How to Register a Copyright in West Virginia


The U.S. Copyright Office is the federal agency that registers copyrights and issues copyright certificates in the United States. If you’re an artist, writer, musician, or other creator of original works of expression like computer software code, you can protect your work by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office. While many people think that registration isn’t necessary for creative works (and it isn’t), it’s still a very good idea to register your work as soon as possible after publication or public display of your creation because doing so will provide legal protection against infringement by someone else’s use of your work without permission or payment

Check Whether your Work Meets the Requirements for a Copyright

Before you begin the process of registering a copyright, it’s important to make sure that your work is eligible. To do this, you must determine whether the following criteria are met:

  • The work must be original. In other words, it must not be an exact copy of someone else’s work or idea.
  • The work must be fixed in some tangible medium of expression. This means that your written piece has been recorded somehow and is not just part of an oral presentation or performance (such as a play).
  • Your novel may be unpublished but still, qualify for protection under copyright law if it meets all other requirements for being granted one—namely that it was created by its author and does not violate any other laws regarding plagiarism or fraudulence.

Check Whether your Work has already been Copyrighted Elsewhere

Before you register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you should check whether or not it has already been copyrighted elsewhere. If so, then registering the work in West Virginia will not add any extra protections for you because it would be protected by copyright law in other countries as well.

You can also check similar works that have been registered in other states before filing copyright in West Virginia to ensure that your work does not duplicate someone else’s intellectual property rights (IPR).

Find the Right Application Form

To register a copyright in West Virginia, you must submit:

  • A completed application form.
  • Two copies of each work that are to be registered. If you are registering multiple works, they must be contained in a single package or envelope that includes a statement listing the titles and authorship of each individual work. The statutory filing fee for registering up to 20 works is $55 per title and $130 for 21 or more titles (for example, if you’re submitting three books).

Fill Out all of the Pertinent Information

When you’re filling out the application form, make sure to fill in all of the appropriate information. If you have any questions about what is required on the form, contact your local copyright office or an attorney.

Make sure that you understand all of the forms and how to fill them out completely. There are multiple forms that need to be filled out when applying for a copyright, so make sure you have read through them before submitting them to ensure that they meet all of your needs (and don’t forget about any fees or other requirements).

When submitting your application form, there are several things that you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have filled out all required areas. If there are any missing pieces then it could delay processing time and/or cause additional issues with submission approval.
  • Make sure everything appears legible. Use an easy-to-read font size such as 12-point Times New Roman (which may seem small but is readable at a distance) on plain white paper without lines or borders around each section.

Prepare your Work or a Sample

You will need to prepare a description of the work and how you created it. The description should be as detailed as possible, including any previous versions or drafts. A copy of the actual copyrighted work may also be submitted with this form, but this is not required by law.

A copyright application can be filed on an unpublished or published work. If your work has already been published, you must provide information about where it was published and when. There are different rules for registering music that has not been previously distributed than those that govern other forms of art such as paintings or sculptures; however, it is important to note that even if a piece of music has been registered with BMI (the performance rights organization responsible for administering mechanical licenses), there is still no guarantee that its author will receive royalties from sales of their song via other mediums after their initial registration expires due to lackadaisical enforcement practices at BMI’s headquarters in New York City.

Submit the Completed Application Form

The next step is to submit the completed application form and fee to the U.S. Copyright Office. You can do this by mail or in person, depending on where you live. The Copyright Office will send you a certificate of registration once they have received your application and fee.


You can register a copyright in West Virginia if you follow all the steps mentioned above. Keep in mind that you cannot copyright a name, title, or slogan. A phrase that is common in the language cannot be copyrighted. A work that has been published before and that is not owned by you cannot be copyrighted.


As you can see, it is not difficult to register a copyright in West Virginia. However, there are some important things to remember when filing for one. First and foremost, your work must be original and have enough creativity to qualify for protection under the law; second, it must also be fixed in a tangible form (such as on paper or electronically). Once these criteria have been met—and assuming that no other person has already registered their copyright on the same work—you should be good to go.

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