove
validity in cases of dispute and verification purposes.

Is Copyright Registration Required?

Copyright registration is not required, as it is
granted as an international right under the provisions of the Berne Convention
of 1886. However, it is strongly suggested to register a copyrighted work for
further protection of the material, as well as the copyright owner in terms of
possible legal disputes or situations that may arise. A copyright, therefore,
actually exists whether or not it is properly registered under United States
legislation or law.

On the
international plane, the United States did not enter the Berne Convention until
1989. Thus it maintained its original process for copyright registration as
allowed by Federal law. The U.S. must consider all works of international
origins as if they have already undergone the copyright registration process in
the United States.

Where can a work be registered in the United
States?

The United States Copyright office is the Government’s
institution that accepts the applications for registering a particular work.
Though it is not required for any type of work or material to be registered in
the United States to be recognized and protected as such, it is strongly
recommended that a copyright owner do so for verification purposes.

In order for
copyright infringement suits to be filed under United States law, copyright
registration is required in order to continue in the proceedings. All copyright
infringement cases are subject to the work being registered prior to the date
of the suit, or at least three months from the date of publication.

An important
advantage to copyright registration is that in the case of infringement lawsuits,
the registration of a copyright work establishes prima facie evidence if the
registration process was completed and a certificate of the registration
process was bestowed within five years from the date of the first publication
of the work or material in question.

Where are Copyright Registrations found in the
United States?

Finding copyright registrations has been made
fairly easy and convenient by the United States Copyright Office. All copyright
registrations and their subsequent renewals that have been registered from 1978
and onward can be found at the Copyright Office’s official website. Those
copyright registrations and renewals prior to that year are published Copyright
Catalogs, that are made available on a semi-annual basis. However, films that
were made between the years 1894 and 1969 have the copyright registrations made
available in the Cumulative Copyright Catalogs volumes, which are separated and
categorized in terms of decade. This publication is made available by the
United States Library of Congress.