It is not necessary to register for a copyright for your intellectual property to be protected, but several benefits are provided to you if you get a copyright. It is important to have this application filed and approved in order to have the ability to take someone to court over copyright infringement. In order to get a copyright, you must file an application with the appropriate government agency, such as the United States Library of Congress Copyright Office in the U.S., and you must send in the appropriate fee and a copy of your work.
There are different application forms available to get a copyright for different types of works, such as literary works, computer programs or performing arts pieces. Check with the appropriate agency to ensure that you are using the correct application form. Only legible and neat application forms typically will be accepted. In addition to sending in paper forms, it often is possible to fill out the application to get a copyright online and submit it electronically.
To get a copyright, you also must pay the fee associated with your specific copyright application. Most fees range from about $35 US Dollars to more than $100 USD, depending on the type of application being made. In addition to the fee, you also must send in at least one copy of the work you are trying to copyright. This copy should be one of your best, but be aware that it will not be returned to you. Check with the copyright office to find out whether more than one copy of your work is needed.
It is important to note that in many countries, all intellectual property is protected under copyright law from the moment it is created. Filing for copyright protection provides proof of ownership and the required paperwork needed in the event that someone tries to steal your work. Given the relatively small amount of work needed to apply for a copyright, if you are genuinely concerned that someone might copy your work, it might be a good idea to get a copyright.
Presenting the best copy of your work is necessary when applying for a copyright. This is the product that will be evaluated to issue your copyright, so ensure that it completely matches the final product. Package the product well so that it will be able to stand up to delivery and postal procedures. Remember that it will not be returned to you, so have at least one copy for yourself.