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  • it establishes a public record of the copyright claim
  • it makes it easier for others to find and acknowledge your work
  • it serves as a prerequisite for filing an infringement lawsuit in court
  • it enables you to claim statutory damages and attorney fees if you register the work within three months after publication or before infringement occurs
  • it protects against the importation of infringing copies (ex: bootleg DVDs)

In some cases, you can also register more than one work as a collection under a single application, such as if the works were originally published as a collection.

You can file online with the copyright office and pay a $35 fee, or you can register your work by submitting a Form CO and a non-returnable copy of your work along with a $50 fee. Keep in mind that if you register online, the Library of Congress still needs hard copies of a “best edition” of your work.

Submit your hard copies and paper applications to:
Library of Congress
U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington DC, 20559
-****

For faster claim filing, add the zip code extension that applies to your work:

  • 6222 for literary work
  • 6211 for visual arts work
  • 6233 for performing arts work
  • 6238 for motion picture or other audiovisual work
  • 6237 for sound recording
  • 6226 for single serial issue
  • 6601 for works sent in response to a mandatory deposit notice

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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