How to Register a Copyright in Minnesota


Copyright registration is a process that involves filing with the U.S. Copyright Office, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact, it’s easier to do than most people realize. You can even register a copyright in Minnesota online so that you don’t have to mail anything in or take time out of your day for the post office.

About Copyright

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

For example, copyright law protects the following:

  • Literary works (including computer programs).
  • Musical compositions (including accompanying words).
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music (such as a musical play or opera).
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works.

 Submit a Completed Application Form

  • A nonrefundable filing fee is not required for online applications. The fee is currently set at $35 for a single work or $45 for multiple works.
  • A nonreturnable copy of the work is to be registered if you do not submit your application online. This can be a paper copy or a digital file (PDF, JPEG).
  • Complete instructions on how to submit your application in person and by mail are available on our website. You may also choose to submit an application electronically by following these steps:
  • Go to one of the following URLs:
  • Select either Form CO – Application To Register A Claim In A Copyright Or Sound Recording Under The 1976 Act, or Form VA – Application To Enforce Copyrights Under 17 Usc Section 501 Against Unauthorized Uses Of The Work In Your Name As Author Of That Work, depending on whether this is an original work or a derivative work (such as an adaptation). Then click SEND APPLICATION FORMS TO COPYRIGHT OFFICE.
  • Fill out the form with all required information including your name and address. Select from one of three options regarding who owns the copyright in the material being registered (Author-Owner, Employer-Employee, Publisher-Author). Check off appropriate boxes for any additional material that might have been included with this application form but was omitted intentionally during the submission process due to its size exceeding allowable limits per page(s).

Online Registration

Online registration is usually easier than submitting a paper application, but it costs more because of the convenience. If you want to register a copyright in Minnesota for a single work, the fee for online registration is $35 plus an extra $35 if you wish to have your certificate mailed to you by mail.

If you are registering multiple works, or related works (such as volumes), then there is no additional cost for having your certificate mailed by mail. The cost for mailing in an application varies depending on whether or not your work has already been registered before and how many copies of the work being registered are being submitted at once.

To register online:

  • Go to and click on “Register” (or follow this link).
  • Read and agree with the terms of the service agreement (which includes paying any required fees).
  • Fill out all fields except for “Work Title”, “ISBN”, “Publisher Name”, and “Author Name”. Fill these in after submitting your application so that they don’t get lost during transmission.

The Copyright Office recommends using their eCO Online Application because it allows users to apply quickly without having access issues due to internet connectivity problems or other technical difficulties that may arise when trying something new like this process requires.

If you want to submit an application via mail or hand delivery, download forms from the U.S. Copyright Office’s website or contact the office at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 [TTY] to have an application mailed to you.

Consider Registering Online

The quickest and most convenient way to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is online through the Electronic Copyright Office (ECO). You can file an application and pay the fee online, or you can mail in your application form with a check or money order made out to “Register of Copyrights.”

The benefits of filing your copyright electronically are that it’s faster than mailing in a paper application, less prone to delays and mistakes, more secure against fraud, and less expensive than filing an application by mail. The cost for electronic filing is $65 per work plus $55 per registration number—if you’re registering multiple works at once then the fee is pro-rated based on how many people are cited as co-authors on each work.


Once you register a copyright in Minnesota, you will receive a certificate of registration in the mail. You should keep it safe because it proves ownership of your work. If you need to enforce your rights in court, this certificate is often required as evidence that you own the copyright or have been granted permission by the owner to reproduce their work on behalf of someone else.

Your registration also entitles you to certain benefits such as statutory damages and attorney’s fees if there are any disputes over ownership or infringement. These protections are important because copyrights can be infringed without anyone knowing unless they are registered first.

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