How to Register a Copyright in Arkansas


Have you written a book, created a video game or composed music? If so, you should register your copyright in Arkansas. It’s important to protect your work from people, who may want to copy your ideas or may steal it, before publishing or releasing it. Although federal copyright protection exists for all works upon creation in tangible form, registration of these works with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional benefits and protections against infringement.

What Does Copyright Protect?

Copyright protects original works of authorship, such as literary, artistic, musical and other creative works. Copyright is eligible for works that exist in tangible mediums. You can register your copyright as soon as you create the work, but it’s important to do so before someone else steals your idea.

After registration by the U.S. Copyright Office (an arm of the Library of Congress), you have certain exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute and display the copyrighted material without interference from others who may want to use it without permission. But even before registering with the Copyright Office (which we’ll get into below), there are things you must be aware about when using copyrighted material:

  • It does not protect facts or ideas – anything expressed in words or art forms like paintings or music. For example, it does not protect titles (“Harry Potter”).

Federal Copyright Protection

Federal copyright protection exists from the moment you create your work in a tangible form.  When you write or record a work on any kind of tangible medium, such as paper, diskette or CD-ROM, you can consider it ‘fixed’. The copyright law defines some categories of material that do not require fixation to be eligible for federal copyright protection, such as choreography and pantomimes.

In most cases you will own the copyright to your original work as soon as it is created, however, there are some important exceptions:

  • You may not own the copyright if someone else helped create it. If you have hired an artist or writer to make or write something for you (for example, hiring an artist to draw your portrait) then the artist owns what he/she creates unless there was an agreement between the two of them about who would own what gets produced by this collaboration.

Importance of Copyright Registration

It’s important to register the copyright if you want to take legal action against someone who infringes on your rights. Federal court system only protects registered copyrights.

When you register your work, it becomes copyrighted immediately. This means that any unauthorized use of the work is considered copyright infringement and may result in monetary damages or other penalties. If a person violates your copyright, you have three years from when they first infringe upon it (or one year after they were informed of their violation) to file suit against them in court.

However, even if you don’t plan on suing anyone for infringing on your work or otherwise violating its intellectual property rights, registering with the U.S Copyright Office will ensure that others cannot claim ownership over something that actually belongs to you—and this might come into play later down the line!

In addition to providing proof of existence for a piece of original content such as literature or artworks—which would allow an author/artist access certain protections under law—registering also gives them legal standing should anyone else try using those same materials without permission from their rightful owner(s).  Additionally, it allows creators another way through which they could potentially obtain monetary compensation from plagiarism cases involving their creative output.

Retain Control of Your Work with Copyright

Registering your copyright is a great way to prevent plagiarism and ensure that you retain control of your work. But it’s not just about protecting yourself—you can also use it as a tool to protect your rights, should someone infringe upon them.

If you register within three months of publication or prior to infringement, you may be entitled to statutory damages (a minimum amount that the court can award you) or attorney fees. Statutory damages are currently $750-$30,000 per infringed work, though Arkansas does not have any additional guidelines for determining how much money is owed in damages when there has been an act of infringement.

Online Registration

Registration may begin online at

Online registration is available for most works, and is  the easiest and quickest way to register your work with the Copyright Office. Online registration takes only a few minutes, and costs nothing except an internet connection  and time required to prepare a PDF version of your work (if it’s not already in one). You can check if your work qualifies by using our search tool at

This is a fast and easy way to register your work—no forms to fill out, no waiting in line at the post office, and it’s free. Registration is confidential and secure, which means that you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your idea or work while it’s in registration.

Duration Of the Process

The online registration process takes about eight weeks, if there are no problems with your submission. Online registration is free, easy to use and available for most works. It also offers a wide range of languages.

The Copyright Office provides an online tutorial that explains how to complete the application in English or Spanish as well as French and Portuguese (to name just a few).

How Much Does the Registration Cost?

You’ll pay $55 if you file your registration online and $85 if you mail it in. Both options are available to applicants who wish to register one or more works at the same time. You can also pay an extra fee to have your registration processed within two months, but this is optional and will not affect the validity of your application or accepted work(s).

While there’s no limit on how many pieces of work  you can include in a single copyright application, you should still be register each item separately. They don’t count as a “composite” piece. This means that if you’ve written a novel, short story collection and screenplay all within the same year then they’d all need separate registrations instead of one big bundle deal (which would cost more).

The fee for registering one work electronically or by mail is nonrefundable; after all that hard work it would be pretty silly if someone could get their money back!

How to File By Mail

To file by mail, submit two copies of your work, a completed application form and a check for the filing fee to U.S. Copyright Office 101 Independence Ave SE Washington D.C., 20559-6000.

Every work must be in English or include an English translation if it is not in English. The applicant can also request an additional copy at no charge when they submit their application online or by mail.

The copyright registration fee is $55 per work and you need to pay it before your copyright official will issue you a certificate of registration which is proof that you have secured rights to your creation and prevent others from copying it without permission from you or other rights holders involved with that creative work (if there are any). It may take up to six months after submitting for this certificate to arrive so keep this in mind when completing forms ahead of time.


  • Copyright registration is not a requirement but in order to protect your work it is better if you register it.
  • It costs $55 if filed online and $85 if filed by mail.
  • It takes 8 weeks to process.


Copyright registration can be a useful tool for protecting your work and the best time to register is as soon as possible after publication.

Start your Trademark

Register Your Trademark & Get The Delivery of your USPTO Serial No. In 24 Hours

Related Posts

How to Start a Business in Arkansas
How to Start a Business in Arkansas
How to Copyright a Brand Name?
How to Copyright a Brand Name?
register copyright in Mississippi
How to Register Copyright in Mississippi
How to Register a Copyright for Leather Goods

USPTO Trademark Filing in Just $49

Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours