Registering a copyright yourself is a simple and inexpensive process. The cost to copyright (register) a work on your own will be between $45 and $65. This can be done through the U.S. Copyright Office’s Registration Portal. However, if you need assistance registering your work, Carson Patents can help. For $640 (including the filing fee), Carson Patents can file the copyright registration for you.

You will receive your copyright registration certificate within 2-18 months from time of filing the application. It is possible to get a registration issued in approximately a week. Accelerating the process, however, results in additional costs totaling $1020.

The time limit depends on the date of the work. For example, anything created after January 1, 1978 has protection for the life of the author plus 70 years. There are, however, exceptions to this rule:

  • Anonymous work
  • Pseudonymous (written under a false name) work
  • Works made for hire (works made by an employee for his or her job)

These works last for a term of 95 years from the first publication or 120 years from creation – whichever expires first.

Anything created prior to January 1, 1978 that is not in the public domain and not claimed has the same duration as works created after this date (for the life of the author plus 70 years). In addition, the duration of such a work will not expire before December 31, 2002; and, if it is published on or before December 31, 2002, the duration shall not expire before December 31, 2047.

Copyright infringement is when someone breaks the law and uses the work of another without permission. If someone uses your work without your permission, they are likely infringing. In fact, infringement is a federal crime. Consult with an attorney if you suspect your work has been infringed or someone is infringing on your work.

Important Tip: Infringement can occur whether or not the person infringing did it by mistake or on purpose. Consult with an attorney with any questions.

Important Tip: When using images that others created on your website, Carson Patents recommends you give credit to the owner of the copyright. For examples, see our photo credits.

Costs for Carson Patents to Register for You

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 and links to the U.S. Copyright Office to do it yourself.

However, if you want help registering a work and getting a copyright, Carson Patents can do the paperwork and submittals for you. We charge $520 to prepare and file for you, including the filing fee. Contact us for help getting your copyright. We do need a client engagement letter and payment in advance in order to proceed.

What is a client engagement letter? An engagement letter is a form of agreement between both the author and the copyright attorney. Both the author and the attorney must sign the client engagement letter before moving forward with the process. The letter outlines the estimated costs, expectations, confidentiality information, and expected time frame to complete the estimate of the copyright registration.