In this short guide, we will walk you through the basics of registering your works with the U.S. Copyright Office using Cosynd. You can use Cosynd to register just one work or a collection of works (like an album) with only one application if the authors, owners, their roles, and the publishing information are identical across all of the works. Otherwise, you will need to create separate applications for each work. You cannot use Cosynd to register works made by anonymous authors. Let's get started!
To view the benefits of registering works with the Copyright Office, scroll to the bottom of this post.
1) Click on the "Copyright Registration" button to begin your application.
This is located under the "Registration Services" area on your Cosynd dashboard.
2) Select the type of work that you are registering.
Read more about copyrights:
- What is a joint work?
- What works can be protected by copyright?
- What are the rights of a copyright holder?
3) Select an option from the drop-down menu to narrow down the type of work you are registering:
4) Tell us how many works you are registering
You should only register multiple works using one application if all of the following are true.
- The works are part of a collection (such as an album of songs).
- The authors and claimants of each work are identical.
- The roles of each author are identical across all works.
- The publication information is identical across all works.
Read more about selecting works:
- Can I register a collection of works?
- How do I register a work that is part of a larger collection/series?
- Can I register a work that is not listed in my Cosynd account?
5) Tell us more about the title(s) that you are registering, such as whether or not the title(s) belong to a larger collection (like an album), if there are alternate titles, etc.
6) Enter information about the publication of the work. Note, you can only register up to 10 unpublished works per application.
Read more about work publication and registration numbers:
- What does "published" mean?
- What does "date of first publication" mean?
- What does "nation of first publication" mean?
- What is an ISBN?
- What is an ISRC?
- What is an ISSN?
- What is a pre-registration number?
7) Select all of the work titles from your profile that you want to register by clicking on "Select". If you are registering a work title not currently in your Cosynd profile, check the box marked
8) Provide information for each author of the work.
If you are registering a work that is not currently part of your Cosynd profile, you will need to provide complete information for each author. If you are registering works from your Cosynd profile, the information we have for all of the authors of the work will transfer to your registration application. You will simply need to provide the citizenship/domicile information for each author and confirm their contribution.
IIf the author contributed under a "work for hire agreement", the Organization that paid that author should be listed here in the Organization box and you should answer "yes" to the work for hire question.
Carefully review and verify the information that you provide about the authors. This information will be used as-is for your application.
Don't worry, the information you provide here will not affect the information that was used for your Cosynd agreements.
If you need to add additional authors you can do so by clicking "+Add Another."
Read more about authors:
- What does "contribution" mean?
- What is a "pseudonym?"
- What is the difference between "citizenship" and "domicile?"
- Can I register my works under my company name?
9) Provide information for each claimant of the work.
A claimant is an owner of a copyright, such an author or person that acquired ownership by some other means. Each author you added in the previous screen will transfer to the claimant screen. You will need to confirm or edit their contact information. Carefully review and verify the information that you provide about the claimants. This information will be used as-is for your application.
If the claimant is an organization, enter the company name within the organization box.
A person operating under a "work for hire" scenario should not be listed as a claimant.
Don't worry, the information you provide here will not affect the information used for your Cosynd agreements.
If you need to add another claimaint, you can do so by clicking on "+Add Another." If you need to add a transfer statement, you can do so by clicking on "+Add a Transfer Statement."
Read more about claimants:
10) Tell us if there are other materials contained in the work that was not created by you and your collaborators.
If you select "Yes" in this section, Cosynd will ask you later to identify the materials that you and your collaborators did not author.
Read more about registering works that containing "materials" you and your collaborators did not author:
11) If you answered "yes" in step 5, you will be asked to identify the parts of your work that you are including/excluding from your registration.
Check the box that corresponds to the parts of your work that you want to exclude/include. If you have a pre-registration number, you can provide it here too.
Read more about including/excluding parts of your works:
- What does "material" mean?
- What does "materials included" mean?
- What does "materials excluded" mean?
12) List yourself or someone else as the authorized agent.
An authorized agent is a person who may be contacted regarding your copyright and is preferable someone who has an interest in the copyright.
Read more about authorized agents:
13) Tell us where your registration certificate should be mailed to:
14) Pay for your registration
15) Upload your work to us.
When you arrive at the Upload section of the registration process, follow these directions to upload your content to complete your application:
- Click “Upload.”
- Select “Choose File” and upload a zip file containing your works or a text file that contains a link to download your works. NOTE - Do NOT submit a link that has an expiration date.
- Wait for the notification that your upload was successful.
- Check the box below and click “Next” to complete your application.
What are the Benefits of Registering Your Works with the U.S. Copyright Office?
Copyright owners that rely on “poor man’s” copyright are not granted the same protections and rights of owners that registered with the Copyright Office. For example, you can't sue someone that's infringing on your work without first registering with the Copyright Office.
Copyright protection exists automatically upon fixation of the work. However, there are a number of benefits to having your content registered with the U.S. Copyright Office:
- You receive a certificate of registration.
- Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
- By registering your content, you may be eligible to collect statutory damages and attorney's fees from litigation.
- There is a public record of your ownership, your collaborators’ ownership, and the other relevant details of your content.
- If registration occurs within 5 years of the publication of your content, your registration is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.
- You can record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.
Read more about finalizing your registration: