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Friday, June 29, 2007

Registering Copyrights

First off, you should know that copyright exists from the moment you create
your literary, artistic, or musical work, so registering your copyright is
completely voluntary. But there are several reasons why you may choose to
register your copyright, such as: you want to have the facts of your
copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration;
registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees
in successful litigation; and, if registration occurs within 5 years of
publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.

If you’d like to register a document or item as a copyright, you can use
either the short form TX or the standard form TX. Short form TX applies if
you are the only author and copy right owner of the work, and the work was
not made for hire, and the work is completely new (does not contain a
substantial amount of material that has been previously published or
registered or is in the public domain). Otherwise, use the standard form TX
to register for a copyright. Along with the completed application form,
send a check for $45 made payable to “Register of Copyrights” as well as a
non-returnable copy of the material to be registered to: Library of
Congress, Copyright office, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C.
20559-6000

Registration becomes effective on the day the Copyright office receives your
completed application, payment, and copies of the work in an acceptable
format. If your submission is in order, expect to receive a certificate of
registration within four months.