On July 1st of this year the United States Copyright office, a division of the Library of Congress, introduced two new forms to be used to register basic copyrights. Form CO can be printed out and sent in with a fee of $45, and the equivalent online version Form eCO can now be filled out online for a fee of $35. These new forms represent an important change in how Copyrights are registered in the United States. The new forms simplify the process and allow online registration for the first time.
Before Form CO was introduced, every type of copyright had its own separate form that had to be obtained and mailed in. The basic copyright forms were: Form TX (literary works), Form VA (visual arts works), Form PA (performing arts works, including motion pictures and musical pieces), Form SR (sound recordings), and Form SE (single serials). The new CO form combines all the above into a single form. The applicant simply checks off the type of copyright being registered.
This system gives people the opportunity not only to register online, but allows them to track the status of their registration, secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account. It also gives them the ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into Form eCO as electronic files. The way in which the online system is able to offer these things is by a bar code. Each Form CO and eCO has a 2-D barcode that can be entered into the system. This new technology that is being used will enable both the Copyright Office and applicants to better track the registration process.
At this time, the individual forms that were used in the past are still being accepted until the system is completely switched over to the new format. While there are some things that are still not available online in this format, the primary basics are and it is sure to be noticed that the registration process has become more convenient and up to date with the online technology that is available.
by Sarah Demarco