How to Register a Copyright in Maryland


Registering a copyright is a simple process, but it has important repercussions. The following information will help you to determine which works need to be registered and how to register a copyright in Maryland.

Determine Which Works Need to be Register

You can register any work that is original and fixed in a tangible medium. This includes literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, and pictorial works, manuscripts of all kinds, photographs, maps, and globes, architectural works, motion pictures, and other audiovisual works, sound recordings (including accompanying words), non-literal elements of software user interfaces, computer-generated artistic renderings.

Gather the Relevant Material

To register your copyright in Maryland, gather the following information:

  • Title of the work.
  • Author’s name.
  • Type of work (e.g., book, song, painting).
  • Year created.

Create a Formal Application for the Work

  • Create a formal application for the work.
  • Use the correct form.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary information, including the name and address of the copyright owner, the title of the work, and the statement “I declare under penalty of perjury that the information given in this application is true”.

Make sure you have all the necessary fees, which are $65 per registration plus $30 per each additional category (this fee is subject to change). You may pay by check or money order payable to “Register of Copyrights.” You cannot pay by credit card on our website or over the telephone at this time, however, we will accept payment by credit card if you mail your application via USPS Mail with payment made by check or cashier’s check only).

Please note: If your application is rejected because it does not include enough copies or some other deficiency, you will be notified by mail at no charge to you, however, if an error on your part causes us to reject your application after reviewing it (for example, if we discover that one of your copies was not printed on white paper), we will charge $50 plus postage costs (for first class mail) as well as any fees associated with processing a second copy containing an error that could reasonably be avoided through reasonable care when preparing forms electronically via our website or through email attachment sent directly from an applicant’s email account(s) without scanning them into another format such as PDF format prior to submitting via postal service delivery method.).

Submit the Application

To submit your application, you’ll need to provide:

  • A copy of the work that you want to register.
  • A typed or printed copy of the application.
  • The fee for registration (is currently $30).
  • A filing receipt and date of deposit with the Library of Congress (if you’re not using an online form).
  • Copies of any copyright notices that have been published in connection with the work, such as newspaper articles and advertisements.

Pay the Fees and Send in your Application

After you have completed the application, go to the Maryland Copyright Office to pay your $50 fee.

Send in your application and payment by mail with a check or money order (please do not send cash).

Address: Maryland State Archives – Division of Cinema and Recorded Sound Preservation Office of Intellectual Property Rights, 500 N Liberty St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2434.


Registering a copyright gives you the right to sue anyone who infringes on your work by using it without permission or paying royalties. If you don’t register the copyright, you can only sue for actual damages (the amount of money lost due to someone else’s theft). The longer you wait to file, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to recoup any revenue from an infringement.

It’s also worth noting that even if someone has stolen your work and published it as their own, there are circumstances under which they may not be held accountable—if they made a “fair use” of your material (for example, if they used some small portion of your work as part of a larger piece), then they’re probably safe from legal action. However, registering your copyright helps protect against these situations too: If someone uses portions of something that was originally yours in their own creative works, then those portions become part of whatever new thing they’ve created (like an album or film). In this way, registration acts like insurance, while not all cases end up in court anyway because most people won’t want things getting ugly between them and creators who provide services/goods/etc., having registered material means that there’s no doubt about its ownership status before anything happens.


We hope you found this guide helpful in understanding how to register copyright in Maryland. It can be a confusing process, but with the right information and help from an expert, it’s not all that difficult. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns as they come up during your registration process.

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