How to Copyright Homemade Greeting Cards

By Si Kingston
Copyright your greeting cards.

valentine"s greeting card-kiss image by Ekaterina Lozanova from Fotolia.com

There is nothing more satisfying than creating your own home-made greeting card. Even though your greeting card is homemade it is still your intellectual property. In order to protect your property, you must have your greeting card copyrighted. Copyrighting creative work sounds like a complex, and complicated, legal process but it can actually be done in minutes from your computer.

Save your greeting card in an image file. If your greeting card is not currently saved on your computer, you will need to scan the outside and inside of the card onto your system. Then open a Word document and paste both the outside and inside images in the same file. Save the Word document as a DOC, DOCX, PDF or TXT file. If the file is already currently an image file, you can save it in a Word document or continue to save it as an image file. If you currently have two separate image files, uploading both of them could cause you to incur an extra fee from the Copyright Office. To avoid paying extra, make sure all images and text, or both the outside and inside of the card, are saved in one file.

Go to Copyright.gov and click on the "Electronic Copyright Office" icon.

Open a new account. You will be required to enter in your name, address, phone number and email address.

Go to your account page and select "Register a New Claim."

Complete the application for your new claim. You will be asked to enter a series of details pertaining to your work like the author's name, the date the work was created and the type of work it is like literary or sound recording. You will have to select one category for the type of work. For a greeting card it will probably be a mixture of literary and visual artwork. You can select either the predominant type, or the type that is most important to you such as the text. It really does not matter.

Upload your greeting card by selecting the "Browse" button to locate your file on your computer. Then press "Open" to upload your file.

Pay all applicable fees. It costs $35 to file a basic claim.

Submit your claim for copyright of your greeting card. You can check the status of your claim by logging into your account and clicking on "Open Cases."

About the Author

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.

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