The US Copyright Office is a busy place. Because they handle about 550,000 copyright claims annually, they are taking steps to make it easier for the public to register and protect its collective creativity. That would be you. 🙂
On July 1, the Copyright Office will enter the next phase in the implementation of its multi-year business process reengineering effort to modernize operations from a paper-based to a Web-based processing environment. About time it came into the 21st century, huh?
That’s really good news for your small business. Their plan is to continue to improve the site.
“The Copyright Office’s reengineering initiative is not a goal, but a framework to continually improve business operations,” said Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights. “We will continue evaluating and making adjustments in workflows in the various process areas, testing and development of the IT system, and making system enhancements in response to feedback from both our staff and our customers.”
At the heart of the reengineering initiative is a new online registration system named electronic Copyright Office (eCO), which the Office plans to release through a portal on its Web site on July 1, 2008. Filing an eService claim via eCO offers several advantages:
- lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim;
- fastest processing time;
- earlier effective date of registration;
- online status tracking;
- secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check or Copyright Office deposit account;
- and ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files.
Even users who intend to submit a hard copy of the work being registered may file an application and payment online and print out an eCO-generated shipping slip to be attached to the hardcopy deposit. Beginning July 1 eCO may be used to register basic claims to copyright for literary works, visual arts works, performing arts works including motion pictures, sound recordings and single serials. Basic claims include (1) a single work, (2) multiple unpublished works if they are by the same author(s) and owned by the same claimant, and (3) multiple published works if they are all first published together in the same publication on the same date and owned by the same claimant.
Paper applications for basic claims will still be made available through the Copyright Office. The fee for registering a basic claim using a traditional application form is $45. For more information on the various forms of registration or to access eCO, go to the Copyright Office Web site at www.copyright.gov.