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Currently unpublished work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.