About Copyright Registration

To Register or not?

Copyright is an automatic right. This means that under law as soon as you complete a work, you automatically hold the rights to it, without the need for further action.

The catch: You must make sure that you can prove you wrote the work first, otherwise it will mean you cannot prove that you are genuine if someone infringes your work.
With no proof of originality, you could find it hard to prove your claim in a legal dispute.- This is where registering your work often helps.

Where to register your work

UK Citizens:

The UK Copyright Service provides a copyright registration service both in the UK and for international citizens. Immediate protection is available via the online registration facility, and statistics show that postal applications are also processed within just a few days: Link to UKCS Copyright Application forms.

US Citizens:

US Citizens also need to register with the US Copyright Office before they can file a law suit in the US. The registration process takes about 4 months and can be carried out via the US Copyright Office (view current application fees).

Canada:

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Other countries

Either check with your national intellectual property office to see who they recommend, or use the international registration service from Copyright Witness. Their copyright registration form may be found via their website

Further information

Read Andy Whitehead’s guide to copyright registration services: A critical behind the scenes account of what to look for when choosing a copyright registration service.