How Do I Register?
Check out the U.S. Copyright Office.
Registration is a simple, but somewhat time consuming process, probably why the majority of copyright holders do not register their work. You fill out a form, pay a fee and submit a copy of your work, either on line or via regular mail, which the copyright office calls a deposit. The copyright office encourages on-line registration, payment and uploading of the copy of your work through the new electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Your copyright registration is effective on the date the Copyright office receives a completed application, so registering on-line is faster too.
The on-line process costs $35 per submission, compared to $50 - $65 for mail-in applications. Currently eCO only accepts basic registrations – single work, a collection of unpublished work by the same author and owner or multiple published works by the same author if they are contained in the same piece, such as songs on a CD.
Photographers who shoot hundreds or thousands of images a year can register them as collections (subject to some limitations), and pay one fee, rather than a fee for each image. If you are registering a collection, don’t mix published and unpublished images and for published work, it has to have been published in the same year.