How Much Does a Copyright Cost?


How much does a Copyright Cost?

Copyright refers to the legal right, an author or originator has to publish, perform, record musical or literal material, film and print his/her work. In this regard, copyright protects the work of the author or originator from being copied or used without permission, hence, the need to copyright your material. If you want to copyright your work, it is natural that you will wonder about the cost. So, this article will seek to answer the frequently asked question, “How much does a copyright cost?”

Well, the answer to the above copyright question is that it is relatively affordable to copyright your work.  A more elaborate answer is that this will cost you about $35 to $55 if you do the filing and application yourself (online). Alternatively, you can hire an intellectual property attorney to do this for you, and this will cost you $250 to $500.

You should note that the $35 to $55 fee is for online registration through the United States Copyright Office’s (USCO) website. This fee is also applicable for single applications only. For instance, if you are the only author to the work; if the work is not for hire, if you are the same claimant to the work and if your application is only for one work.  On the other hand, copyright registrations done on paper will cost you $85: this cost covers filling Form VA (visual works), Form TX (literally works), Form SE (single series), Form PA (performing arts), and Form SR (Sound Recordings).

Regarding Group copyright registrations, those seeking copyright for serial publications such as newsletters, magazines, newspapers, journals and more will part with $25 for filling Form SE/Group (serials). Form G/DN costs $80 (this is copyright for groups of daily newsletters and newspapers). If you are seeking a group copyright for automated database updates, you will pay a fee of $85 (for paper applications only).

Still on group copyright applications; those seeking copyright for published photographs (up to 750) will have to fill Form GR/PPh/CON at a cost of $65 (paper registrations). On the other hand, if you fill out this application online it will cost you $55. Group copyright requests for contributions to periodicals will cost $85 (Form GR/CP).

You should take note of the fact, that once you file an online copyright application, it will take three to four months (from the date of application submission) for you to receive the copyright registration certificate, via mail. If you need the certificate earlier (for good reasons only, such as a pending court case), then you will have to pay $700 extra to get it in a week.

A useful saving tip for bloggers, writers, and musicians who want to copyright their work, is to copyright an entire CD (up to 20 songs) or a bunch of articles using one application as opposed to filing an application for each individual song or article. Therefore, paying only $35 (single application fee) to $55 (application fee plus other charges) as compared to paying these fees for each song or article you copyright, which could be very expensive and time-consuming.

In conclusion, it does not cost much to copyright your work, as this cost is $35 to $55 (for single applications).However, If you want to hire an intellectual property lawyer you might have to part with $250 and above.