Copyrights protect original literary or artistic works. The “©” symbol (a capital letter ‘C’ inside a circle) is commonly used to identify copyrighted works. The “©” is recognized in most nations around the world. However, for works made after March 1, 1989, there is no requirement to include the “©” symbol on your copyrighted work. Below are the basics about where to register a copyright and the costs to get it done. Read more about copyrights.
Registering a Work
An interesting thing about copyrights that contrasts with patents and trademarks is that to gain protection, the author does not have to register. As soon as the author “fixes the work in a tangible form of expression,” a copyright protects the original work. In other words, you gain copyright protection when you, or someone working for you, creates and posts, publishes, or prints the work. This automatic protection applies in most countries in accordance with the Berne Convention. Also, artistic and literary works made after March 1, 1989 do not require the “©” symbol because of the Berne Convention.
The Berne Convention protects literary and artistic works applicable in many countries. First adopted in 1886 in Berne, Switzerland, the purpose was to make copyright protection span across multiple countries, called Contracting States. The three basic principles included in the Berne Convention are that works must have the same protection in Contracting States as in where the work was created, protection is automatic once the work is created, and protection does not rely on whether there is protection in the country where the work was created.
The Convention recognizes rights of authorization such as the right to translate, broadcast, perform, recite, make reproductions, and make adaptations and arrangements of the work. Also included in the Berne Convention is the duration of copyright protection. Under the Berne Convention, works are protected for 50 years after the author’s death (some exceptions apply). For more information, visit WIPO.
Assistance with Registering a Work
An author can gain enhanced protection by registering a work with the U.S. Copyright Office; however, copyright protection does not require a registration. The enhanced protection includes benefits such as having a public record of the claim, the ability to file a copyright lawsuit in federal court, and receiving return of legal fees for infringement claims if you win a suit. You can also register your work and get your own copyright. It is a straightforward process. Moreover, the filing is fee is only $35 to $55 if you do it yourself. Read more about how to register and get a copyright yourself.
However, if you want help registering a work, Carson Patents can do the paperwork and submittals for you. Carson Patents charges $480 to prepare and file for you, including the filing fee. For more resources and educational content, visit the U.S. Copyright Office website.
Carson Patents has a 3 step process to officially register your work. In contrast to patents, registering a work and getting a copyright is fairly straightforward. You can do it by yourself. Check out our 3 Steps to Copyright for the steps to do it yourself. However, if you want help, our copyright attorney can help. Contact us for help getting your copyright. Also, visit our page that outlines the steps to hire us.
Where to Register
The U.S. Copyright Office manages copyrights. They promote creativity and free expression by administering the nation’s copyright laws. Also, they provide impartial, expert advice on copyright law and policy for the benefit of all. The U.S. Copyright Office provides online capability to register, record, and research copyrights. There are many resources and educational content available at copyright.gov. We work with the U.S. Copyright Office.