The U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) is part of the Library of Congress in the United States and primarily serving as an office of records where documents related to copyright are stored and recorded.
The USCO also plays a role in advising the U.S. government on matters of copyright, including providing reports and assisting with drafting legislation.
Why Should One Register with the U.S. Copyright Office?
Registering with the USCO has a series of benefits including:
- Creates a public record of the registration of copyright.
- Serves as prima facie evidence in U.S. courts of ownership of the copyright and of all facts contained in the registration, greatly bolstering a case.
- U.S. citizens are required to register before filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
- If a work is registered either before the infringement takes place or within 3 months of publication then, in the U.S., the copyright holder is eligible for both statutory damages, which can reach $150,000 per infringement, and attorney’s fees.
To be clear, even though non-citizens can sue for for copyright infringement in the U.S. without a registration being filed, they are only able to claim actual damages, which is the greater of what the copyright holder lost or the infringer gained from the use of the work. In many cases that amount is effectively zero.
In short, if you might ever have cause to sue in the U.S. you should register your work in a timely manner so that you have all of your rights at your disposal.
What Can be Registered with Safe Creative in the U.S. Copyright Office?
Most works created in a digital format are eligible to be registered: literary works, videos, sound recordings, visual works, even masks, periodicals and more.
However, for works with usually very large file sizes, such as feature-length movies, the file you use to identify the work must not be larger than the file size limit in Safe Creative (400 Mb right now).
How Long Does it Take to Get My Registration Certificate?
Safe Creative will make the application for USCO registration usually within seven labor days. You will be able to check the situation of your works’ registration in your Safe Creative account.
The USCO, unfortunately, has a large backlog of certificates that it has to send out. As such, even with an online registration, it can still take 3-9 months or longer to get your certificate. However, certificate times fluctuate wildly and some report getting their certificates in as little as six weeks.
When is My Work Considered to be Registered?
The effective date of registration is the date that the registration was filed. If you register online, that’s the date that the online form was submitted.
This means that, even if it takes several months to get your certificate, which is often the case, the date in which the registration takes effect is still the day it was received.
Why Should I Use Safe Creative to Register My Works with the USCO?
Since you have already provided much, if not most of the information needed to register your work in Safe Creative, our experts can easily and quickly register your work with the USCO and work to get you a certificate as fast as possible. Since we have a great deal of experience with filing USCO registrations, we can file the registration with the best guarantees of success.
How Does U.S. Copyright Office Registration Through Safe Creative Work?
When you file for a USCO registration through Safe Creative, you appoint us as an agent authorized to register your works on your behalf. We then take the information that you have already submitted to Safe Creative, including the file you’ve uploaded, and some new information we will ask you for, and submit that to the USCO.
In some cases, we may need additional information from you and will contact you directly if that is necessary.