Tax ID Logo

Copyright Registry

Literary Work

Select Literary if you are registering a nondramatic literary work, excluding a periodical or serial issue. Literary Works include a wide variety of works: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, textbooks, reference works, directories, catalogs, advertising copy, compilations of information, computer programs and databases. Note: This category also includes an article published in a serial, but not an entire serial issue. Electronic registration is not currently available for serial issues.

Work of the Visual Arts

Select Visual Arts if you are registering a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. Visual Arts works include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, technical drawings, and architectural works.

Work of the Performing Arts

Select Performing Arts if you are registering a musical work (with or without lyrics), a dramatic work, such as a screenplay, play or other script, a pantomime, or a choreographic work. Note: If the registration includes the sound recording as well, select Sound Recording as the type of work.

Sound Recording

Select Sound Recording if you are registering a sound recording. Also, select Sound Recording if you are registering both the sound recording and the underlying recorded musical, dramatic, or literary work(s), along with the sound recording of the work(s). Note: To register both the sound recording and the underlying work on a single application, the copyright claimant must own all rights in both works. With one exception, sound recordings are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds. Exception: Under the copyright law, the sounds that accompany an audiovisual work, for example, a motion picture, are not defined as a sound recording. Select Motion Picture/Audiovisual as the “Type of Work” for sounds accompanying an audiovisual work.

Motion Picture/Audiovisual Work

Select Motion Picture/Audiovisual if you are registering a feature film, documentary film, animated film, television show, video, videogame, or other audiovisual work. An audiovisual work is a work that consists of a series of related images that are intended to be shown by the use of a machine or device, together with accompanying sounds, if any.

Single Serial Issue (Published)

Serials are works issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Examples are periodicals, newspapers, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, annuals, journals, proceedings of societies, and other similar works. Serials which are frequently published can often be registered as a group. This option is significantly less expensive than registering each issue separately. (See the requirements for registration of a group claim: Newsletters, Newspapers, Serial Issues.) If you determine you are eligible to register a group claim, click “Home” and choose “Register a Group Claim.” If the requirements for group registration are NOT met, then use the “Single Serial Issue” option. Note that this option can only be used for serials that have been published. If the serial issue has not been published, use the “Literary Work” option. Note that registration for a serial issue covers only the content of that particular issue. A claim to copyright in a single issue of a serial does not give blanket protection for other issues published under the same serial title. Each issue is considered a separate work for copyright purposes. For example, registration of “vol. 1, no. 1” of Country Doctor applies only to that issue and not to “vol. 1, no. 2.” The deposit requirement for a single serial issue is two copies of the serial issue being registered. (Send only one copy if the issue was first published outside of the United States.)