Frequently Asked Questions

Does copyright protect names or titles?
Copyright commonly does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. You will have to look into trademarking. Copyright protects works of original authorship such as text, artwork, photographs, sound recordings, screenplays, music, lyrics, etc.
How long does a copyright last?
Copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the author has passed.
How do I send in my work?
Once you complete and submit your form, you will receive an email from us to which you will respond to with your file(s) attached for electronic upload. You can also mail in your work. You can request a shipping slip. The shipping slip is used so you can mail your work directly to the Library of Congress. The shipping slip not only contains the address to where you will send your work, but also has your case number on it. When the Library Of Congress receives your work in the mail, they match up your case number on the shipping slip to the online system we have registered your work in.
What if I make changes to my work after it is registered?
Once we register your work on the online system, your work will be protected. You cannot add to pending copyright registrations. You will have to make a new registration for the new material.
You may make a new claim in your work if the changes are extensive and creative, something more than just a simple edit or minor changes. For example, simply making spelling corrections throughout a work does not warrant a new registration, but adding an additional chapter would.
How long does it take to receive my certificate?
It may take 6 months to a year to receive your certificate. Because we are registering you online, it most likely will be sooner. Once we register your work, it is protected.
Can I register multiple works under one registration?
Yes, you can register more than one work under one registration. For example, you can register an entire album, a series of books, or a collection of photographs under the same registration. It will be considered a standard application.
Does my work have to be published to be registered for copyright?
No, your work does not have to be published to copyright your work. You do not have to wait for the certificate to continue with publication either.
Is my copyright protected in all countries?
It depends on the country. The US does not have copyright relations with all countries. The US protects it’s citizens’ copyrights. For further inquiry, please send an email for a complete list.
What is a service request number?
Once we register your work, you receive an email with your service request number. Your service request number is a tracking number for your copyright certificate.
Can I copyright my recipe?
If you are trying to protect just a listing of recipes, copyright law will not protect the work. Also, copyright law will not protect just listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may extend to substantial literary expression, such as a description, explanation, or illustration. For example, such as in a cookbook.