How to Register a Copyright in North Dakota


Registering a copyright is the first step in protecting your work. It’s also important to note that registration allows you to sue for certain types of infringement and provides certain advantages when entering into licensing agreements. If you’re not sure if you should register, this guide will help walk you through the process and answer some common questions about registering copyright in North Dakota.

Online Copyright Registration

The copyright registration procedure typically begins online.

You can register your work in North Dakota by mail or in person at the U.S. Copyright Office (you have to hand-deliver the application materials). You may also be able to do it over the phone if you’re using a computer that’s connected to a modem and has access to an Internet connection.

Create an Account on the eCO Website

The first step to registering your copyright is to create an account on the eCO website. To do this, you will have to provide your name, address, and social security number. You will also need a payment method and an email address. Finally, you should provide your phone number so that they can verify your identity by phone if necessary.

Once you have created an account on the eCO website with all of these pieces of information provided correctly and accurately, it’s time for the next step: entering information about what it is you want to register as copyrighted material.

Click the Link to Register a New Claim

Create an Account: To register a new claim, you must have an account on the eCO website. You can create one by clicking “Sign In” in the upper right corner of the screen and then clicking “New User?” in the dropdown menu.

Enter Owner Information: When creating your account, you will be asked to enter information about yourself including your name, address, and email address. You will also need to provide information about whoever owns or controls all rights in the work being registered (the owner) such as their name, title/position within the company name, etc.

Enter Claimant Information: You will also be required to enter information about yourself (the claimant) such as your name, address, and phone number so that people who want to contact you can do so easily if necessary.

Enter your Contact Information

  • Contact Information.
  • Required Information About The Owner Of The Copyright.

Contact information consists of your name, mailing address, and e-mail address. You will also need to provide the title of the work being registered as well as information about who owns it (this would be you). This is often done by providing your copyright registration number or some other identification that can be traced back to you.

If there is more than one owner of the copyright, you’ll also need to enter information about the claimant.

The next step is to enter information about the claimant, which is the person or entity that is claiming ownership of the copyrighted work. The name of this party should also be entered in this section.

If there is more than one owner of a work, you’ll need to provide information about each owner and how they own their shares (e.g., 50% owned by ABC Corp., 10% owned by XYZ Inc.).

Select the Type of Work Being Registered 

Now you will choose the type of work being registered. This is essentially a brief description of the work and should be as specific as possible. It’s helpful to think about how people might describe your work if they were describing it in conversation. For example, if you were registering a painting you would select “Painting” from this list, but if your painting was included in an art show or sold piece by piece at an art gallery then “Visual Arts (Applied)” might be more appropriate because it would allow others to find your copyright during searches for applied arts.

 Enter the Title of your Work

You’ll then be asked to enter the “title” of your work. If there is no title, you may type in a word or phrase that describes it instead (e.g., “photograph”). The title should be as specific as possible. This will help anyone who searches for your work online find what they’re looking for, as well as make it clear which works are yours when others use similar titles.

On this screen, you will answer questions that establish whether your work was made for hire and also provide publication information.

If the work is determined to be a work made for hire, then you are not eligible to file a copyright registration in your name (but the employer may register the work on their own).

A work made for hire is:

1) prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment. Or

2) specially ordered or commissioned as a contribution to a collective work.

The key factor here is whether an individual has control over what gets published and when it gets published. If an individual has control over those decisions, then their sole ownership of copyright begins when they first create an original work—and no one else can claim ownership of that original creative expression under federal law.


The registration of your work is a complex process, but it is well worth the time and effort. By doing this, you can protect yourself from copyright infringement and make sure that your work is not stolen by others.

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