How-To: Copyright Registration

 

Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Designers

 

Lesson Info

How-To: Copyright Registration

So let's actually walk through a copyright registration, I'm going to show you how to do it so that you can do this in your business for your original illustration, artworks and graphic design let me just show you this is a bonus that you'll get that you should see here on the course. This is the copyright registration worksheet it's from my small business bodyguard, legal kid, and it walks you step by step through the copyright registration process. Okay, so download this you can follow along as I'm doing it here on the screen, and then you can use this whenever you want to register the copyright. Okay, so it has this step by step process, and we're gonna go through it now already. So this is copyright dot gov, this is where you're going to come, tio, when you want to register the copyright so you know, you just kit here, register copyright, and then you're gonna log into iko iko is the electronic copy rights you know, application system. Now, when you get to this screen, unless you a...

lready have a user name and password, you're going to come here, um, and you're going to click there to register, so I'm just going to go ahead and register real quick, create a user name now, just so you know, to the user name and sort of password rules specifically are really weird so I actually have the instructions for how to create a password right here in this document you'll see it on page two so it tells you how to do it because you actually can't use any word that's in the dictionary as a password it's it's really weird so I'm going to use our dog spelled d a w g um and then you've got to put some numbers you gotta pay the symbols you have to have capital letters and lower case letters um so just follow what the instructions say in the guide the other thing that's really annoying about this is that they won't actually tell you your password was wrong until like two screens later so it just helps to avoid irritation so this is just asking for you know, a challenge question so I'm gonna go with what's your pets name and we'll put the answer as scruffy actually don't have any pets all right? We're good to go now you're going to put all your information in here and this will come in handy later because then in different places you know there's like four or almost five different places where you've got a plug in your contact information so it'll come in handy to just have it you know already plugged in so you can just hit add me so I'll show you when we get to that already but by office line in here so for preferred contact method I recommend you go with email okay because you want a record of any time they're contacting you um so let's go with email and then off course it's faster than a snail mail so this is just saying that when you go to pay for the application the thirty five dollars or fifty five dollars application fee it's going to send you to pay doc of to make the payment and then bring you back so we'll just click next for that and finish so now you've already completed step two which is to register step one is to prepare the deposits of the work that you will copy right? So if you're going tio register a design you want to put it either in pdf form or j peg there's actually almost every different type filed a copyright office will accept upload so you can just decide how you want to upload it if you wanna upload or register a variety of your work with one application you can actually take you know ah bunch of the different work that you've created and put it into sort of like a zip file and then protected all at one time okay, so we're going to hit register a new claim but just so you know to when you've done several of these it'll all come up here so every time you are you know locking in with your user name and password, you'll see every copyright registration that you've ever applied for. Um, and then you can also see what the status is of it as well. So we're going to click here for register a new claim now, this is asking you a couple of questions, I think it's pretty straightforward, but let's, just go through it. Are you registering one work? Yes, in our instance, we're going to register one illustration are you the only author and owner of the work? Yes, in our case, you're the only author and owner. There are situations where you can read the fair copy, right? When there are multiple owners, andi would just list all of those owners so you might have a situation where you've created something jointly. Eso it's both you and the other author can be listed there, and maybe you'll have multiple authors like if it's a valid works for hire, you would list the authors who contributed to it, but they wouldn't be the owners you would actually be the owner. Okay, so for our purposes, we're going to just do one illustration that you're both the author and owner of so we're going to hit yes for both of these questions, so then the other question is, does the work you are sending contained material created on ly by this author now this is important too, because sometimes when you create something the final format that it's in also incorporates other people's work so a good example of this would be if you are registering let's say a set of illustrations but they also incorporate a photograph that a photographer took and you don't want to register the copyright for the photograph because you don't own the photograph maybe have a license to use the photograph but you don't act we own it and so you don't want to register the copyright for that, but you want your illustrations that are sort of a part of the same work so in that instant you could click no does the work you're sending contain material created on ly by this author you would hit no to that question and then you'll see when we go through the application there's actually a screen where you khun limit your copyright right so you can exclude certain works so you would be able to exclude that photograph that belonged to somebody else from this registration while still getting protection for all the pieces that you actually created ok, so it makes it really easy for you to register just your work so for our purposes we're going keep it simple and say yes that this this material contains onley work by you the author so then we hit start the registration so here is where we're going to talk about the type of work all right, so this is really important if for example you decide to write a book someday about design, then it would be considered a literary work um if it's an illustration that it is a work of the visual arts there's also sound recordings, there's performing arts like choreography or or plays or and then there's also motion pictures and audio visual work, right? So for your purposes, we're going to go with work of the visual arts, so this is just kind of telling you what a work of the visual arts would include. This means you're registering a pictorial graphic or sculptural work um and that could be two dimensional, three dimensional so you khun you know it could be sculptures, it could be graphic design, it could be illustrations, it could be photographs, prints, technical drawings would fall under here is well, so we're going to click the box to confirm that we've read the above description and selected the most appropriate type of work and hit continue. Now this is get asking for the exact title as it appears on the work and then click continue so you're going to go with whatever the title that makes sense for this work, right? So, you know we can go with what was that let me go back a couple of slides we're going to go with second street interiors painting okay? So as if we're going to protect this illustration um actually we call illustration so that's going to be the title now the title is totally up to you, and honestly, you want to make it so that it's searchable so somebody could sort of recognize it if they wanted to find out if that work was copyright protected, but really more importantly, it's for your own purposes. So you contract which registrations are connected to what um so like, for example, for me for, you know, all of my legal kids, I've registered the copyright for it, and I just used the title of the work itself. So with britain work it could be a little bit more obvious. But if it's a painting or a new illustration, just give it a name, a name that you know and can recognize so that you can track your copyright registrations, especially if you have several of them so and then and ask you the question, does this this work appear in a larger work? So if this is part of a larger work, then you would answer, yes, but for our purposes we're just going to protect this alone is we're gonna hit no and then hit continue and so then they want to know has the work been published now publishes a funky thing according to the copyright office and it can be hard to define so just know that ah work is considered published if it's been seen by a large amount of people okay, so if it's been seen on a incredibly popular website in thousands of people have seen it or if it's a performance that has been, you know, shown to people like a movie that has been screened already so you want to just if it's been on public display, then it would be considered published, otherwise it would be considered unpublished. I'll usually recommend that you register your artwork and illustrations before they're published because you know, it just creates a situation where if somebody does infringe on your copyright and you either have to take them to court or make a threat, you don't have to wait the several month period to get your copyright certificate, right? You wanna have it already so you can show it to them and send it to them if you send them a cease and desist. For example s o I recommend doing it before it's published. So for this question, we're going to say no, this work has not been published yet and then it's going to ask you the year of creation, we're going to go with two thousand fifteen so here is where you're going to add the author of the work so I'm just gonna hit add me and it'll pop in that content that contact information in my name so citizenship is united states well at either ask your citizenship or domicile and then they also ask you the year of birth so you just plug that in and then you know you might want tio check these boxes to determine you know what? What were your contributions to the work so for us you want to put ah t two d artwork because that's actually what's included for example, if there was a photograph involved, you wouldn't check that because remember we said that if you want to exclude a certain work you would just avoid, you know, checking the box that is in relation to the work that somebody else created so then you could continue at yeah sorry it continue and then again it's going to ask for the claimants in for me age and now thie author and the claim it could be two different people because like we said, copyright is something that is transferrable. So if you are the author author just means creator, right? So whether you are a painter or illustrator, no matter what kind of you know are you create your silken called an author instead of like a creator or painter in the copyright office right so that's the author the claimant would be the person who has a legal claim to this copyright so if you've transferred it to your client for example it would be your client that has the legal claim to the copyright and would be them who would be applying for the copyright registration so you just had at address and it'll add your info in for our purposes we're going to make you both the author and the claimant now this is where you can exclude, you know, material from the claim so if there is some technical aspect to the drawing or like I said, if there was a photograph you can click photograph and that would remove it okay, likewise, if you had previously registered this copy this, you know, work already but there's new material added to it so this is a new version you can click off, which you know what's new in this material so that it's clear that what this new registration covers okay, so that's what you're where you would do that on this limitation of claims screen so hit continue and then again it's asking for rights and permission information. So if somebody wanted to contact you and say, hey, I'd like permission to license your work or use your work in some way you're giving them the contact information for where to find you again that's going to be you now this is the person the copyright office will contact if it has questions for you or needs to discuss this application with you for some reason if you had a lawyer you put you know your lawyer would be plugging in their information so when I do copyright registrations for my clients I would be putting in my firm's information to the copyright office would contact us instead of the client, right? Because that's what my clients pain before for your purposes you're doing this yourself and so you're going to add yourself in and don't feel like you can't feel calls from the copyright office you absolutely can if they have questions for you they're usually pretty straightforward and you can definitely field those calls and e mails so we're gonna hit continue and then this is the name and address where the registration certificate would be mailed okay, so make sure that this is a good address and good contact information because you need your, you know, physical certificate so hit continue super complicated right guys like this is so hard. Okay, so special handling now this is in a situation where, for example, if you had an instance of copyright infringement that arto already occurred and you're registering the copyright after the fact so that you can bring a lawsuit, you can actually request special handling so that you can fast track the application so my preference would be that you always do things ahead of time and not be in that position but if you ever are this green would help you out because you would just check off this box for special handling and then give them the compelling reason why pending or perspective litigation is one reason customs matters but usually it's not gonna be a problem for you or contractor publishing deadlines for example, if you were, you know, publishing a book with a traditional publisher and you know you needed the certificate expedited for that reason you can click this box and then they just ask you for an explanation here um there is a surcharge fee for special handling so just know that but know that it is possible to move things forward quick klay copyright applications you know, once you submit this it usually is what I found is about a four month process, but there are times when it's much longer depending on what volume they're dealing with okay, so it could take a while for you to actually get your certificate in hand but don't worry too much about that the priority is getting the application in okay so that you have claimed the right to that copyright and it's pending on day of course you know if there's a situation where you need to fast track it that that is an option of course the the the options to fast track it are limited those who don't feel like you can just fast track because you want I do because you can't do that all right? So this is just where your certifying that you're telling the truth that this is your actual work that you you know, have the exclusive rights to it that it's your stuff is your baby okay? So I'm gonna plug my name in here as the certifying individual and then I'm going to click continue ok? And so this is where you would just reviews your submission you can also save it for later so if you want to finish this later, I don't think that's smart because that's just procrastinating so we don't really need to save for later button, but if you're in a situation where you got to run out the door, you don't lose your application, you get it save for later. Another option is to save a template. So if you've got similar prince and illustrations and designs that you're creating on a regular basis and you want to be doing applications on a monthly or quarterly basis to protect all of your work, you might want to save the template because then it'll save all the information that we just plugged in here and the only thing you'd have to go in changes the titles on dh maybe you change like the type of work if the work was different maybe you would change the claimants or limitation of claim if there were special circumstance is for that work but it will pop in all of your information so you just got to go through and make a couple changes and then you can go ahead and some minutes so it sort of creates that makes the process faster if you're doing these regularly which you know I would recommend that you do take steps to regularly protect your original artwork and illustrations and designs and code anything that applies like we talked about on that screen showing you what you can register and what you can't eso here you just get add to cart ok and then you'd hit this checkout button and you're going to be taken to a page to plug in your credit card information okay and then you'll see here up in this corner once you go through the pace screen you're going to come back here and there's going to be another screen to submit your work and all it is is a simple screen that says here's where to upload you get upload multiple files with one application on dh so that's where you would protect your work and you know like I said you're an entrepreneur you might be creating mohr things then just designed so if you also have a blogged that has you know written content on there you might want to register the copyright for your blawg if you have a horse on design, I mentioned one of my clients has sort of product ized her design process and put it into a course all of the different elements of that course. She registered the copyright for so that's. Another thing you would want to protect. So copyright registration is a way for you to protect all of your different creative works, not just your designs. Okay, so that's the process pretty simple, right? Not too complicated. Something that's totally doable. And to give you an example, I charge twelve fifty to do a copyright registration for one of my clients. So this is going to save you a ton of money knowing how to do this yourself. And like I said, you have this bonus worksheet to help you walk through it as well. So we went through the steps, prepared the deposit of the work you will copyright, registered to use the elektronik copyright registration system. And then you complete the application, which we just did. You pay the fee thirty five dollars or fifty five dollars, and then you upload copies of the work you're copyrighting and boom, you're done, and then you can do a little happy dance because, you know, you did your job and you protected your intellectual property

Class Description

Your designs are just that – yours. Do you have the legal knowledge and skill to protect your intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks?

Join Rachel Rodgers for a deep dive into the intellectual property concepts every designer should know. You’ll learn about properly copyrighting your work, creating client service agreements, preventing infringement, and much more.

No matter what kind of design you do, you’ll leave this class equipped and inspired to protect your unique work.

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