Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Electronic Copyright Registration For Illustrators

© 2014 Don Arday.
The least expensive and quickest way to register an illustration with the Library
of Congress Copyright Office is to do it electronically.

Although electronic registration may be convenient way to do, it isn’t necessarily as easy as it should be. So, as complicated as this article may appear,
it is an attempt to help make the process easier and to clarify some of the confounding portions of the eCO application.

1. Access the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO)

Go to http://www.copyright.gov/eco/ using one of the following browsers.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
Netscape Navigator 7.02
Firefox 2.0

Disable pop-up blockers and 3rd party toolbars.
Select Open Links as a New Tab or As New Window in your browser preferences.

2. Create an eCO Account

Create a user account with login, password, and contact info at

3. Fill Out the eCO Application Form

Click on Register a New Claim.

Proceed through the data entry screens.

The fee for electronic filing is $35 per claim payable through pay.gov at the end of the application process.

Type of Claim

Identify the type of claim being registered.

To the prompt I am registering one work.
Answer Yes if you are registering a single illustration.

Answer No if you are registering more than one work, an unpublished collection such as a portfolio, a published collection like a series of illustrations in a children’s book, a multi-part work like a book cover series, a website, Multiple works as part of a Group registration like an author and illustrator together.

To the prompt The work being registered was created by one individual.
Answer Yes if the work you are registering was created by one individual and is solely owned by the same individual.

Answer No if the work you are registering was created by more than one individual or the work was created as a “work made for hire

To the prompt Copyright in the work is solely owned by the person who created it.
Answer Yes if the work was created by a single individual who is the sole copyright owner.

Answer No if there is more than one owner of copyright in the work you are registering or there has been a transfer of copyright ownership by written agreement or operation of law, from the work’s creator to another party

Type of Work

Identify the type of work being registered.

Select Visual Arts if you are registering a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. Visual Arts works include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, technical drawings, and architectural works.

To register Multiple Unpublished Works as a Single Claim with a single application and fee, they must be grouped as a collection under a single Collection Title and must meet the following requirements: At least one author must have contributed to every work, and the ownership of every work in the collection must be the same. This means that the authors of each work must be the same.

Title(s) of Work

Title the work(s).

Click Title Type to select the type of title. The options are Title of Work Being Registered, Previous or Alternative Title, Title of a Larger Work, Series Title, and Contents Title.

Select Title of Work Being Registered first whether you are registering a single illustration or a collection, then enter the title.

Then select Contents Title and add the titles of each image if entering a collection of work.

Click Save and repeat the process for each additional work.

Publication Confirmation

Confirm whether it has been published.

Select Yes or No.  
Publication results from the distribution of copies of a work to the public by sale, lending or other transfer of ownership. A work is also "published" if there has been an offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display. A public performance or display does not, by itself, constitute "publication".

Authorship Declaration/Contribution

Name the author(s) of the work being registered.

Click Add Me if you are an author and your name appears in the User Profile for this account.

Click New to add an author not associated with the account.             
Then click Save and repeat the process for each additional author.

The application should name all the authors of the authorship being registered. Be sure to enter a citizenship status.   
Select all categories that describe the author’s contribution.
Text Photograph(s) / Jewelry Design / Architectural Work / 2-D Artwork
Sculpture / Map / Technical Drawing / Other                                                                                                                                                             


Identify the copyright claimant(s) in this work.

Click Add Me if you are the claimant and your name appears in the User Profile for this account.

Click New to add a claimant not associated with the account.            
Then click Save and repeat the process for each additional claimant. 
The author is the original copyright claimant. The claimant may          
also be a person or organization to whom copyright has been transferred. A claimant must own the copyright in all the authorship covered by this registration.

Limitation of a Claim

Identify any possible claim limitations.

Click Continue to proceed if your work does not contain any preexisting material.

Complete this screen to limit your claim if this work contains or is based on previously registered material, previously published material, material in the public domain, or material not owned by you. The purpose of this section is to exclude such material from the claim and identify the new material upon which the present claim is based.

If the claim contains preexisting material then identify the following.
Declare the material to be excluded.
Text / Photograph(s) / Jewelry Design / Architectural Work / 2-D Artwork
Sculpture / Map / Technical Drawing / Other                                                                                                                            
Supply the previous registration # and date of registration.
Text / Photograph(s) / Jewelry Design / Architectural Work / 2-D Artwork
Sculpture / Map / Technical Drawing / Other    

Rights and Permissions

Identify a contact person to manage the copyright.

You may identify yourself.

Or you may provide contact information for a person and/or organization to be contacted regarding copyright management information or permission to use this work.


Identify who should be contacted concerning the application.

You may identify yourself.

Or you may provide contact information for a person and/or organization to be contacted regarding the copyright application.

Mail Certificate

Provide the name and address to which the registration certificate should be mailed.         
You may identify yourself.

Or you may provide contact information for a person and/or organization.

Special Handling (Not Recommended)

An expedited processing and delivery service for filers who must satisfy one or more of the compelling reasons below. The fee ranges from $760 and up.

Pending or prospective litigation.  
Customs matters.                 
Contract or publishing deadlines that necessitate an expedited issuance of a certificate.


Agree to the prompt and provide the name of the certifier.  

The Application must be certified by the author, copyright claimant, or owner of exclusive right(s), or by the authorized agent of any of the preceding. 
17 USC 506(e): Any person who knowingly makes a false representation of a material fact in the application for copyright registration provided by section 409, or in any written statement filed with the application, shall be fined not more than $2500.

Review Submission

Review the entire submission on this screen.

If you need to revise any information, you can return to the appropriate data entry screen to make the revision. Proceed when the entire submission is correct.

Click Add to Cart if the entire submission is correct.      
Warning: Once you submit your application, you cannot make changes to it. Therefore, review the information carefully before proceeding. 

4. Payment

Click Checkout. You will be redirected to pay.gov.

Proceed through the payment data screens.

Payment Method

Select either Deposit Account or Credit Card/ACH.

The direct deposit option is for a direct transfer from your bank account.

Provide your account type (checking or savings), your bank’s routing number, and your account number.

Review and authorize payment, and provide email address for confirmation.

Credit Card
Pay via Mastercard, VISA, American Express, or Discover.

Provide your account holder name, billing address (for the card), card number, security code, and the expiration date.

Review and authorize payment, and provide email address for confirmation.

Direct Deposit
The deposit account option is for payment from a pre-established account.

Review and authorize payment.

5. Upload Your Images

Convert your file type to one of the following formats

You can review eCO acceptable image file types formats at http://www.copyright.gov/eco/help-file-types.html. Visit http://www.copyright.gov/eco/tips.pdf for eCO Tips on file size, band width and creating ZIP files.

.bmp (Bitmap Image)
.dwg (AutoCAD Drawing)
.dwf (Autodesk Design)
.fdr (Final Draft)
.gif, .giff (Graphics Interchange Format)
.jpg, .jpeg, .jfif (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
.pdf (Portable Document Format)
.pic, .pict (Picture File)
.png (Portable Network Graphic)
.psd (Photoshop Document)
.pub (Microsoft Publisher)
.tga (Targa Graphic)
.tif, .tiff (Tagged Image File Format)
.wmf (Windows Metafile)

Choose a Delivery Method

Work may be delivered online or by mail. The process outlined in this article is for is for online delivery.

Click Upload Online to upload digital copies of your work.

The work must be either unpublished work, work published only electronically,
Published work for which the deposit requirement is identifying material, or published work for which there are special agreements requiring a hard-copy deposit to be sent separately to the Library of Congress.

Verify that it is a correct category for upload, an acceptable file type, and an acceptable file size.

Click Browse to select the file(s) on your computer for uploading.

Click Submit Files To Copyright Office.

Then click Close if when you are notified that the upload was successful to end your session.


Safari and Google Chrome are not supported.
To review and print documents you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.
The open new tab option must be selected in the browser preferences to view page links on the eCO site during the registration process.
The eCO system is offline every Saturday from 10pm until 6am Sunday.


A published work may be registered as unpublished up to 90 days after the original date of publication.
Multiple works may be registered as a collection for a single application fee.
An application in progress may be saved at any time.
Every application is given an individual case number.

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