Need protection for your work against intellectual property theft? If so, know how much does a copyright cost in this article.
Average Costs of a Copyright
The cost of copyright registration ranges from $35 to $95 for single and group applications, but can be as high as $800 or more for other specialized services. For clarity, different types of copyright registration and their corresponding costs are discussed below.
Copyright.gov is the government office in the United States that grants copyrights. According to its updated schedule, the basic copyright prices for online and paper registrations are as follows:
Claim In An Original Work Of Authorship
- Electronic Filing
- $45 for the single application. The author and claimant are the same, and there is only one work and should not be for hire.
- $65 for the standard application, which refers to all other filings.
2. Paper Filling
- If you wish to have the paper registration, which is the filing of actual forms like Form PA, Form SE, Form SR, Form TX, and Form VA, the cost is $125.
- If you wish to pre-register your unpublished work, the pre-registration copyright fee is $200.
Database That Predominantly Consists Of Photographs And Updates
- Electronic filing – $250
- Paper filing – $250
Group Copyright Registrations
When it comes to group registrations, the costs vary depending on the type of work that needs to have a copyright protection. Below are the various fees:
1. Form SE/Group – Claim in a group of serials
- Electronic filing – $35
- Paper filing – $70
2. Form G/DN – for daily publications like newspapers and legit newsletters – $95
3. Form GR/PPh/CON – covers up to 750 published photographs – $65
4. Updates of a group automated database (predominantly consisting of non-photographic works) – paper application only – $500
5. Online registration for a group of published photographs or a claim in a group of unpublished photographs – $55
6. Form GR/CP – refers to contributions to periodicals like newspapers and magazines – $85
7. Claim in a group of unpublished works – $85
8. Claim in a group of short online literary works – $65
Renewal Claim (Form RE)
To renew the copyright registration for works that have been registered before January 1, 1978, the Form RE costs are as follows:
- Claim without addendum – $125
- Addendum (in addition to the fee for the claim): $100
Supplementary Copyright Registrations
1. Form CA – This form is used to amplify or correct a completed copyright registration, GATT registrations, and group registrations for non-photographic databases (Form CA)
- Electronic filing – $100
- Paper filing – $150
2. Form DC – This form is used to correct a copyright registration for a design. It costs $100.
Other Copyright Registrations
1. Form D-VH or claim in a vessel design – $500.
2. Form GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) claim in restored copyright – $100.
3. Form MW or claim in a mask work (Form MW) – $150.
Fees for Other Copyright-Related Services
Aside from copyright registration fees, Copyright.gov has also provided costs for other services related to the issuance of copyright. Below are the services and their respective fees.
This service typically refers to the process of recording a specific document. Here are the fees under this category:
- The cost for the recordation of a document, which includes a notice of intention to enforce, is $125 for paper filing and $95 for electronic. It should contain only one title.
- Paper filing of additional titles for every group of up to 10 titles will cost $60.
- Electronic filing of additional works and alternate identifiers: 1 to 50 costs $60, 51 to 500 costs $225, 501 to 1,000 costs $390, 1,001 to 10,000 costs $555, and 10,001 or more costs $5,500.
- Every additional transfer costs $95.
- Filing fee for expedited examination of a claim or document costs $800, while special handling of document recordation costs $550.
From the name itself, this service handles the record searches. Here are the different services under this category and their costs:
- The estimated fee for a record search is $200.
- A search report costs $200 per hour, but a minimum of 2 hours is required.
- An expedited report costs $500.
- A search report certificate costs $200 per hour.
Record Retrievals And Copies
- A paper record retrieval costs $200 per hour, with a minimum of one hour of search.
- Digital record retrieval costs $200 per hour. The minimum time is 30 minutes, with quarter-hour increments.
- The cost of an additional registration certificate is $55.
- A certification of records, which includes search reports, costs $200 per hour.
- The surcharge for expedited certification, copying, and retrieval is $500 per hour.
- Copying or retrieving information (all media) costs $12.
Published books, novels, stories, poems, written songs, movies, photographs, paintings, or basically anything that you create should have its own copyright. But what is copyright, and why is it so important?
In layman’s terms, a copyright is an exclusive legal right given to a person who is the rightful owner of the pieces of work he or she has created. This encompasses literary pieces, artworks, and inventions, to name a few.
In other words, everything that you have made is yours, and the copyright law assures your ownership of the things you have made. Moreover, a copyright grants the following rights to the owner:
- to legally reproduce a number of copies of your work.
- to prepare imitations of your own work
- to distribute copies of your masterpieces.
- to perform what you have worked, especially if it is a literary piece
- to display or present your creations publicly
If you are the legitimate owner of your workpieces, it is illegal for other people to violate those rights unless you decide to give them up. If you did not authorize a person to use or reproduce copies of your works, you can file a legal action against that individual for violating your rights.
For those who do not know, copyright in the US generally became free after April 1, 1989. Technically, you are already the legal owner of your original work.
However, it is advisable for the owners to indicate a copyright notice, like “YEAR by YOUR NAME” or “Copyright Year by Owner Name”, on the work. This ensures the person’s ownership of their work.
But to make sure that your work is fully protected by the law, or that the copyright is in the public records, you should register your work at the US copyright office.