How to Register a Copyright in Maine


A copyright is a right of ownership in an original work of authorship. The owner of the copyright has certain exclusive rights to the work, including the right to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works from his or her copyrighted material. You can register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office if you want legal protection for your intellectual property in Maine or any other state. If you don’t register your copyright in Maine before publishing it, someone else may claim ownership over what you have created and prevent you from earning any profits from it. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve put together this guide on how to register a copyright in Maine with the USPTO so that no one can steal your ideas.

What is Copyright?

Copyright law is the body of law that governs the use and protection of original works of authorship. These include literary, musical, artistic, dramatic, and other works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

The term copyright applies to both published and unpublished materials. For example, if you write a song on your guitar and record it on an MP3 player or phone, this would be unpublished work. If you were to put the same song into sheet music form (a written record), then this would be considered a published work with copyright protection.

What can be Copyrighted?

It is helpful to think of copyright as a form of protection for creative endeavors. In the United States, copyright law protects “works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible medium (e.g., a book or computer file). These works can include:

  • written works.
  • musical works.
  • dramatic works.
  • pantomimes and choreographic works.
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works.

Can I Register my Copyright in Maine?

Yes, you can register your copyright in Maine. You can register a copyright in Maine for a work of art, literature, music, or dramatic or musical work. You also can register a copyright for a film, videotape, or other audio-visual work.

It’s important to note that it is not necessary to obtain formal registration in order to secure protection under federal law. However, there are advantages to formally registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office:

  • Registration establishes the date upon which your ownership rights begin.
  • It provides constructive notice to others that they may not use your work without permission (unless they fall within an exception).
  • It allows you to receive statutory damages and attorney fees if someone infringes on your protected property (assuming certain conditions are met).

Do I need to register a Copyright in Maine?

While it is necessary to register a copyright in Maine, it is highly recommended that you do so. If you don’t register your copyright with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, then it will not be protected under federal law. In this case, if someone steals or uses your work without permission and doesn’t give credit where due, there’s nothing stopping them from getting away with it.

On the other hand, if you do register your work at the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress (which can be done for free), then they will help protect against infringement by issuing takedown notices when someone infringes on another person’s intellectual property rights.

Does it Cost Money to Register a Copyright?

Yes. The cost of copyright registration is $50 for online registration and $65 for paper registration, plus a $15 fee per work being registered. If you need your copyright application processed quickly, it will cost $100 extra.

How do I Register Copyright in Maine?

You can register a copyright in Maine by filling out the application form and sending it to the U.S. Copyright Office. You must pay a fee to register your work, and you may also need to attach copies of your work if it is too large to scan or send digitally.

The registration process requires:

  • filling out an application form.
  • attaching two copies of your work (one for the Copyright Office’s records, one for yourself).

The application form includes spaces for information such as:

  • the title of your work.
  • the first name(s), last name(s), email address(es), and mailing address(es) of all authors who created this work.
  • the year when this work was first published or otherwise made publicly available.

The Copyright Office uses this information to process applications and keep track of who owns copyrights on works created in Maine so they can be properly credited when they’re used elsewhere online.

When Do I Need to Register my Copyright?

Registration is not mandatory, but you should consider registering your copyright if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or resident and want to sue someone for infringement of your work in federal court.
  • You want to bring an action against someone who has violated one of your exclusive rights under federal law, including making copies of the work, distributing copies of it online or by physical means (such as burning CDs), displaying it publicly, performing it in public or transmitting it on the radio or television.
  • You wish to prevent others from violating any rights that you have under federal law (for example, making unauthorized copies).

If you are unsure whether registration is necessary for a particular purpose, consult with a lawyer before proceeding with registration.

What Forms do I Need to Register a Copyright in Maine?

You can register a copyright in Maine with the United States Copyright Office using Form VA. If you are an individual, use Form VA-1 to submit your form. If you are a business or organization, use Form VA-4 instead.

If your work is eligible for protection under the Visual Arts Registry Program, use the form called “Registration for Multiple Works Under 17 U.S.C. Section 408(c)” (Form VA-9). This permits one application for more than one work but does not permit the registration of works that are not eligible for copyright protection under §408(c).

Finally, if any of these forms do not apply to your situation and require additional information or special handling by USPS or UPS as part of their processes before they can be accepted by USPS and shipped back to Copyright Office via mail, fill out two copies of “Request For Special Handling Of Mailing Or Package” form (Form VAFORMS).

Where do I send the Completed Copyright Registration Forms?

Copyright Office

Library of Congress

Washington, DC 20559-6000

The Copyright Office accepts copyright registrations electronically. Once you register your work, you’ll receive a certificate of registration that contains the date of your copyright registration and a description of the work registered. You can print this out for proof of your claim.


The first step to protecting your work is registering for a copyright. There are many steps involved in registering for a copyright, but it’s worth it to protect your work!

When you register for a copyright, you can prevent others from using your work without permission. This means that if someone steals or copies something from you, they may be held accountable by law.

The benefits of registering include:

  • Protecting against plagiarism and other unauthorized uses of your material by others
  • Providing legal evidence in court-related disputes about ownership (or lack thereof), which could come in handy when an artist has been accused of stealing someone else’s work or vice versa


There are many steps involved in registering for a copyright, but it’s worth it to protect your work!

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