How-To: Copyright Registration
So this is copyright dot gov so what you're going to dio is scroll over here to register a copyright pretty obvious right? And then you're gonna log into iko and that's the elektronik copyright registration system ok? And so you're going to click here as a new user to register so let's just fill that out real quick, okay? And then you're going to pick a user I d and then the password they have really funky password rules, so if you look at this copyright registration worksheet, you'll be able to see the password rules it's on page two it right here because they're so specific and weird and strange on dh they're totally frustrating because if you don't do it right, it doesn't tell you till like two screens later so you it's totally frustrated you at that point and we don't want that to happen, right? We want this to be really easy for you to accomplish. So anyway, when you're doing this and setting up your past, we're just look at the password rules that I've included in the copyright r...
egistration worksheet so I'm going to go with our dog d a w g nineteen exclamation point and hopefully that will satisfy their crazy rules ok? And so then they ask you a challenge question let's go with what's the name of your pet um well put scruffy as the name okay, so then here you're going to put in your contact information I'll go ahead and put my office address in ok? And you know, even some of these items that you don't have to fill out like they don't have the red asterisk next to it just fill it out anyway because you'll see later in the application and we'll go ahead and plug that information in different places where you need it, so just go ahead and fill it all out here this is my office line um and then for preferred contact method I would go with email because you want a written record of any contact that you have with them if they ask you for specific things um I think a written where record is ideal and also it's faster than snail mail so let's go with that and hit next and then this is just a screen telling you that they're going to send you to a different website pay dot go when it's time to pay the thirty five dollars or fifty five dollars filing fee so just hit next click finish and you're registered okay, so the next step to this is teo actually fill out the application, right? So here you'll see that you can look at the open cases they're working cases check the status of your cases so if you're doing copyright registration on a regular basis you're going to see here that there's going to be a bunch of copyright applications sitting there, and it will show you the status of all of them when you filed it, you know, whether he was paid and all that stuff, the case number if you ever need to call the copyright office about it, so all that information will be right here. So for our purposes, we're registering a new claim, so you're just going to click right over here register a new claim now, it's going to ask you a couple of questions? Are you registering one work? So I'm going to say, yes, you can actually register multiple works with one application, but today we're just going to do one, so we're going tio pretend that we're registering the copyright for my legal kit small business bodyguard all right, I actually did register the copyright for that, so that's already been done, but let's, just pretend that that's what we're doing. So the next question is, are you the on ly author and the owner of the work? So I'm going to click yes, because I am the only author and owner of the work. Does the work you are sending contain material created on ly by this author? So you might say no if you've included like, for example, photos that don't belong to you where the photographer has retained the copyright to those photos and you simply have a license to use them in some ways you don't want to include that in your copyright registration, you only want to include this stuff that you actually own, but don't worry that you have to strip it out because you don't you know you can register the copyright let's say for an e book or, you know a guide or whatever it is that you're registering, and if there are photos in there, there's actually screen that we're going to get to in a moment where you can, you know, disclaim any copyright rights to the photos that are included in the guide or other types of content that might be included in the guide. Okay, so for our purposes, we're going to say yes, this work on ly contains material created by me, the author and then you click start the registration. So this is just a quick warning saying that using this application to file a claim that does not meet all the criteria below may result in processing delays additional fees later date later effective data registration so it's one thing to understand is that, um the date of registration is going to be the date that you fill out this application so it might actually be a hole you know, four, five or six months before you get your copyright certificate but when you do receive it is going to have the date that you filled out the application and not the date that the certificate was issued okay, that means that your copyright protection is actually retroactive okay from the date that use timothy application so that's why it's a priority get the application and you're just gonna click ok to that because if you're following the steps in this guide then you know you know what you're doing you're doing it the right way so you don't worry too much about that so in choosing the type of work we're going to go with literary work because that's what I'm understanding now write it za written guide so this just tells you what literary works include works the fiction works of nonfiction poetry textbooks, directories, catalogues, advertising copy compilations of information, computer programs and databases ok, so any of those items would be unlit under literary work. You could also choose other things for example, if you're registering something that sort of a compilation of different things like if there's a sound recording in it first sound recording specifically, you would always register it as a sound recording if there is a sound recording involved even if that's not the primary thing. So, for example, with small business bodyguard, there are a couple of audio files that were included in that guide, and so we registered it as a sound recording. And then it also protected the literary work that was in there as well the actual written content. But that's one of the rules that, if it's a sound recording, if there's a sound recording involved in what you're registering, then label it sound recording you also, you know, if that's not the case than the other way to do it is just to choose whatever the dominant work is. So if the work is predominantly written and then there's some visual art in there, too, you would just literary work. If it's predominantly visual art and there's a little bit of written word in there, then you would still choose visual art whatever the dominant thing is, so you'd hit literary work for for our purposes, and then you just click the box to confirm that you've read this description, ok? And then hit continue. So the title of the work so I'm gonna put in small business bodyguard because that's actually the title of that work. And then it asked you, does this appear in a larger work and you'll see that this is a link and there are some help links here so there's always you know if if you're stuck on a question, you're not sure how to answer even hit that help but in a pop up will pop up and kind of give you some instructions there but if you follow the steps in this cheat sheet you should pretty much be okay so does the work appear in a larger work? The answer is no from for small business bodyguards so then we're going to just hit continue okay, so now it wants to know has this work been published now? Small business bodyguard has published it has, you know a couple thousand customers at this point so yeah it's been published, but when I was registering, if it hadn't been published yet so I'm going to go with unpublished so the work has not been published and that's, what I would recommend for you is that you register your content before you actually published to the world protected before you, you know send it out there. Okay that's what I would recommend there are there may be times when you have published something already you can still register the copyright for that there's nothing wrong with that, but my recommendation would be to as you're creating new stuff to go ahead and register the copyright so you should almost make it part of your launch checklist if you're launching a new product just consider you know not only the contracts that we're going to talk about in a minute to include in that sort of launch checklist but also registering that new content that you've just created right there before you hit you know and make the make the project live to the world okay, so just make it one of the steps that you take before you launch a new product or service. So the answer is no the work hasn't been published the year of completion let's go with two thousand fifteen and the even though that's not actually accurate for small business bodyguard but so we're gonna hit continue and then it's going to ask you who is the author most of the time you are probably the author you probably creating these works and you're also owning the copyright unless you transfer the copyright to something that you've created you own it so you're both the author and then you'll see later that you're also the claimant. So you're just going to click this ad me button right here and that goes ahead and pops in your name and then they want to know your citizenship or domicile so you can plug in each one depending on, you know where your citizen of just a note to for for our international folks, even if you are, you know, let's say, in canada or the u, k, australia or any other country, it still may be worthwhile free to register your copyrights in the u s because of the robust system and also because if you've got a lot of customers here on dure generating revenue from the american market than it's worth it to protect your content here and then also, if you're big and other countries or states as well, then you'd want to register your content there, too, so each state has each country has different copyright systems, they're often very similar to our system here, but some are different, like the u k, for example, actually doesn't have official copyright registration s so that might be a place where you decide to registered in the united states, you can create a clear record, especially if you are selling your work to a large international companies or licensing your work in that way, it's worthwhile in those cases to register your copyright in the u s so you put the year of birth, and then you want to talk about what your contribution to the content was, so, you know, I've included text um, maybe I have also included some photographs maybe I've also included some artwork so you know, it depends on what you've contributed and then you can put other if it's if the category doesn't fall here but for our purposes I'm just gonna put text he is it's you know, that's really what I'm concerned about protecting is the content the written content so let's hit continue and then it's going to ask you for the claimants address and then you can just hit at address so you know, that's where it comes in handy that you've already filled that stuff out you had continue and then this is where it's asking about limitations of your copyright claims. So like I said, this is the screen where if you've got photographs that belonged to somebody else included in your guide or in whatever it is that you're registering the copyright for you wantto put those you want to check off the items for anything that should be excluded. So if there's artwork that is not owned by you or if there's photographs that aren't owned by you, then you could click that box and that would exclude that from this registration. So then you'd have copyright protection for everything in the deposits that you upload other than the works that you've excluded here, okay, for our purposes we own everything I own all of this content, so I'm just going to hit continue now here is where you just want to add again add yourself add me toe add your, um contact information this is asking you who's going to sort of manage this copyright application and if there's information needed or permissions required, who do they contact? They're going to contact you. And then again this is asking, you know, if they have questions about your application who do they contact? Just add yourself again on this screen. You know, if I was doing this copyright registration for a client of mine, I'd be putting my firm's information in here. But since this is, you know a copyright registration for myself and you will often be doing your own copyright registrations, right you don't you just put yourself in there and click continue and then again, this is where your registration certificate will be mailed, so just make sure it's a good address and hit add me and continue. Now this is a special handling page. This is a situation where if you want to register the copyright because someone has infringed on it on your content and you want to bring litigation or threatened litigation, for example, and therefore you need to register the copyright and do it quickly. This is the page that you could do it on, okay s o they do charge you an additional fee but you just click this box or special handling and then show them the compelling reason so the reason would be either pending or perspective litigation or it could be customs matters which usually isn't going to be an issue or contractor publishing deadlines so one of these three reasons it has to be the reason and then you can just put a further explanation of what's going on here and that's how you would request special handling but I want you to be preventative and everything that you do in your business and protecting your intellectual property so you know usually you wouldn't need this because you already have the copyright registration if someone were to be infringing on your mark right that's the goal here so we're going to skip this and just hit continue ok and so here is where you just certify that you own it you're basically taking an oath that you own this content that you filled this out to the best of your ability that you're not you know infringing on someone else's mark or you know um trying tio steel or claim someone else's content okay so you just click uh check this box here to certify that and then you're just gonna plug your name in and then we're gonna hit continue already so that's the application you're pretty much done that was really simple right not complicated at all you can totally do this I'm sure you've done things way more complicated than this, ok, so this is something you can definitely do on your own, and just so you can see what the next step looks like, what you do next and just add to cart, and then, you know, you could put add more services, so let's say, if you wanted to do several different copyright registrations all at once, you could add more services and then fill out another application for a different piece of copy written content so that you could check out just one time. So that's an option, too, so well, you'll do is you'll hit check out, you'll go to the pay doc of web site and that's, where you put in your credit card information for the thirty five dollars, of the fifty five dollars on dh. Then after that, you're going to come back here and you'll see here where it says it. Right now, you're in this sort of pay field. Once you make the payment, you'll be in the submit work field and that's just going to show you a really simple screen where you can upload the deposits of the copy written work. Okay, so for by case, small business bodyguard is, you know, the format is in pdf, so I would upload the p d a and then I'd also upload any other attachments that maybe be involved maybe if you have sound recordings, audio recordings or whatever the different formats of your content, you can just upload it all on the next screen where it says upload the deposits and then you're done that's it, your application is complete this is the copyright registration that we just went through. I actually put step one has prepared the despite the deposits of the work you will copyright so you want to actually do that first and just have all your files ready? Stephen, go ahead and upload them. S so maybe if they're really huge files you want toe, put them into his zip file and just so you know, to the copyright office will accept a lot of different forms of files almost every kind of format a file will be accepted by them, so you don't have to worry too much about that, but if you're uploading like video or really huge files, you might need to leave it, you know, for a little while so that it can take the process of uploading this is government stuff here. So you know, this is not always super high tech, right? So you prepare the deposits, you register to use the electron copyright registration system so that's when we came up with that user name and password then you complete the application. We just went through the steps and answered all the questions that they ask. Then you pay the filing fee, and then you upload the copies of your work. And then you do a little happy dance, because you've got this important step done in your business right on do should be excited when you do this, because you know you're protecting your content. You're taking your business really serious flee. So you're putting yourself in a really strong position. So that's, copyright registration, and now you understand how to do it.