How to Copyright Crafts

by Victoria McGrath
Copyright law protects many types of creative works.

Copyright law protects many types of creative works.

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The U.S. Copyright Office oversees copyright registration of "original works of authorship" that meet federal registration requirements. The creation must be in a tangible form of expression, sufficient to communicate the copyright work by a device or machine. For example, songwriters copyright their songs in the form of sheet music and as audio recordings. A craftsman may choose to publish his crafts in a technical manual or how to book. The instructions on how to create the crafts could then be protected under the copyright registration of the publication.

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Produce Tangible Copies of Your Creative Crafts

Step 1

Create a copy of the work. Document each two or three-dimensional craft in a tangible image, with specific characteristics and detailed instructions of the creation of each craft. Compile a collection of the crafts to be registered for copyright in a book form. The book may or may not be published as a literary work.

Step 2

Select the appropriate category under which to register your crafts. A published work traditionally qualifies as a literary work. Other copyright categories include musical, dramatic, choreographed, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, motion picture, sound recording and architectural works. Consider registration of crafts under the pictorial, graphic and sculptural work category as well.

Step 3

Confirm that the work meets general copyright qualifications. Additional steps may be required after you create the craft and copy it into a tangible form of expression. You need to make certain that the written documentation of each craft proves to be original authorship of creative work, not a mere list of general ideas, familiar designs, common property or public documents.

Register Your Crafts with the United States Copyright Office

Step 1

Complete a copyright registration application online or through regular mail. Register online at the Electronic Copyright Office. Benefits to filing online include lower filing fees, online status tracking, email registration confirmation and electronic payment processing. You can pay the applicable registration fees online by credit card, debit or electronic check transfer.

Step 2

Submit one unpublished or two published copies of the creative work to the U.S. Copyright Office, for the Library of Congress, within three months. Wait to hear back from the U.S. Copyright Office. They will notify you by telephone, mail or email if they need anymore information. Answer any direct communication from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Step 3

Mark your crafts with a notice of copyright. The notice of copyright includes a copyright symbol, the first date of copyright and the name of the copyright owner. Three acceptable copyright notations include the full word "Copyright," the abbreviation "Copr." or the letter C within a circle.