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Literary Works

Follow these steps to register your book, manuscript, online work, poetry, or other text with the U.S. Copyright Office:

Step 1

Make sure your work is a literary work. Literary works may be published or unpublished and include nondramatic textual works with or without illustrations. Computer programs and databases also are considered literary works. More examples of literary works include speeches, textbooks, reference works, directories, catalogs, advertising copy, games, and automated databases.

To register serials and periodicals, see the Serial Works instructions.

Step 2

Put into one envelope or package:

1. A completed application Form TX or Short Form TX

2. A $30 payment to "Register of Copyrights."

3. Nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered. For example:

  • Unpublished Works: One complete copy.
  • Published Works: Two complete copies of the best edition.
  • Works First Published Outside the U.S.: One complete copy of the first foreign edition.
  • Contribution to a Collective Work: One complete copy of the best edition of the collective work, or a copy of the contribution itself as it was published in the collective work
Step 3

Send the package to:

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

Your registration becomes effective on the day that the U.S. Copyright Office receives your application, payment, and copy(ies) in acceptable form. If your submission is in order, you will receive a certificate of registration in 4 to 5 months.

For more details about copyright, please see the U.S. Copyright Office's information circulars.

Next Steps
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how to best protect your business' intellectual property.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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