May 29, 2020 is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Articles for Entrepreneurs




How Much Does A Copyright Cost?

How much does a copyright cost? That depends on a lot of factors . . . But maybe the better question is how much could it cost your business to not have a copyright?

A copyright secures exclusive rights to original, created works.
(article continues below)

Businesses frequently use copyrights to protect various types of intellectual property including written content, music, artistic or graphic works, and more.

The process of obtaining a copyright is easy. But to further reinforce ownership of original content, many individuals and businesses choose to register their copyrights with the federal government and other international legal jurisdictions and that's where the cost of copyrighting begins to really add up.

Although there is an expense associated with copyrighting, without copyrights your original works could be vulnerable in the public domain. If the possibility of losing exclusive rights to a piece of material is simply unacceptable, you'll need to seriously consider coming up with the cash to pursue an airtight copyright in the U.S. and around the world.

Obtaining a Copyright

Most entrepreneurs don't realize that copyrights are free. That's right you don't need to spend a dime to obtain copyright for your original material. In fact, you automatically have a copyright on your material at the moment of its creation. Unless it was created in a "work for hire" arrangement, you aren't required to take any additional steps to copyright your original work.

Registration Costs

Even though it won't cost you anything to copyright your work, registering your copyright is a different story. A copyright registration serves as legal proof of ownership for a specific piece of work and can significantly bolster your position in a copyright infringement case. It costs $35 to register a copyright online with the U.S. Copyright Office (or $50 to register with a barcode form; $65 to register with a simple paper form). Even though the costs aren't significant, we recommend filing your copyright online since the waiting period for online registration is 9 months compared to 22 months for a paper application. International copyright registration requires additional fees based on the filing processes in specific foreign jurisdictions.

Copyright Attorney Fees

Copyright attorneys charge approximately $250 per filing. This may sound like an unnecessary expense, but if your copyright involves multiple authors, international registration, or other complications, it may be money well spent.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about this topic? If so, you will enjoy these articles:

Does My Business Need A Copyright?
What Is A Copyright?
Does A Copyright Cover Me Internationally?
Copyright State and Federal Differences

Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice  Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code
Problem Viewing Image
Load New Code



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Search Engine Marketing

Social Marketing Optimization

Business Forms

Business in the Jungle - Business in Fiction - Negotiating

Radio Ad Costs

Newspaper Advertising Rates

City-Specific Resources for Entrepreneurs

Small Business Insurance

Global Entrepreneurship

China & Entrepreneurs