How to Register a Copyright in North Carolina 


Copyright registration is an important step in protecting your work. The United States Copyright Office offers a variety of different ways to register a copyright, including online registration. If you live in North Carolina, however, you must register a copyright with the state government before sending it on to the federal government for protection. This can be done through the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website or by sending documents by mail directly to the NCSCSOS Service Center.

Steps for Registering a Copyright in North Carolina

The steps include filling out an application and sending it along with the copyrightable work to the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C., along with a filing fee.

Copyright is a form of legal protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. Copyright law gives the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following:

  • Make copies or reproductions of his or her work
  • Distribute copies or reproductions of his or her work to the public by sale or other transfer for value
  • Perform his or her work publicly (such as reading aloud from a book)

The Forms and Instructions Needed to Register a Copyright

The forms and instructions needed to register copyright are available at the United States Copyright Office’s website, The forms are easy to fill out and can be downloaded in PDF format, which you can then fill out on your computer. You can also find instructions for filling out each form by clicking on the “Guidance” button next to each of these forms:

  • Form TX – Application for Transmittal of Recordation Data (pdf)
  • Form VA – Application for Registration of Claim to Renewal of Copyright (pdf)
  • Form SR – Application for Registration by Mail (pdf)

To Register Multiple Works

If you have more than one copyrightable work, you will need to submit separate forms for each work. You can’t submit one form for multiple works and you also cannot submit multiple forms for a single work.

The Copyright Office is accepting registrations only by mail or hand delivery at this time. If you are unable to mail or hand deliver your application package, please contact the Copyright Office at (202) 707-3000.

You Will Also Need an Original Electronic Copy of your Work

You will also need an original electronic copy of your work for some applications, such as those for visual arts or computer software programs. An electronic copy can be a CD or DVD with your work on it that you created yourself, or a memory stick or flash drive with the same information. If you do not have one, contact the Copyright Office to find out if there is another way to submit your materials that don’t require an electronic copy. The Copyright Office has forms and instructions on how to apply online at their website at

Provide Some Basic Information

The application also requires some basic information about your work, including its title and author’s name. If you are registering a book of poetry, for example, you will need to provide the name of the author.

Additionally, you can include a brief description of your work if you’d like. You will also need to provide information about the copyrightable work you are registering (e.g., the date of creation or publication), its medium (i.e., whether it is in print or online), and any copyright notice appearing on published copies (this includes any visible notice such as “Copyright 2018”).

Be sure to include all authors’ names on the application if there is more than one author. If you omit anyone’s name from your registration form, that person may be able to sue you for infringement later on.

If you’re registering a work that has been published or broadcasted previously, you’ll need to include copies of those materials as well as copies of your original works with your application. You should also include any previous registrations for the work. For example, if you’re registering an article that has already been published in a magazine and want to register it for copyright protection, then you’ll need both an article copy and a magazine (or other publication) copy. You may also need additional evidence regarding the date of publication and the publisher’s name.


Registering copyright in North Carolina is not that difficult. This article consists of all the information you need to know before registering it.

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