Filing a Website Copyright Online

While you can certainly file your website copyright the old fashioned mailing-paper way, you can also do it much more quickly and easily by submitting the information online. Here are the steps I took to do this in June 2011, with the interface at that point.

First, I went to www.copyright.gov and followed the link on their homepage to their Electronic Copyright Office (ECO). They wanted me to register a new account. I did so, and it took less than a minute. It was instantly live.

Now it was time to register my copyright. I clicked the link to Register a New Claim, then clicked on Start Registration. Since I have both articles and photos on my site, but it's primarily articles, the instructions tell me to use the category of the main type of content. That is, they want me to register my website as Literary Work. So I chose that. Then I clicked continue.

I chose the title category, and gave it my website name - LisaShea.com. I clicked on "Save". You put in the creation date and save it. You add your author name and save it.

A few more easy to fill in pages and you can even save your entire application as a "template" to use in future years.

Time to pay. You can pay through check (filling in the routing numbers online) or pay via credit card.

It's a little confusing, but you don't upload your content until AFTER you pay. So now is when you upload the zip file. Zip up all the pages involved in your website and then click the "upload" button to get them into the system. If anything, this took the longest time for me because I had to actually zip the files. Plus you can only load up 170mb per file - and my final file was 5.8 *gig* in size. So clearly my site is far too large to submit online :) I had to print out a shipping slip and put the files onto two DVDs. But still, you can see how the process would have worked if my website was smaller.

All told, assuming my file had uploaded, it took less than 15 minutes!

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