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Copyright Registration of Periodicals, Newspapers, and Magazines

Periodicals, Newspapers, and Magazines Copyright Overview

After months and months of researching, interviewing, and pounding the pavement, you've finally been able to publish a series of investigative news articles on the upcoming presidential election. While you may not be winning the Pulitzer Prize, you do want to preserve the ownership rights in all your hard work.

That's where copyright protection comes into play for a number of printed materials including periodicals, newspapers, and magazines. As an author, if you don't register your work, it still receives basic copyright protection against infringement and you may be able to collect damages. However, if you register your work, you may be able to collect money damages up to a statutory limit and have to jump through fewer hoops, such as proving the harm caused to you.

Follow along as FindLaw leads you step-by-step through how to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Remember, serial works are issued or intended to be issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and are intended to be continued indefinitely. For more information, visit FindLaw's Intellectual Property section.

Step 1

Select the appropriate application for your work:

For single issues, use Form SE or Short Form SE.
For most groups of issues, use Form SE/Group.
For most groups of daily newspapers or newsletters, use Form G/DN.

Step 2

Put into one envelope or package:

  1. The completed application form;
  2. Pay the nonrefundable filing fee to the "Register of Copyrights."
  3. Single issue and group registration have various filing fees,
  4. Nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered. See Special Deposit Requirements for details on deposit requirements for single issues, a group of issues, and a group of newspapers or newsletters.

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 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, please see:

File Online

We spend so much time in front of our computers doing everything from scrolling Facebook to reading the latest headline news. Why not save yourself the hassle of dealing with the U.S. Postal Service and file online? It is easy, convenient, and you can pay with your credit or debit card.

How a Lawyer Can Help you with Copyright Protections

As a journalist, blogger, feature writer or other skilled wordsmith, your job is to write. Let a legal expert help you register your work with the correct federal office or file a lawsuit for infringement, if necessary. Contact an experienced intellectual property attorney in your state to assist you with all the legal red tape so you can spend more time writing and less time worrying.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified business attorney to help you identify
how to best protect your business' intellectual property.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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