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Copyright for Authors & Creators

Copyright Registration

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Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?

  • Establish a public record of key facts (year created, copyright holder contact information)
  • Receive a certificate of registration
  • Be able to file an infringement suit
  • Secure prima facie evidence (if registered before or within five years of publication)
  • Be eligible for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs (if registered prior to infringement or within three months after publication)

Additional benefits of registration and details can be found on page five of Circular 1: Copyright Basics.

How do I register a work?

Registration requires a completed application (online or by mail), fee payment, and the deposit of a complete copy of the work. The process is detailed in Circular 2: Copyright Registration, and a list and description of fees is available in Circular 4: Copyright Office Fees.


U.S. Copyright Office SealRegister via the U.S. Copyright Office Registration Portal

Image Credits:

Registration desk image adapted from husein signart on Vecteezy