This is the nineteenth in a planned 20-part series of articles on intellectual property.
In this posting, we will take a look at the process of obtaining a copyright.
In reality, the way one obtains a copyright is to simply produce an original work. According to the US Copyright Office, “your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.”
However, you might want to let them know about it just the same! Registering the work ensures a public record of your ownership. In the event of legal issues surrounding the work, a registration with the copyright office can be of great benefit.
Submitting a work for copyright registration is straightforward and can be done online or by hard copy. An application form, with a small fee (generally $35 to $65 [renewals are more] depending on the form, the item being copyrighted and whether it is submitted online or by hard copy) and copy or copies of the work in the proper format are all that is required. The copyright office will review the filing and respond.
Visit the US Copyright Office website at http://www.copyright.gov for more information and to register your work. Doing so is inexpensive and, in many case, well worth the effort.
In our final post we will provide a summary of intellectual property and commercialization.