How to Register a Copyright in Tennessee


So you’ve written a novel, drawn some comics, or recorded an album. You’re ready to share it with the world. But before you do that, there’s a little something called copyright law that you should know about. Copyright doesn’t just apply to books and movies—it applies to any original work of art created by humans.

Filing with the U.S. Copyright Office

The United States Copyright Office is the federal agency that registers works with the U.S. government, protecting them from unauthorized reproduction or distribution. The process of registering your copyright with the office is free and easy—all you have to do is fill out an application form online and wait for your registration number to be assigned.

There are some things you should know about registering with the U.S. Copyright Office:

  • It’s not actually required for most types of works (like books, music recordings, etc.). However, it’s still a good idea because it gives you certain legal advantages if someone tries to steal your work or create something very similar without credit or payment—for example, if they sell copies of your book without getting permission first.
  • You can still get protection even if someone else has registered their own version before yours becomes available, however, this may require additional legal action on behalf of both parties involved

Looking for a Copy of your Work

  • Search online. If you can’t find a copy of your work in any of the places listed above, try searching online using the name and date of your work.
  • Search in the library. A librarian might be able to help you find a copy of your work if it’s a published book or magazine article, but they probably won’t be able to help you find an unpublished manuscript or piece of music.
  • Search in the office. The Library of Congress has copies of everything that’s been published since 1978 (which includes nearly all works created between 1978 and today). Some private organizations also keep archives that may include older publications; for example, ProQuest has access to old newspapers’ archives from around 1865 onwards—check with them if you don’t see what you need on Google Books or other similar services.


You are the owner of your copyright. You can transfer ownership to someone else, give someone permission to use your work, or sell or give away your copyright.

To transfer ownership:

  • You must sign and date an agreement giving someone else full rights to the work (sometimes called a “transfer of interest”). An assignee is a person you’re transferring ownership to.
  • If you and another person have signed no written assignment agreement, then that person doesn’t own what legally belongs only to you (unless both of you are using it as joint authors).

Filing Could Protect you from Legal Issues

Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office is one way to protect yourself from potential legal issues down the road. Copyright will provide you with proof of ownership and allow you to sue for damages if someone infringes on your copyright.

You should register as soon as possible, especially if you plan on selling or licensing your designs because it can take some time before the copyright is approved by the U.S. Copyright Office. If you register early enough and continue to use the design after receiving approval letters from them, then it can also make it easier for courts to recognize that they have jurisdiction over intellectual property law violations involving artwork if they ever occur in Tennessee or other states with similar laws (or even internationally).


Filing copyright is a great way to protect your work. The process is simple and can save you from legal issues down the line. If you’re looking for more information on how to register your copyright in Tennessee.

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