Copyright applications are available from the U.S. Copyright Office, a division of the Library of Congress. It is possible to file applications electronically or to download printable paper applications from Copyright.gov. The office address is 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. The phone number is 877-476–0778.Continue Reading
A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that applies to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It does not protect inventions or trademarks, which are different forms of intellectual property with their own application processes, according to the Copyright Office. Copyright covers works such as poetry, photographs, novels, songs, movies and architecture.
Since 1978, the law has specified that creators of works automatically own a copyright of the work once it is completed in a tangible form. However, registering the copyright is required in order to bring any lawsuit for copyright violation, according to the Copyright Office. A copyright owner may be entitled to bring legal action for copyright infringement and recover either actual damages, if proven, or statutory damages of no more than $150,000, as of 2015.
For works created after Jan. 1, 1978, a copyright lasts for the length of the author's life, plus 70 years, according to the Copyright Act of 1976. The entire text of the copyright law is available at Copyright.gov.Learn more about Law