Copyright Information

A copyright protects original works of authorship from unlawful copying. Works of authorship include the following categories:

  • literary works, including computer programs
  • musical works
  • dramatic works
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recording
  • architectural works

Failure to register a copyright with the United States Patent and Trademark Office may result in the loss of substantial rights. In addition, a federal registration is required in order to sue someone in federal court for infringement of your copyright.

The Copyright Process

Phase 1


A copyright application is prepared and filed with the United States Copyright Office, along with suitable deposits showing the work.  The nature of the deposit depends on the type of work being copyrighted.  Fees for preparing a copyright application include:

Attorney’s Fees:  $250
Government Filing Fee: $  55
Estimated Total for Copyright Filing: $305

These fees may increase if special work is required to file the copyright application.   If subsequent prosecution is required to obtain the copyright registration, you will be provided with an estimate of anticipated fees and costs.

Phase 2


When all requirements for registering the copyright are met, the copyright is assigned a registration number, and the original copyright application with the registration number affixed is returned by the United States Copyright Office.

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