How to Copyright Your Work

How to Copyright


Copyright is the legal protection given to the author for his original work in various fields like literary, music, drama, audio-visual, pictorial, graphic, academic works etc. The author or owner of the work gets the sole right to reproduce or sell his work or he can sell his rights to others who want to adapt his work in other forms.

Though copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work is created, it is always safe to register and get a copyright certification. This will help you in case of any infringement. In other words, if you suspect that someone has copied or adapted your work without your knowledge, copyright protection will help file a case against the person in the court of law. In such cases the copyright notice will serve as an evidence to claim statutory damages and the legal fees. Without legal copyright document you cannot claim that the work is yours.

Also by registering under copyright law you are making a public record of your work thereby protecting it from infringement of any type. These are some of the steps that you should take to get your work copyrighted:

  • You should apply for registering your work by submitting application at:  along with a fee and a non-returnable copy of your original work.
  • You can also apply online for registration and attach an electronic copy of your work. However if the Library of Congress requires a hard copy of your work, you must send the best edition of your work for its collection.

Once you have submitted your application, the copyright office will take an average of three months to ten months for processing the applications submitted online or in person. You will receive a certificate of copyright registration after the process is completed. The copyright office will maintain records of registrations which are available for public inspection.

Registering your work under copyright law will ensure that your work is safe from others stealing it. If your work is infringed, your claim to copyright is disputed if the other party claim that is their work. In such cases, the copyright notice or certificate acts as valid evidence in the court of law. A properly worded copyright notice will act as a warning for others trying to adapt or copy your work without your approval. The owner or author of the copyrighted work also gets benefited financially if he lets other people use his work for commercial purposes. In many European countries and the US, copyright is valid for 70 years after the death of the creator. Many categories are now being included to be protected under copyright law.




Copyrighting is the act of giving exclusive rights to the creator of original work usually for a limited time and gives him the right to be credited for it.  Copyright itself is an automatic right that occurs at the point the work is in a tangible manner i.e. when written down or recorded .When work is copyrighted it should be registered so that it stands up during a dispute This makes it possible for architects, composers, playwrights and artist to register  their work under the copyright law. Copyrighting mainly involves writing the title (copyright) year of publication and the author’s name as shown below:
Copyright (c) 2011 Andrew Johnson

There are various reasons why one should acquire copyrights:

Embedding one’s name and contacts information into ones work i.e. print ,photos and music ensures that no one takes credit for your work except you and can enable you to add your contact information such as your personal  web address which will enable you to promote your business.
Work that is copyrighted and registered cannot be copied word for word (plagiarism) as this will entail breaking the copyrighting law as the copyrights belong to the original writer, if one goes against this it gives the original writer the right to sue him for plagiarism .One can only use the copyrighted work under permission from the owner of the copyrights   or alter the sequence of words. Registering your work would make it easier for an infringer to track you down and ask for license to be able to use it.
C copyrights law mostly protects the music and movie industry which mostly suffer  from piracy if ones work is not copyrighted  others will directly sell the piece of work and  absorb all the profits while the original owner languishes in poverty.  Copyrights belong to the original owner and any one intending to use this piece of work should ask for license.  This ultimately prevents others from fully gaining on ones time ,sweat, tear ,money, blood and every single emotion they incurred while developing the original work.
Copyright protection of one’s work begins  when  one’s work  is registered and another party uses without  permission.  This ensures you can file a case against them.

Protect your work now with user friendly online processing system.  It takes just minutes to file and protect your work.

How To Copyright

Copyright to avoid infringement

Copyright is the legal protection given to the authors of original works that include drama, music, art and other intellectual work whether published or unpublished. Most of the countries have enacted copyright laws to protect the owner’s rights to his creation. These copyright laws have been modified many times to include new categories and extend the duration of protection.
Why copyright?
Copyright is an exclusive right, given to the creator of a particular work, to reproduce, distribute or sell any copies of that work. He has the right to exploit the work himself or transfer the rights conferred by the copyright to others. It ensures that the owner gets due credit for any adaptation of his work. In such cases, the copyright holder also benefits financially. In many European countries and the US, copyrights last until 70 years after the death of the creator. If the creator of any story or an academic paper is afraid of it being infringed or copied or adapted by others into a movie or other form, he can copyright it.  Copyright registration is done to avoid any infringement. In case of infringement, registered copyright works are eligible for statutory damages. Without getting a copyright protection, the owner or author of any work or paper cannot sue anyone using the work without authorization.
What can be copyrighted?
Books, music, art, academic papers etc can be copyrighted. Though copyright does not protect ideas, it protects the original expression of the idea.  However copyright rules vary for some works like designs and drawings used industrially. Any work, as soon as it is created, is automatically copyrighted. However it is safe to register the work or papers at the copyrights office. Those who wish to have their copyrights on public record often register their work and obtain a certificate of registration.
Copyright registration is done by submitting an application form with a fee at the copyright office. It can also be done online. The author has to submit a non-returnable copy of the paper or work to be registered. Even in the case of online registration, the hard copy of the document to be copyrighted has to be sent to the Library of Congress. Though copyright registration is not a requirement for protection it is just a legal formality which has the following advantages:

  1. It establishes public record of the copyright claim.
  2. To file an infringement suit in the court, copyright registration of the work is a must.
  3. Registration of papers within five years of creation can act as evidence to establish the validity of the copyrights.

The Library of Congress can be difficult making the registration process difficult.  Sometimes causing you to lose your Copyright Application. makes it simple to submit the correct information giving you the best chance of success in obtaining your copyright certificate.