If you are a photographer or any kind of artist, you understand the frustrations public display of your work can cause, especially on the Internet. If you want to protect your artwork and photographs, you can register to copyright them. To copyright and protect your work, you must file each piece of artwork separately or as one group when filing for trademark and copyright protection.
Visit the official copyright website at copyright.gov.
Register for your copyright online by using the service listed on the official website. The online filing fee is generally lower than the offline filing fee and as of 2010 is $35 per copyright filing request. Online filing offers the quickest turnaround processing as well as online tracking to have a real-time update on your copyrighting process. The website allows payment through major credit and debit cards, as well as an electronic check or Copyright Office deposit account. Follow the on-screen instructions for filing your copyright on the official registering website.
Register for your copyright an alternative way by using the “Form CO” system at the Copyright Office website. These forms feature a barcode scan that allows quicker processing than the traditional paper form method. Print out your forms once you have purchased and completed them, and send them in. The “Form CO” method will cost $50 as of 2010 and can be mailed to the Copyright Office along with a check or money order to be processed.
Send in paper forms to file a copyright request if you cannot use the online services or prefer this method. Submitting paper forms takes the longest for the Copyright Office to manage and file due to the manual nature of the processing system with the paper forms. You can pay for your paper forms by check or money order at $65 a request as of 2010. The paper forms are not accessible directly on the website, but you can fill out a "request form" to have them mailed to your physical home address using the Copyright's official website. You can then mail them back to the Copyright Office to begin your copyright on your photographs.
- photo camera image by A74.FR Ben Fontaine from Fotolia.com