How to Copyright my Sermon

By Owen Pearson

If you have composed a particularly powerful sermon, you might want to have exclusive rights to the content of your message to prevent others from using it without your permission. You can protect your intellectual property by obtaining a copyright, which allows you to use your message as often as you like without fear of plagiarism by others. Copyrighting a sermon is a relatively simple process that you can complete in under an hour.

Step 1

Write down the content of your sermon, or make an audio recording. Copyright law in the United States protects your sermon as soon as it is recorded in writing or in audio format. Registration of your sermon is not necessary; however, you may choose to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office for added security.

Step 2

File for copyright protection for your sermon by completing form TX for written format, or form SR for audio format. The Copyright Office can supply you with the appropriate form. You can mail the completed form, along with a hard copy of your sermon, to the Copyright Office.

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Step 3

Complete an electronic registration form on the Copyright Office's website. This gives you the advantage of paying lower fees while still protecting your sermon from infringement. You can submit the electronic registration form online, along with a digital audio or word processing file containing your sermon.

Step 4

Complete form CO, which is available on the Copyright Office's website. You can fill in the information on the form online, and then print the form and mail it to the Copyright Office with a hard copy of your sermon.

Step 5

Include the appropriate filing fee with your copyright registration application. The Copyright Office maintains a schedule of fees, which vary depending on the application format you choose.

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References

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Designs, including artistic designs, designs for buildings, and designs for ships, are eligible to receive copyright protection in the United States. Like other works that receive copyright protection, a copyright attaches to the design as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium, including paper or electronic sketches of the design. To receive the full scope of copyright protection, including the right to sue for statutory damages, the copyright must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

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