One of the most contentious topics in intellectual property is how to copyright anything. The debates aren’t about how difficult it is to copyright anything; they’re about how simple it is. You technically own the copyright to your work the moment you produce it. It does not even need to be publicized to be secure. But, copyright protection may be extended by registering with the USPTO.

How Do I Protect My Copyright?

To register your copyright, you must first establish an account on the eCO Online System, then fill out the online form. If you file online, the standard price is $35. While online applications are often processed quicker, eFiling still takes three to four months, according to You may either download the form from the Internet or pick one up at your local small business administration office and send it in. You must pay a $65 charge if you pick the offline approach. Paper forms often take between five and eight months to complete.

Is it okay if I just mail it to myself?

Copyright protection is rather simple to get, but don’t be misled by so-called poor man’s copyright protection. This ancient ploy has been around for quite some time. It basically states that if you take a duplicate of your creative work, put it in an envelope, and send it to yourself, you’ll have all the rights of a registered copyright holder. According to the official website, this is not legal. Although regular copyright protections continue to apply, sending it to oneself provides no extra benefits.

Getting your copyright registered makes it simpler to prove and defend your work, therefore the modest amount of time and money required to apply is typically worthwhile.

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