How to Copyright

Clients often inquire about how to copyright their original creative works and ask, for example, how to copyright a website, or how to copyright music. This requires some clarification.

Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. For example, you wrote song lyrics, a book, or recorded music, created photos or a website, so you own it, right?

However, to prove or enforce your ownership, registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is required in order to take legal action against someone who has copied your original work.

So, technically, asking “how to copyright a song” or how to copyright something really asks: how to register a copyright for that work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

When you register a copyright, you establish a public record with the U.S. government of your claim of ownership of the material registered. As the copyright owner you are granted certain exclusive legal rights and benefits of copyright registration.

 

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