How to Register a Copyright (USA)

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Although your work is copyrighted from the first stroke of the keystroke, you may want to pay to officially register your copyright. In our #5 Podcast, Literary Copyrights, I talked about registering your work for added protection. I created a video on (most) of the process of registration. The cost for Electronic Copyright Registration is $35, and the filing process is much faster; however, if you plan to send by traditional “snail mail” the cost is $50 with slower processing time.

The payment form is secure and they do not maintain your CC information on file. For eCO (Electronic Copyright Office) Frequently Asked Questions, please visit It also offers some troubleshooting solutions should you have issues with your filing.

Below is a short (5 minute) video on how to register your copyright. I wasn’t able to complete an entire process mainly due to not needing to actually register. However, if you have any questions regarding the process, please let us know and we would be happy to help or contact:

U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
(202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free)

NOTICE: This video and article discusses basic legal issues as an intent of interest only and is not designed as legal advice. Consult professional legal advice prior to acting on any information contained in this video.


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  1. says

    Great video, Suzanne! It makes the process of registering a copyright very clear! Great information, that authors might otherwise overlook! Thanks!

    • Unruly Gals says

      Thanks. It was fun to make the video – had a time constraint of 5 minutes, but the general process was understood. I will be offering at least one more article on Trademarking your Book Title. — And thanks for listening — Suzanne

  2. says

    Thank you for the informative video! It looks so easy, and the price is far cheaper than I imagined. I don’t know if you can answer this or not, but what kind of protection does the copyright registration give you above and beyond “once my fingers type the words it’s mine” ?

    • says

      Excellent Question, Susan. The registration process provides a legal and public record of your copyright ownership as well as legal benefits in case of infringement. In fact, your work must be registered before you can take legal action against any acts of infringement. If your work is registered within 5 years of publication, your registration certificate is proof of the validity of your copyright. And if you register your work within 3 months before an infringement occurs, statutory damages could be awarded to you as the proven copyright owner.

      For More information on the advantages of copyright registrations: