Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Filmmakers

Lesson 11 of 14

How-to: Copyright Registration

 

Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Filmmakers

Lesson 11 of 14

How-to: Copyright Registration

 

Lesson Info

How-to: Copyright Registration

So let's dive into an actual copyright registration step one is going to be actually preparing the deposits of the work you will copyright. And so, just so, you know, two we have a bonus for you today, which is the copyright registration worksheet from my product, small business bodyguard, um, this is a cheat sheet that I created to walk you through the copyright registration process, so we're going to do this real quick right now, but I also want you to know that we've got the, you know, written step by step process right here for you to download on dso you can use it and follow along as we're going through this, and then also just used it when you're registering the copyrights for your videos on dh, just a quick note about copyright registration and how to really incorporate it into your business. This is something that you want to do on a regular basis. So depending on how much footage you're actually filming and creating on a regular basis, you want to do it, maybe monthly or even ...

quarterly, register the copyrights for all of your videos, and you can register several different works at the same time, okay, so you know, you khun one application, you can register five different videos, and also you could you know put several different pieces of footage together if it makes sense so there's a lot of different ways to do it to make a really practicable and one fifty five dollars application gets a lot of your footage protected with the copyright registration okay, so just create a system to make it a systematic part of your business if you've you know filmed aton in january than you do an application for january and then you do another one in february for the next set of footage that you created that month so just to make it systematic that you can do it on a regular basis and make sure all of your footage that you owned the copyright to is protected now remember when it's a work for hire situation or when you've given the copyright ownership rights to your client you're not going to register the copyright you're only going to register the copyright when you've reserved the right to the content that you've created okay awesome so let's go through copyright registration so this is copyright dot gov this is the united states cooperate office's website and you can register your copyright right here not expensive at all really easy to walk through so we're going to actually walk through it so you can see that is totally accessible and doable so the first thing you're going to do is register or copyright so you're going to click on this and then from here you're gonna log in teo iko iko is the you know the copyright office is elektronik system for filing an application so this is the page that you'll be brought to once you click through there you're going to be a new user do you collect new user on then you just fill it out pretty simple um I'm gonna put my email address there now there is some funky rules about the password so I've actually plugged in the password rules right here in this bonus copy registration worksheet for you because it's really confusing and then they like let you go two more pages before they even tell you that your password doesn't work so it's just really frustrating so just follow the rules about how to create a password came hoops I forgot one piece I'm going to use our dog d w g seventeen exclamation point not should do it ok? And then you know, this is just a challenge question for if you forget your password so let's use what's your pet's name and we're going to use scruffy and then we hit next oops sorry forgot that I use that uh user I d before I let me just change the number there already nixed and then you're just gonna provide your address I'll put in my office address that's a new jersey one of the benefits of filling out this information here up front even the pieces that aren't required like the state and zip code is there going to be a couple of places where you can pop this information right in teo the application so it speeds up the process leader so it's worth it to go ahead and do that here and then your preferred contact method the u s copyright office may contact you if there is any um you know issues with your application or if they have questions if you make a mistake and they need to discuss it with you so I recommend using email because then you have a record of any conversations that you have with the copyright office and it's faster than snail mail so we're going to go ahead and hit next this is just a quick notice that they're going to say send you teo pay dot gov which is the federal government's like I don't know where they you know do their credit card processing which is no problem so we're just going to hit next hit finish we'll wait for the next paged alone okay so this is the interface that you'll see once you get in there this navigation will show you like if you want to see your open cases working cases you can see all the applications that you've submitted it will come up right here all of the different applications that you submit and the status of each one will be listed here. So as you make this a part of your regular business, and as you're doing this either on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on how much footage you create on a regular basis, you're going to see all of your applications here at all times. So you have a place with, like, you know, a record of all of your applications, so what we're going to do is just hit register a new claim. Now, this is going to ask you a couple of questions. S o the first question is, are you registering one work? Okay, so if you're doing either collection of works or multiple videos, for example, then you would hit no, okay, so you'd be doing a bunch of different videos at one time, so you didn't know if you're going to do just one video that you want tio bridge to the copyright for than you did? Yes. Okay. Simple enough. Right? All right. So the next question is, are you the on ly author and owner of this work? Nine times out of ten? The question is going to the answer is going to be yes, you are the sole author and owner of the copyright registration for your videos. There's also a context where you know your client might be registering the copyright because it's a works made for higher and in that context you'd be listed as an author of the work but you wouldn't be listed as an owner owners and authors are treated differently here so for this purpose you know you're the only author and owner of your videos that we're going to register today so we're going to hit yes um and does the work you are sending contain material created on ly by this author now this might be applicable if there are things in your video that you don't own the copyright for or so let's say if there's a song recording included in the video that you have a license to use in the video but that you don't own there's going to be a place where you can exclude that and there's also this is also talking about if there's multiple authors of the work so in this instance we're going to say no, this is the onley author so I'm sorry so we're going to say yes you are the only author okay? And then we start the registration so this just is telling you examples of works that are not eligible for this application so we're going to hit start registration and click ok to this notice already so now we're going to get to the type of work that you're dealing with so if you're registering films or videos, then it's going to be under motion picture or tv work? So this is just confirming for you that a v work and motion pictures includes feature films, documentary films, animated films, television shows, videos, video games or other audio visual works. Ok, so that would be pretty much any footage that you're creating you would register under this category, so just click the box to confirm that you've read that description there and then you hit continue so, you know, you also need a title to this work. So if the footage is let's, say, a documentary or a specific type of video of a particular event or something like that, you might want to use the title to be the name of that event or to be related, you know, the name of that documentary, right? But if this is just you registering all of the footage that you're creating on a regular basis, then you could just put something simple that is easy for youto, like understand which what you're covering in this copyright, right, especially if you're doing these on a regular basis, you're gonna have a long list of these, and so you want to make it clear which one covers what? So what we're going to call this is rachel rogers footage january two thousand fifteen so that would help me sort through what's covered and each of these different copyright applications I'd know that the footage that it created in january two thousand fifteen is covered in in this application and so this also ask you does this appear in a larger work for most you know, context for most of your videos the answer's going to be no so we're just gonna click no and then we'll hit continue okay, so this is about publication has this work been published? Um published has sort of a funky meaning it sort of depends here they say a work is published if you've distributed copies of it if you put it on public display so let's say if it's a documentary that you've you know showed to you know many movie goers for example then it would be considered published. What I would recommend is that you register your footage on a regular basis before it's sort of shared with the world if it all possible still here you're just going to answer the question has this work been published or not? And for our purposes today we're going to say no the work has not been published um and then it asked you the year of creation so for our purposes the year of creation is two thousand fifteen and this pre registered question is just you know, for some people they will pre register their work um, this isn't really applicable to you, it's not really necessary for your purposes, so we're just going to go ahead and click continue. So here you're going toe list yourself as the author and this is where it's very convenient you khun just hit, add me and it plugs you in so it's also gonna ask your citizenship and my case, I'm a u s citizens, I'll put that there or domicile, I'll either one and then you're going to put your year of birth because part of the length of time that your copyright registration is valid is related. Tio, you know, the the length of time that you've thatyou're that you exist, sorry? S so it will be related, tio like your year of death, and then you get seventy more years on top of that. So there's a couple of funky things with there, but for the most part, you're going to have your registration for the extent of your lifetime, so not not too much to worry about there. So this is another question specific tio motion pictures. They're going to ask you if you created the entire motion picture, so if you have done all the production, the editing, the script screenplay, then you would hit, yes. And you just click this box here that you are responsible for the entire motion picture if not and you're only responsible let's say for the editing or for the production than you'd click what's you know what you did also the direction and the cinematography okay, so they kind of break it out what emotion picture is you know, create you know what different aspects of a motion picture there are and so you can click each one that applies you so for our purposes we're going to say we create the entire motion picture which I think will be true for you in most cases so then we're gonna hit continue and here it's asking who is the claimant so it treats the author and the claimant differently and part of the reason is is because of the work for hire situation right? So there are going to be in or if you transfer your copyright ownership of this work so there are times when the author is one person and the claimant is somebody else but in your case you're going to be both the author and the claimant okay, so we're just going to add your address so we'll click that that'll pop in that address that we added in earlier and then you can click continue so this screen is a limitation of your claims so for example, if the entire motion picture was created by you you know with the exception of pre existing music you could click this and that would exclude the music from that motion picture okay or you know, pre existing photographs or pre existing footage so you can list out here what to exclude from your copyright registration so that allows you to get you know, protection for the parts that you created without claiming you know, copyright ownership of the parts that you didn't create okay, this also creates a situation where if you've previously registered the work and you've added new stuff to it you can list out the new content that you've added here but that's not really relevant for what we're doing today so we're just going to skip this step and hit continue if you've created the entire video and you're responsible for the entirety of it then you don't want to fill out anything here because you don't want to limit your copyright rights in anyway so you're just going to skip this step and hit continue if you've created the entire motion picture so we had continue so again this is just the rights and permissions pages so you can add information for copyright management information or permission to use this work so if there are individuals or an organization that has permission to use this work other than you you can add that in for our purposes you're the only one that has permission you'd add yourself in and hit continue and so this is asking for correspondents, so if you had a lawyer, for example, you might put your lawyers information in here because any correspondence with the copyright office they would be fielding, but for your purposes, you're going to handle this application on your own, so you just hit, add me and continue. Um and so this is the address where the registration certificate should be mailed. So again, you're just going to add yourself, make sure it's a current address or good address that that you do you receive your physical copyright registration certificate and had continue. Now. This is a special handling page. This is, if you know if you're registering the copyright because someone has stolen your work and there's potential litigation brewing, you can request special handling by just checking this box, and then you tell them the compelling reason is that there's pending or perspective litigation? Another option is if there's a customs issue and that's why you're registering the copyright not probably going to be applicable to what you're doing or if there's a contract or publishing deadline that requires that the copyright registration go through before the book could be launched or the video can be launched or something like that. Then you'd click this as the reason. Ok, so that's only for special handling. You do have to pay an extra fee for that, but just know that's an option if you ever have an urgent matter and you need your copyright registration to go through quickly, otherwise you just hit you. Just ignore this page and just hit. Continue. Okay, so this is where your certifying that you are, the author and the copyright claimant and the owner, and that you have the rights to the content that you've actually created it. This is your baby. Okay, so that's, what this page does? You're making that guarantee on dh making it possible for you to be fined if your lie in this application, right? So that's, why you want to be careful? Make sure you're filling it out correctly so that you're not claiming rights to anyone else's content that might be included in your film. And I showed you that page where you can exclude certain things. So otherwise this should be no problem. You check the box and then plug your name in groups and then hit continue. Okay, so this is where, um, you're you review your submission, so this is showing you that your work has your application has been submitted. And then the next part is you add to cart now the's buttons up here you can save for later if you want to finish the application later you can also save this as a template so if you're going to do this on a regular basis it'll pop in this same information for you and then you can just go back and change the title to a new title for that next set of work so like let's say if I want to do you know february two thousand fifteen's footage I can just change the title and everything else would be the same so that's one of the benefits of saving a template it just saves you time but for our purposes we're just going to hit add to cart and that's where you would you know make the payment so you click this button this checkout button here and it takes you to a separate page where you can then make the payment for the copyright registration and like I said it's a fifty five dollars application all right and so after you do that you'll see also on the screen next to that pay bond that's currently highlighted you two have submit work so once you've checked out a page will come up that will allow you to upload the actual files now the copyright office does accept almost every single type of file so you know you can use either a zip file like any type of like, you know, dot m ovi or any different types of files that you want to upload, most likely you can it may take you a little while, so this might be something where you upload and sort of believe it to finish that process and come back to it. If it's, a huge file and videos tend to be really large files, so might take a little while, but then you upload your actual footage, the actual content that you're copyrighting and then you're done that's it that's your copyright application now this doesn't mean that you've have a registered copyright once you've submitted the application, all that's going to do is to submit it right and then it's usually about a four month process for the copyright registration office to contact you and either let you know if there's any issues with the application, but most likely you'll just receive your certificate in the mail after a couple of months on back on that iko registration system. Page there's actually processing times for the copyright registration so you'll see they'll tell you how long it's taking for people to receive their certificates. But once you get the application in you consort of rest, easy, knowing that you've taken steps to register your work. The application will go back to the date that you submitted it ok so we you know submitted it today when we received the applicator the certificate in, you know, four months or whatever the actual registration date will be the date you submitted the application okay, so that gives you protection you know back to when you submitted the application so that's why I say it's important to do it as soon as you have created the footage you know, on a regular systematic basis in your business so that's copyright registration so that you know we talked about step one prepare the deposits of the works you will copyright so obviously, you know, get your files ready, label them the way that you want them labeled before you start the application and then we went to step two, which is registering on the ecosystem you complete the application which I've showed you how to do that, and then you pay the application fi and upload the copies of your work and boom that's it totally accessible, totally doable. You can do this, okay? And of course don't remember don't forget that you've got your work sheet of exactly how to walk through it. So with this video and the worksheet, you should have no problem registering the copyrights for your various videos and then you can celebrate yeah, you did it

Class Description

It’s one thing to know terms like “copyright infringement” or “intellectual property” – understanding and applying those concepts as a filmmaker can be much more challenging. Join Rachel Rodgers to learn everything you need to know to become your own best advocate.

In this class, you’ll learn when and why you need signed releases. You’ll also learn how to create client service agreements that protect your best interests. Rachel will also help you troubleshoot common copyright infringement issues filmmakers often face. Documentary filmmaker Eric Proux will join the conversation to share his been-there-done-that expertise.

No matter what type of films you make, this class will give you the skills and confidence to both defend and profit from your unique creations.

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