How to Copyright Crafts

By Victoria McGrath

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.

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.

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 The book may or may not be published as a literary work.

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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.

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How to Get a Play Copyrighted

References

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How to Copyright Choreography

A copyright affords protection to creators and owners of unique intellectual property that is fixed in some permanent, tangible form such as a written notation, book, video, sound recording, or drawing. To be eligible for copyright protection, your choreography must be original. Under U.S. copyright law, as soon as an original work of authorship, such as choreography, has been created in fixed form, then copyright protection exists from that time. This gives the author or his agent to rightfully claim copyright. However, it is much better to register the copyright, because it creates a public notice that you own the rights and enables you to sue in federal court if someone uses your choreography without your permission. It is important to note that choreography that has not been made into a fixed form is not eligible for copyright protection.

How to Copyright Printed Music Ideas

As a songwriter, musician, composer or producer, you own basic copyrights in your musical compositions, instrumentals, songs and lyrics as soon as you create the music and fix it in a tangible form. Tangible forms include any written or recorded musical notes or words. In general, you can claim copyrights to any original musical works you create, unless the works have been commissioned by someone else or produced as works-for-hire. You can register your copyrights as published or unpublished musical works with the U.S. Copyright Office. In order to qualify for copyright registration and protection, your printed or recorded music must be fully conceptualized and not mere ideas or basic concepts. Copyright law prohibits the registration of mere ideas.

Tools for Copyrighting

Copyright protects original works of authorship, including novels, movies, songs, pictures, paintings, and computer software. Once the work of authorship is created and fixed in a tangible form, it is under copyright protection. However, many people choose to take the next step of registering their work with the United States Copyright Office. This ensures that the individual is able to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement, if necessary. There are four common tools associated with registering a work of authorship with the United States Copyright Office.

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