Common Questions Asked About Copyrighting

List of Works That Can Be Copyrighted.

  • Literary works such as books, manuscripts,
    online work, poetry and other text
  • Websites - Including the graphics and text
  • Computer Programs - The programs source code
  • Sound Recordings
  • Musical Compositions
  • Dramatic works
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Other Audiovisual work
  • Photography
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures
  • Sound recordings
  • Technical Works
  • Architectural works
  • Audiovisual work
  • Logos
  • Adult Material

How Long Does It Take To Copyright My Work?

Once you email us your work, or upload your work to our secure site, we electronically submit it to the U.S. Copyright Office within 3 business days (or you may upgrade to priority service). If you mail us your work, we will a mail a hardcopy of your work to the U.S Copyright Office via priority or express mai for expedited service. Your work is considered officially copyrighted once the US copyright office receives it with the required documentation. Digital submission is the fastest way to copyright your work.

We provide you with an official service request number issued from the U.S. Copyright Office as confirmation that your work is officially copyrighted!

Now that we submit your work digitally to the U.S. Copyright Office, it usually takes about 6 months for you to receive your official copyright certificate but this is subject to the copyright office. If it is not done completly digitally, the process can take up to 2 years. This is the same for anyone who copyrights work. The certificate will be sent directly to you from the U.S. Copyright Office.

What Is Not Copyrightable?

Names, titles, short phrases, single words, simple graphic designs and ideas are not copyrightable under U.S copyright law. You can, however, copyright a logo which can include a name, title or a word. In this case, the graphics would be copyrighted but not specifically the name or title. You may also copyright the written text describing an idea. Again, the text is being copyrighted but not the idea. This would be useful to show that you came up with an idea on a specific date.

Why Should I Copyright My Work?

Copyrighting is the best way to legally protect your work because it establishes a public record of your copyright with a government agency - the U.S Copyright Office.

Many people attempt to copyright their work themselves only to have their submission returned due to inaccurate form preparation and material submission. We make sure your work is copyrighted correctly the first time and the copyright office will accept your submission - saving you time, money and making sure your work is really protected.

Copyrighting does not mean that someone can't steal your work but copyrighting your work protects you in two ways:

  1. It lets people know that you are the owner of the work and that is is legally protected - in other words, it makes them think twice before they infringe on your legal rights to the ownership of your work.
  2. If someone should use part or all of your work, you have an official copyright registration with the U.S government to prove that you are the owner of your work and that your work was registered on a particular date.

If your work is not registered and someone else uses or claims your work as their own, you will have to go to great lengths to prove that you are the originator of the work. Copyrighting your work with the U.S Copyright Office provides enormous protection against possible infringement. If your work is registered before an infringement occurs, you may be eligible for large statutory damages of up to $150,000.

How Do I Copyright My Music?

If you are copyrighting a musical work, you can copyright the sound recording, as well as, the lyrics. If you want to protect and copyright your lyrics in addition to the complete sound recording, you will need to copyright the lyrics under a separate copyright certification. Therefore, you will need one copyright service for the sound recording and one for the lyrics. A total of two copyright services. This is the only way to legally protect your complete musical work.

You can copyright all your songs on one CD under the same copyright certification. You can copyright all your lyrics for various songs under one copyright certification as a compilation (as long as the entire work to be copyrighted is submitted together). Call or e-mail us for more information at info@onestopcopyrighting.com or 1-800-614-3578