Copyright Application: Step-by-Step - Creative Law Center

Copyright Application: Step-by-Step

Replay: Copyright Application Webinar

This is a video replay of a free webinar I offered to the readers of this blog in April 2018.  I went through the Single Copyright Application screen-by-screen and explained how to complete each one in order to obtain an enforceable and valid copyright registration. I used a fictional novel (as opposed to a real novel) for the example, but included tips for visual artists and photographers throughout.

I'm working on a streamlined version of this step-by-step copyright application tutorial which I will release when it's ready. I wanted to post this because: (1) I promised I would; (2) the fees for copyright registration are going up at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019 (no exact date yet); and (3) I will be charging a nominal fee for access to the next release. So take a look at this free version and get your copyright applications filed before the fees increase.

During the session I referred to information found in the following posts:

Two questions were asked during the session that I have since followed up on:

Q: On the Author/Claimant screen, what is the difference between a novel and a manuscript? A: Not much. You can characterize your work as you see fit, the Copyright Office won't question it. A manuscript is usually considered the earliest draft of a finished creative work.

Q: On the Limitation of Claim screen, if you have a quote from someone in your work do you have to disclaim it and will that prevent you from using the single application? Yes and Yes. If you incorporate any work created by someone else in your deposit copy, that work needs to be disclaimed in this screen. You must use the Standard Copyright Application and not the Single Copyright Application when disclaiming part of what is being filed.

I answered many questions about the copyright application posed by the attendees and am happy to answer any others if you drop them in the comments.

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About the Author

Kathryn Goldman helps small business people, writers, artists, and creative professionals make a living from their creative work by teaching them how to protect and enforce their rights. She is an attorney who writes these posts to help you be more thoughtful about intellectual property and the law as you build your business, write your stories, and create your art.

  • Clement says:

    In the section rights and permissions on the registered form the copyright office sends you back. If it’s a shared copyright and there’s only one person mentioned in that space. Does the person mentioned in that space have the right to license the copyright without the other person who’s on the copyright.

  • Sonia says:

    Thanks, Kathryn for your important work!

    1. Can I use the copyright symbol on my work as soon as the registration has been submitted or does it need to be certified first?

    2. I created coloured, concrete garden art (birdbaths, pedestals and troughs etc.) in NZ in 2007 and sold it at markets and stores until 2010. I’m currently creating an online course to teach people how to make them. Before I launch this course, I want to copyright my wooden mould designs which will be published for use in my course next year. I have 6 designs – 3 of them use the same design at different lengths and/or with a different pattern for the top ie. the birdbath and the pedestal. My square and rectangle troughs also use the same base design with different tops. In this example, I don’t think I can get away with registering them as an unpublished group because I have sold the finished product. If that is correct, can I group the designs into one or two patterns or would I have to register them all individually?

    3. In this example, could I get away with registering these pattern designs in NZ or the US, or would it be best to register these patterns internationally?

  • Stephen Johnson says:

    I have written some poetry and put it together in a book, not published just homebound. I placed one of my poems on Facebook and it really took off over 400 likes. 90 comments and numerous shares. However, it was recently pointed out to me that a woman in England had reposted my poem using her name. How do I prevent this?

  • Thanks for sharing this important info. Great for newbies and a good refresher for the more experienced.

  • Thanks for all this!
    Welwyn Wilton Katz

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