How to Copyright Something:

Like Your Speech

The question of how to copyright something may be of interest some day in the future.

Any original speech or recording of a speech is automatically copyrighted to the original author or speaker. To guarantee a work is copyrighted, there are additional steps you will need to take to have copyright protection.

The most obvious step involves adding a c with a circle around it, © and will follow with the name of the artist or author and the year of creation.

This is only the first step to get copyright protection.

How to Copyright Something

Next you will need to register the copyright. Registration requires that the work or creation be...

  • be an artistic work, musical work, voice recording or written creation and
  • that it is original
  • that it be "fixed" or made into some form, such as printed, recorded, or electronic media copy such as a computer disk or a CD.

Go to where you will find a menu of the various answers of your copyright questions. This will provide the basic information to register your works copyright.

You can register your copyright online or via snail mail.

Electronic Copyright Office Also called the eCO Online System, this is the place to register your copyright.

The advantages for online registration. They include...

  • Less expensive ($35 for a basic claim for online filings only vs $50)
  • Faster processing
  • Tracking online...find the status of your registration
  • Pay by debit, credit card or electronic check.
  • Some categories allow electronic files for your submission known as deposits
  • Register 24 Hours a Day (except for maintenance Sunday's, 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM Eastern Time

There is also a standard copyright form downloadable from the internet. It is filled out online and printed.

Copyright Office Forms has Form CO.

Once arriving at the above link, scroll down to the header... Alternate Registration Methods and read the information on Registration with Fill-In Form CO.

There is a PDF to view. It has a 2-D barcode scanning technology. The Barcode makes the process more efficient and faster than the original paper forms.

The printed form gets mailed (with check or money order for $50) with the copyrighted work that you want to deposit.

It can take up to eight months from submission to get your response.

What is a Deposit?

The copyright website indicates you will make a deposit.

Depending on what you are registering the copyright for will determine what you will send in. For unpublished works, one complete copy of the work.

For published works, you will send in two complete copies of the best edition. You will need to read the above link on copyright basics to get more information on this.

This is just a basic overview to answer the question of how do I copyright something?

Go to Professional Speaker This is the resource page for going pro as a public speaker. The How to Copyright Something Resource

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