How to Copyright a Poster

By Timothy Mucciante

Federal copyright laws protect the creative expression of ideas, such as designing and producing a poster. A creative work can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office online or by mail. Both methods require the same three basic steps: completing a registration application, paying the required fee and submitting your work to the Copyright Office.

Registering a Copyright Online

Step 1

Go to the Copyright Office website. Click on “eCO Login.” Enter your Copyright Office user ID on the user login screen. If you are not already a registered user, there is no cost for registering.

Step 2

Click on "Register a New Claim," then click on “Start Registration." Click "Type of Work," and specify the title and type of work being registered, and whether it is currently published. In the "Author" link, click on “New,” and enter your name (or pseudonym) as the author of the work.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now

Step 3

Click on "New" in the “Claimant” link, and enter the required information. At the "Limitations of Claim" link, disclose any part of your poster that is based on work that is not owned by you, including proprietary fonts and images. You must get permission to use any protected font types and images in your poster. Contact the International Typeface Corp. for questions about licensing fonts and Creative Commons for questions about image rights.

Step 4

Enter the contact details for anyone seeking your permission to use part of your poster at the "Rights & Permissions" link,. Next, click on the “Correspondent” link, and give the information for the person that the Copyright Office staff may contact with any questions about your registration application. At the "Mail Certificate" link, complete the name and address of the person to whom the registration certificate should be sent.

Step 5

Click the "Special Handling" link if you would like your registration to be given a higher priority by the Copyright Office. After clicking the "Certification" link, verify that you are the creator of the poster and that everything you filled out in the application was correct to the best of your knowledge.

Step 6

Double-check the registration information after clicking on "Review Submission." If there are no changes, click "Add to Cart," and complete the payment details. The current online registration fee is $35. Deposit two copies of your poster with the Copyright Office within three months of the publication date. The address for depositing your poster with the Copyright Office is: Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Attn: 407 Deposits, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20559-6600.

Apply by Mail

Step 1

Complete section 1 of Form CO by indicating the type of work that is being registered. Section 2 (author) and section 3 (claimant) both require identification information and contact information. Any limitation of your copyright claim, if the work on your poster is not entirely owned by you, must be detailed in section 4.

Step 2

Fill in the rights and permissions contact information in section 5. The correspondence contact for any questions about the registration application by Copyright Office staff should be completed in section 6. In section 7, the contact to whom the copyright registration certificate should be mailed must be named. In section 8 you must certify that all the information in the application is correct.

Step 3

Send the completed Form CO, along with the filing fee and two copies of your poster for deposit as directed in the Form CO instructions.

Protect against infringement by registering a copyright. Get Started Now
How to Copyright Something in Canada

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Register My LLC Copyright

Copyright is the exclusive right to copy, distribute or adapt a creative work. This right can belong to the artist who created the work, the company that commissioned the work, or the buyer or licensee of the rights to a work. The person or entity that caused the work to be created automatically gains the copyright to it the moment the work is committed to a fixed medium. However, it is only upon registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office that the rights holder gains the ability to sue another party for infringement.

How to Copyright Your Comic Creations

Comic creations feature an abundance of copyrightable matter, including detailed art work, unique graphics and creative text. You can register your original creative work as a literary work or a visual art work. Complete the copyright registration application online or on paper. For paper applications, use form TX for literary works or form VA for visual art. You must include at least one copy of your comic creation with your electronic or paper application.

How to Protect Songs and Poems by Copyright

Original songs and poems are protected by copyright the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. However, if you want to establish a public record of your copyright and be able to sue infringers for damages, you must register your creative works with the United States Copyright Office. You can register using the online system maintained by the Copyright Office, or you can submit a paper application. Note that songs and poems must be registered separately.

Related articles

How to Copyright Printed Music Ideas

As a songwriter, musician, composer or producer, you own basic copyrights in your musical compositions, instrumentals, ...

How to Copyright a Documentary

Copyright is a form of protection that is available for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of ...

How to Copyright a Webpage

Your webpage is technically copyrighted as soon as it is placed in a tangible medium such as the Internet. In order to ...

How to Copyright Your Entire Blog

Although your blog is protected by copyright the moment you publish it to the Web, you should consider registering your ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED