A copyrighted work gives the creator or owner the legal right to control its disbursement, earnings and uses. Copyright attorneys can manage the process of copyrighting your material for you but it's not cheap, of course. Save a lot of money by doing it yourself. The U.S. Copyright Office allows individuals and businesses to copyright their own work very easily online.
Make sure your work is in the correct format. To complete your application for copyright, your work must be uploaded to the U.S. Copyright Office's servers. The Copyright Office will only accept work in the correct format. For example, a text file must be in DOC, DOCX, WPD, PDF, HTM, WPS, TEXT or RTF format (see Resources for a complete list of acceptable file formats).
Go to Copyright.gov and click on the "Electronic Copyright office" link.
Create an account. The Copyright Office will require a contact name, address, e-mail address and phone number.
Register your training material by clicking "Register a New Claim" in your account page. This will re-direct you to the application for submitting new claims.
Complete the application for your new claim by entering information pertaining to what type of work it is (e.g. literary, sound recording), the title of the work, authors, claimants, permissions and other questions concerning the copyright of the work.
Pay all applicable fees. Registration of a basic claim is $35. (For all other fees, see Resources.)
Submit your application for copyright. You can then check the status of your claim by selecting "Open Cases."
Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.