When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, copyright protection is one of the most important tools. Not only does copyright protection discourage others from using your works without authorization, it can also strengthen your ability to negotiate higher royalty amounts for licensing rights. For those situated in Dallas, registering your intellectual property with the United States Copyright Office is an important step you must take to ensure your work remains free from unauthorized use. This article explains both the basics of copyright registration and the additional processes required to properly protect yourself from copyright infringement.

What is Copyright Protection?

Copyright protection is a form of intellectual property law that protects an individual or organization's work from being copied or used without permission. Copyright laws are designed to give creators of original works exclusive rights to their works for a limited duration, typically the life of the creator plus an additional 70 years. Copyright protection also allows the copyright holder to collect royalties from those who wish to use or duplicate their works.

In the United States, copyright law states that copyright protection begins when a work is created, even if it is not registered as a copyright. However, registering a work with the Copyright Office grants additional privileges such as access to legal recourse should infringement occur. Additionally, registering a work with the Copyright Office provides legal evidence of a copyright's existence in the event that the copyright must be defended in court.

How to Register a Work with the US Copyright Office

The US Copyright Office is charged with granting copyright protection to those who properly register their works. To ensure a valid registration, you'll need to provide the following information:

1. Appropriately completed and signed application.

2. Appropriate filing fee.

3. Title of the work.

4. Name of author.

5. Description of the nature of the work.

6. Year of first publication.

7. Nation of first publication.

8. Name and address of the copyright claimant.

9. Copies of the work or a deposit of the work as prescribed by the Copyright Office.

You can submit your registration materials to the US Copyright Office either through online or paper filing. Online filing is an easier option, however, you must make sure you have all the necessary information and materials prior to submitting the application and paying the filing fee. Paper filing enables you to submit an application even if you do not possess all of the necessary information at the time of filing. You can then update the information through mail or fax.

What Additional Steps Can I Take to Ensure Copyright Protection?

Once you have registered your work with the Copyright Office, there are several additional steps you can take:

1. Include copyright information on all copies of your work.

2. Provide copies of the work to yourself and trusted associates to prove the originality of the work.

3. Have a license agreement drawn up for third parties wishing to use or reproduce the work.

4. Include copyright information in any applications that may be sent to other companies for the purpose of reproducing the work.

5. Attach a list of legal actions that may be taken if the work is reprinted without authorization.

6. Monitor the use of the work and take appropriate action if unauthorized use is discovered.


Copyright protection is an invaluable tool for protecting the originality of your work. While registering a work with the Copyright Office grants additional privileges, it is important to note that additional measures must still be taken to ensure that your work remains protected. The above steps can help you safeguard your works against unauthorized use.


Copyright Protection,

Intellectual Property,

US Copyright Office