How to Register a Copyright in South Dakota


This article is to help guide you through the process of registering your copyright, what that means and why it’s important.

What is a copyright?

A copyright is a legal claim of ownership over a creative work. The purpose of copyright is to ensure that the owner of the work has control over how it’s used, who can use it, and whether or not they’ll be compensated for their efforts.

Copyright covers all sorts of creative works: books, music, images, software code, videos, and websites. You might think that because you’re creating something for personal use that it’s not something anyone would want to steal from you—but trust us: if you come up with something unique and valuable enough that it could be sold or licensed as part of someone else’s business model, then someone will try to steal it from you.

Do I need to Register my Copyright?

You do not need to register your copyright in South Dakota. However, it is a good idea to do so because it creates a record of when you created the work and may be helpful if someone else claims that they made the same or similar work first. You may also be able to recover some costs if you prevail in any lawsuits against infringers by using your registration as evidence that you were the first creator.

And finally, if you don’t register your work within three months of publication in the U.S., it becomes harder for others who want to use it later on under fair use laws (see below).

How Do I Register my Copyright?

You can register your copyright at the U.S. Copyright Office in one of two ways: online or by mail. If you prefer to register in person, there are regional offices where you can do so; however, these are not as readily accessible as the main office in Washington, D.C., or its branch offices around the country. Additionally, if you want to fax a copy of your application form instead of mailing it out and waiting for someone to process it (or sending an email), there is a special fax number provided on their website that enables that option as well.

How Much Does it Cost to Register my Copyright?

The price of registering your copyright depends on how long your work is. The fee is the same for all works and is $35 for any length.

This fee does not include the cost of buying a copy of your registration certificate. You can purchase the certificate for an additional $20 per copy.

Protect your Original Work

Copyright registration is the first step in protecting your work. Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office offers several important benefits:

    You can sue for copyright infringement if someone uses your material without permission.

    Your registration will be considered proof of ownership in court proceedings.

    It’s a good investment that will help you sell more copies of your book later on down the line.


Registering your copyright is the first step towards protecting your original work. If you want to protect your content from others using it without permission, then it’s important that you register as soon as possible. Even if someone else registers before you do—and this happens more often than you might think—you can still fight back by asserting your own rights under the law.

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