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5 Easy Steps To Get a Copyright Symbol

Copyright Symbol

In order to use copyright symbols as prescribed by law, a work must be appropriately registered with the United States Copyright Office. Obtaining and using a copyright symbol means that a particular created work is registered with the United States Copyright Office, and thus, to obtain the right to use the symbol entails registering such works. To have the right to use copyright symbols, there are five general steps that can be followed:


1. OBTAIN THE COPYRIGHT APPLICATION FORM

The registration process begins by procuring the appropriate copyright form. There are different types of copyright application forms that apply to different types of creative works that are eligible for copyright. For basic registration of copyrights, the following forms should be used:

Form TX: Literary works

Form PA: Performing arts

Form SR: Sound Recordings

Form SE: Single Serials

Form VA: Visual arts works

2. FILL OUT THE COPYRIGHT APPLICATION FORM

Filling out the application form will be the next step. The form itself can be filled out online by using the Copyright Right Office’s eCO Service, which is the preferred method. However, there is also a form available online that can be filled out on the computer and then mailed in. Another option will be using the paper forms, which will entail filling out the appropriate paperwork in accordance with the creative work at hand. Information on the application form will require:

Title of the work

Year of completion

Publication date

Applicant, Author, Claimant

Mailing Address of applicant/author/claimant

Information regarding previous registration of the work (if applicable)

Information about the work in context of compilation or derivative work

3. PAY THE APPROPRIATE FEES

The fees associated with the registration process to legally and properly use a copyright symbol on a creative work will depend on the method of filing. Online registration with the eCO is preferred and also allows for faster processing time. The next best option is using the Fill-in Form CO, which is to be completed on the computer, printed out, and mailed in. Barcode technology on this form also helps speed up the registration process. Lastly, paper forms are the other option available. The fees for each method of registration are as follows:

ECO Application: $35

CO Fill-in Form: $50

Paper Form: $65

4. WAIT FOR NOTICE FROM THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE

Processing for copyright applications will vary depending on the overall amount of applications received by the Copyright Office and the method that a person chooses to file for permission to use copyright symbols and copyright registration. Online filing often takes about six months to process, while the Form CO and Paper Forms can take up to 26 months to process.

5. AFFIX THE COPYRIGHT SYMBOL, "©," ON ALL REGISTERED WORKS

Upon receiving the certificate of copyright from the Copyright Office, the applicant or owner of the creative works can now use the copyright symbols on such works to denote that particular work to give notice that the work is protected by copyright. The copyright symbol, "©," is to be followed by the year of the first publication of the work and the name of the author, creator, or owner of the copyright.

NEXT: Copyright Registration

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