How to Copyright Your Game Playing Idea

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Fixation and Registration

In order to register a copyright, you must "fix" your idea in a "tangible medium." Fixation can be as simple as jotting down notes or writing a short description on your computer. Flesh out your idea as much as you can; the more "expression" you have to show, the stronger your copyright protection becomes.

Save a duplicate copy of all of your fixed materials. This can be a photocopy, a hard drive file, or USB copy. It's important to keep your duplicates safe.

Register your copyright online with the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov/eco/. Scroll down to "Login to eCO" and click on "Electronic Copyright Office." The site will prompt you to create a user registration.

Once you have completed your login profile, you can access the copyright application screen. Under "Copyright Services," click on "Register a New Claim."

Follow the prompts to complete your application. Register your game idea as a "literary work" if your description is written, as an "audio visual work" if your concept is a video game, or as a "visual arts work" if your game playing idea can be expressed mostly through sketches or drawings.

Pay the registration fee as prompted. It costs $35 to register.

Submit an electronic copy of your work. The Copyright Office accepts common file types like .doc, .pdf, .jpg, and others.

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Resources

About the Author

Hurt Rockles has been writing since 2006. She writes for legal and entertainment online sources including Entertainment Law Legal Assistance (ELLA). She received a Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in 2009 and a Bachelor of Arts in American studies/art history from Florida State University in 2005.

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