How to Register a Copyright for a Real Estate Agency


When you own a real estate agency, it’s important that you protect your work. One way to do that is by registering your copyright. Here’s how:

Know Your Rights

  • Copyright is a form of intellectual property (IP) that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution.
  • Copyright protects your work from being copied, distributed or performed without your permission.
  • In order to make sure your real estate agency’s content stays protected from competitors who may want to copy it, make sure you apply for copyright protection as soon as possible after publishing any new pieces of work online or in print.

Read The Law

A copyright protects original works of authorship. It gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and create derivative works based on his or her work. The term of protection lasts for 70 years after an author’s death.

If you want to claim copyright protection for your work, you must register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office within three months of publication or distribution. This registration is called a “notice” and should be placed in some conspicuous place on your work when it’s published—for instance, at the top of each page in print form or in an easily identifiable location on digital copies (such as at the bottom).

There are many benefits to registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, these include:

  • Enabling you to sue someone who infringes upon any part of your copyrighted material
  • Creating constructive notice that you have copyrighted material being distributed so that others won’t unwittingly appropriate it.

Apply For a Copyright

To apply for a copyright, you must fill out a special form and submit it to the Copyright Office. You can get this form at their website or by mail. If you are not filing electronically, attach two copies of your work that have been printed and signed by yourself in ink. The fee is $50 per application plus $250 for each additional class of work (for example, if you are applying for both literary works and musical compositions, the total cost would be $500).

Once your application has been filed with the Copyright Office, they will notify you when it has been accepted. This can take up to six months but usually takes two to three months. Once accepted by the Copyright Office as an original work and recorded on microfilm or digitally there will be no further fees until renewal time every twenty years thereafter.

Keep Tabs on Your Property

Keep tabs on your work’s history.

When you register a copyright, the year it was created is recorded in the public database. However, when you renew your registration (and this happens automatically every three years), that date may change. If someone tries to take legal action against you for using their copyrighted material and they can prove that they registered before you did, then they’re allowed to win the case against you. The same goes for first publication dates. If the other party can prove theirs was published first but yours wasn’t registered until later on down the line, then again—you lose.

To make sure these things don’t happen to you (or at least make it easier for yourself), keep track of when each piece of work was created and/or published, when it was registered, when it was renewed, etc. —as well as any other important dates such as first publication or registration in case those come up in court proceedings too.

Start By Understanding Which Rights You Need to Protect

Before you can register, it’s important to understand which of your rights are at stake. This can help you avoid missing out on crucial protections and ensure that your work is covered by the appropriate intellectual property law.


In general, copyright law covers literary works — original literary compositions fixed in a tangible medium — as well as some visual artworks (for example: paintings and photographs). Copyright doesn’t protect ideas, instead, it protects the expression of ideas in a fixed form. In other words, if you write down an idea without creating any new material or changing your existing work from what it was before (like adding more paragraphs), then this new version isn’t eligible for copyright protection.


Registering Copyright is an important step for any business, but it’s especially important for real estate agencies. If your agency has created a logo, website design or some other piece of original content that you want to protect from being copied by others, then registering a copyright may be the best way to do so. The process is not difficult and can be completed in about five minutes online once you have all of the required information on hand.

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