How Much Does It Cost To Copyright?

Copyright Protection How Much Does It Cost To Copyright?

How Much Does It Cost To Copyright? 

You’ve worked hard to create some original content and naturally want to protect yourself from copyright infringement. Maybe you’ve heard phrases like DMCA protection, copyright claim, or copyright notice thrown around randomly, but knowing how copyright works involves more information, including the details about expected registration fees. 

DoNotPay provides you with a detailed explanation of associated charges to register your original work and an easy-to-use platform for filing copyright notices under all relevant copyright laws, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.  

What Is the Fee To Register a Copyright?

The government institution that supervises copyright registrations and related procedures is the United States Copyright Office (USCO), which operates as a part of the Library of Congress. They will be your go-to place if you need to register:


  • Literary works—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, articles, and periodicals
  • Motion pictures—movies, TV shows, video games, animation, and videos
  • Visual arts—artwork, illustrations, jewelry, fabric, and architecture
  • Other digital content—computer programs, databases, blogs, and websites
  • Photographs—news photos, selfies, wedding photos, and family photos
  • Performing arts—music, lyrics, sound recordings, scripts, and stage plays

They are also the institution that determines the fees required for copyright registration. How much you will need to pay to protect your work from copyright infringement depends on various factors. An elementary overview of related charges is in the table below:

Registrations of a Claim in an Original Work of Authorship

Online Registrations

Single author, same claimant, one work, not for hire $45
All other filings $65
Paper Registrations (Forms PA, SR, TX, VA, SE) $125

These charges are the same whether you’re registering a logo, song, or website. 

If you’re wondering how long copyrights last and whether you need to prepare for renewal fees, the good news is that, once registered, copyright generally lasts during the author’s lifetime and an additional 70 years for works made after January 1, 1978. 

Additional Registration Fees 

Besides basic fees, some additional charges may come up during the registration process. The table below shows the prices at the time of writing this article:

Fee Name Fee Amount
Renewals (works published or registered before 1978) Form RE $125
Addendum $100

Group registrations

Serials, per issue, with a minimum of two issues $35
Newspapers or newsletters $95
Contributions to periodicals $85
Published photographs or unpublished photographs  $55
Group of unpublished works $85
Group of updates for a photographic database $250
Group of updates for a non-photographic database $500

Supplementary registrations

Electronic corrections or amplifications $100
Paper corrections or amplifications $150
Correcting design registrations (Form DC) $100

If you want to pre-register your unpublished work, you will have to pay $200. Registering vessel designs costs $500, and registered mask works will cost you $150.  

For up-to-date information on copyright registration pricing and other potential charges, always consult the official Copyright Office website since the registration fees have kept going up in the last several years.

Which Payment Methods Can I Use To Register a Copyright? 

Depending on the type of service you’re paying for and delivery methods, the Copyright Office accepts a variety of payment methods

Type of Service Payment Method

Electronic Services

  • Credit cards—Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
  • Debit card
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit
  • Copyright Office deposit account

Mail Services

  • Check
  • Money order payable to the U.S. Copyright Office
  • Copyright Office deposit account

Phone or In-Person Services

  • Credit card (doesn’t cover all phone services)
  • Currency
  • Checks
  • Money orders

Can I Get a Refund for Copyright Fees?

In case you overpay your registration or any other copyright-related fees, you should know that the Copyright Office refunds excess amounts of $50 or more automatically. If the overpayment is less than $50, you will have to submit a written refund request. 

Those who request and pay for a service that cannot be provided may not receive a full refund. According to the Copyright Office’s Circular 4, certain administrative and processing fees are non-refundable. The examples of non-refundable charges include filing fees for:

  1. Basic, supplementary, or renewal registration
  2. Preregistration
  3. Special handling 

How To Register a Copyright by Yourself

Registering your creative work on your own is always a cheaper option. You can do it by following these how-to-copyright instructions:

  1. Set up your account on the Copyright Office website 
  2. Log in and select Register
  3. Fill in the registration form 
  4. Pay the fees online
  5. Upload your work in an appropriate format or send it by mail

The registration form consists of eight to twelve screens, so before starting the procedure, make sure you have enough time to finish the whole process.

Once you submit your registration request, you will have to wait anywhere between two and eighteen months for the certificate. It is possible to expedite the process, but you will have to pay the special handling fee of $800. 

Registering a Copyright With a Lawyer’s Help

While it’s possible to go through a copyright registration process without legal help, some of the questions in the lengthy registration form may confuse you or require additional research. Many lawyers specialize in copyright legislation and have flat fees for this kind of help. 

The benefit of paying for a lawyer to guide you through the process of registering a copyright is the professional assistance that can help you avoid additional charges in case of incorrect registrations. If someone infringes your copyright, but it’s not registered properly, enforcing it might prove challenging. 

Most lawyers will give you a price estimate beforehand if they charge by the hour, and the cost usually ranges between $250 and $500. 

Why Should I Register a Copyright? 

As soon as you create an original piece of creative work, you have the copyrights by default, but if you don’t register it, you might experience additional obstacles in potential infringement cases.

Registering a copyright for your work includes benefits like:

  • Public record of ownership
  • Possibility to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement
  • Eligibility for statutory damages, attorney fees, and costs of suit
  • Protection against the importation of infringing works

How To File a DMCA Notice With DoNotPay

DMCA notices are a convenient tool for copyright holders in case someone else uses and publishes their original work online without consent. Takedown notices need to include several elements to be considered valid under the law, and many people get scared as they lack relevant knowledge. 

With DoNotPay, you won’t have to hire attorneys to prepare a takedown notice on your behalf or delve deep into the intricacies of the American legal system and appropriate vocabulary. Our platform offers a simple and efficient way to create a DMCA notice without hassle. 

The process looks like this:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay in any web browser
  2. Select the feature called DMCA Takedown when you log in
  3. Type in the title or short description of your work
  4. Paste the link of the website where your content appears without permission and the website where you posted it originally
  5. Confirm your contact details and identity

After you hit the Sign and Submit button, the results will show up in the My Disputes tab. You can now send this notice to the service provider and exercise your rights right away!

It is always better if you can prove your copyrights with supporting documents such as a copyright registration certificate, but DoNotPay will help you protect your creative work even if you don’t have special ownership evidence. 

DoNotPay—More Than a Copyright Protector

DoNotPay cares not only about your copyrights but about your consumer rights and other kinds of protection against administration too. 

You can access all of our useful features in any web browser. Dealing with annoying bureaucracy is going to become so much easier when we teach you how to: