How to Register a Copyright in Iowa


Iowa is a great place. The weather is usually very nice, the people are friendly, and there are plenty of things to do here in the state. However, one thing that Iowa isn’t known for is its copyright registration process. But don’t worry! We will walk you through all the required steps that you need to follow in order to register a copyright in Iowa.

How To Register a Copyright in Iowa

Registering copyright in Iowa is simple. Several things make it as easy as any registration process that exists. Here’s how to get your work registered:

  • Find out what you need to register your work.
  • Gather the information required to complete the registration process.
  • Complete and submit the application A solid understanding of what constitutes copyrightable subject matter is critical for success when registering a literary work in Iowa or elsewhere. Although the Copyright Act contains an exhaustive list of works that are not eligible for federal protection, those rules do not apply at the state level—a fact that may come as a surprise to many authors who assume all works must be federally registered in order to enjoy protection against infringement under state law

Iowa’s Library has Several Advantages over Other Libraries

If you’re looking for a place to register a copyright, Iowa’s library is the perfect place. The Iowa City Public Library has several advantages over other libraries.

First, it’s located in Iowa City, which is home to one of the largest universities in the state. This makes it easy for students and professors from across the country to visit our library and learn about how we can help protect their work.

Second, because this library offers services that are open to everyone—not just members of a certain group or organization—we have access to more people than most other libraries do. By opening our doors to anyone who wants them opened (and locking them when necessary), we’re able to reach more potential copyright holders. Thirdly—and perhaps most importantly—our collection at this location contains many rare manuscripts written by well-known authors such as Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe.

Documentation to be Submitted

  • Provide a copy of your work. We’ll need to see a hard copy of it, so please don’t send any digital files or links.
  • Provide a copy of your copyright registration. This should be issued by the Register of Copyrights at the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C., or from another official source such as an attorney in Iowa or another state. If you aren’t sure where your certificate is located, call our office for assistance (1-800-275-4667).
  • Provide a copy of your identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID card, along with either its corresponding number or expiration date printed on it somewhere—and make sure that number matches up with what we have on file.

If you can provide the proper documentation to start with, your work will be available within 48 hours.

Copyright Helps You Protect Your Work

The ability for the public to examine copies of your work without charge makes it much easier for you to prove your copyright.

In many cases, when someone else steals your work (such as by copying it) or infringes upon your copyright (by using a substantial portion of your work in their own), you may be able to sue them for damages and other legal remedies. The one thing that will make this process easier is if there are multiple people who can testify that they saw the original piece before it was copied. This is because most people don’t have access to copyrighted materials except through obtaining them through libraries or bookstores, which means they would need access points where they could compare an original with its later versions.


  • Registering with Iowa is a great idea for several reasons. First, it’s free. Second, the state has an excellent reputation for delivering copies of your work quickly. If you send in a book or other published material, they’ll have it back to you within the week. Third, there are no additional fees to file an application (unlike some other states), so once you’ve paid your initial fee and filled out the form, there aren’t any other costs involved until someone wants to use your copyrighted work commercially.
  • The process is simple and quick. To register copyright in Iowa all you need do is fill out a simple form available from their website or at any library branch near where you live. Then submit it along with two copies of what will eventually become one copy of your copyrighted work (e.g., two hard copies of one novel).


We hope you found this article helpful in learning how to register a copyright in Iowa. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like assistance with your registration process.

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