How to Register a Copyright in Hawaii


Copyright law is a set of federal laws that protect the rights of creators and publishers of original works. Copyright registration is a legal process that gives you certain rights to your work and provides evidence of these rights in case someone tries to infringe them. To register a copyright, you must provide certain information about the work – including its title, author, and date – along with copies or other evidence that proves your ownership over it. This article will walk you through all the steps you need to follow in order to register a copyright in Hawaii.

Register a Copyright in Hawaii

If you want to register a copyright for an original work, you must have created it yourself. This means that you can’t claim copyright on something if someone else created it and gave it to you (with or without compensation). For example, a writer couldn’t register a novel that he found in the library neither could he register one he copied from another author without permission.

It also means that two people can’t collaborate on a work and then both claim copyright on the end result—that would be too easy. However, if one person writes an entire song and gives the lyrics to another person who writes the music for them, then they may be able to share the copyright with each other (assuming there was no contract not allowing this kind of joint ownership).

Work Requires a Tangible Medium

You must be able to demonstrate that your work is fixed in a tangible medium. This means that it needs to be perceptible in some permanent form, which means it should not be transitory—that is, something like an idea or thought that can’t be perceived by the senses. Think about a photograph: you can look at it and hold it in your hand. It’s definitely more than just an idea!

Tangible media include paper, CDs/DVDs/memory sticks, hard drives–basically anything that contains information in one place for the purpose of being read or viewed later on.

What Works are Eligible?

Copyright registration is available for original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Works eligible for copyright registration include poetry, novels, music, and artwork.

You must be the author and owner of the work to register it with the Copyright Office. The work must also be original to you and fixed in a tangible medium of expression as defined in Section 102(a).

Deposit Fee

You can mail your application to the U.S. Copyright Office, along with a check or money order for the filing fee and deposit copies of your work.

The address is:

Copyright Office Library of Congress Washington, DC 20559-6000 USA.

Application Submission

The U.S. Copyright Office accepts electronic registrations through its Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system by credit card payment only. You can also register your copyright in person, by mail or fax, and by phone.

You can also submit a paper application form with two copies of the work to be copyrighted and a check or money order for $20 made payable to the “Register of Copyrights.”  The application must be sent to:

Address: Library of Congress–U.S. Copyright Office–101 Independence Ave., S.E.–Washington, DC 20559-6000.

Reasons To Register Your Copyright

There are two main reasons to register your copyright:

  • It’s not necessary to register your work, but it will ensure that you can sue for infringement if someone else steals it.
  • You can prove that you know about the infringement and have not consented to it by filing a complaint with the court.


Copyright registration is a good idea for anyone who wants to protect their work. It’s also a very straightforward process, so there’s no reason not to do it! Just remember that registering your copyright does not give you complete protection for your creative work. You still need to take steps like using a copyright notice and registering the work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office before you can sue someone for infringement on these grounds.

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