Copyrighting, or protecting a written or recorded work as an author is much easier than it sounds. The Library of Congress has forms that can be completed on their website and sent in electronically with a fee to obtain a copyright. Whether it is a book, college thesis, music or film recording, or syndicated column, a copyright can be purchased to protect an author's intellectual property.
Owning a copyright grants certain rights to the author. For example, a copyright holder grants others permission to reuse intellectual material for personal use. The law does not however allow any reprinted material to be resold for profit, such as a homemade DVD or other video taped from the original source. Schools and other institutions that may require an individual to make copies for distribution through xeroxing to students or other individuals must also make sure that no money is received in return, or that the copies appear in another publication without permission of the original author.
After logging onto the Electronic Copyright Office on the Library of Congress site, a short registration form must be filled out before the online copyright form can be accessed. Once registration is complete, then a copyright application form can be filled out. Payment is next which can be made through a major credit card or electronic check. Lastly, the work being copyrighted can be uploaded. A link to the types of files that are readable by the Library of Congress electronic office is provided. Files for documents, data, images, audio and video are included in this list. The basic copyright fee for an individual work costs $35.00. A notarized copy of your copyright certificate is sent to you approximately two to three months after you send your application in.
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