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. Copyrights are created when an author or artist makes a new original work available to the public. Registering a new work for a copyright is not required; making a new work publicly available creates some copyright protection under the law. Registering your works for copyrights is highly recommended. Below are the basics about where to register a copyright and the costs to get it done.

Protect Your Original Literary or Artistic Work with a Copyright Registration.

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A copyright is the exclusive legal right given to an originator (or an assignee) to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and prepare derivative works based on the work. In addition, this protection gives the owner the right to let others exercise these exclusive rights (license), subject to certain statutory limitations.

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 or artist “fixes the work in a tangible form of expression,” a copyright protects the original work. Registering your work and getting a copyright is recommended if you anticipate any issues with protection, licensing, or sales of the work. Defending a copyright is easier when it is registered.

Copyrights Protect Original Works

An author can gain enhanced protection by registering a new original 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. Importantly, the filing is fee is only $45 to $65 if you do online at the U.S. Copyright Office yourself. Read more about how to register and get a copyright yourself using our 3 steps to copyright registration.

How to Register a Copyright

The cost to register a copyright can be as low as the U.S. Copyright Office’s filing fee. The filing is fee is $45 or $65 if the application is filed online. Therefore, if you register yourself online using our 3 steps to copyright above, the costs to copyright can be as low as $45. If you want the help of an intellectual property attorney, Carson Patents charges a $880 fee to prepare and file a copyright registration for you, including the U.S. Copyright Office filing fee.

Copyright Costs

Getting a copyright is something you can do yourself. For more about getting your original work on the register of copyrights, read more about how to get a copyright yourself on our 3 steps to copyright page. However, if you want help, help is available to get your new work registered for a copyright. Check out our copyright attorney page. You can also schedule a free copyright consultation (follow the “Free Consultations” link in the footer)

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