The final steps: making payment and uploading your work
If you’ve been following along, you’ve completed the first step to submitting your copyright registration application: filling out the form. Today we’ll tackle the final two steps. As a reminder, three things must come together for the U.S. Copyright Office to register your copyright:
- Complete registration application (covered in Parts 1 and 2)
- Make payment
- Provide a ‘best edition’ deposit copy
What is a ‘best edition’ deposit copy?
As part of your registration, you must submit to the Copyright Office a “best edition” of your work. The Copyright Office provides a resource outlining what is acceptable as a best edition for various types of works.
To help you out, the general rules are:
- if your work is unpublished or only published electronically, then you can upload your work using the electronic system
- if your work is published and there is a hard copy, then you must mail the U.S. Copyright Office two copies of your work
Tricks on the upload process
The U.S. Copyright Office eCO system will only accept specific file types. You can see the full list here of what they accept. For my own purposes (and on behalf of my clients) I submit:
- JPG files for images
- MP3 files for audio
- MOV files for video
- PDF files for text based works
The exception to the above rules is when I’m submitting lots of files on the same application. If that’s the case I batch together files into a no more than ~20 MB ZIP package and upload those.
If you are submitting image files, my general recommendations are to make the images:
- between 500 and 900 px on the longest side
- exported with a compression setting of 60-70 (or 6-7 depending on the program)
- in sRGB color space
- exported with the standard metadata embedded
- without a watermark
If you ever get stuck in this process, the folks at the Copyright Office are also helpful and have provided tons of resources to help you.
One resource in particular, I want to highlight is the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices published last year that gives you an overview of the registration process. It also explains what is and isn’t copyrightable in detail for various kinds of works and exactly how to fill out your application. It’s a super helpful resource, albeit heavy on the legalese.
You now have the tools you need to complete and submit a copyright registration application!Learn how to submit your copyright registration application from @kiffaniestahle.Click To Tweet
Does this give you more confidence? Did you complete one with success? Run into any problems? Let me know in the comments.