Steps for Filing a Website Copyright

Remember that I'm not a lawyer. This is what I did to file my copyrights, but you should always talk to a lawyer to make sure your own works are properly and legally covered. Note that this is the manual process. You can also do an online process if you wish.

1) Put All Content onto a CD
Don't zip it or anything else. Just copy all with drag-and-drop as straight HTML, ASP, TXT, or whatever format you are using for your site. You want those files to be as easy to read as possible by the office workers who process your application.

2) Print out 5 Representative Pages
There has to be something printed to go with the CD, so that the reviewers get a sense of what your content is all about.

3) Fill out a Form TX
This is your copyright submission form. You can get a Form TX complete with full instructions from the US Copyright Form Listing Page. Fill out the TX form with complete accuracy, this is going to be a legal document. Contact them if you have questions.

4) Mail In Your Form, CD, Printouts and Payment
Put everything into a padded envelope and mail it in with your check to pay for the registration. Now wait a few months - it takes them time to review all of the submissions they are getting! You will get a letter back in the mail when everything is complete.

5) Repeat Every Year
The copyright office can only register what you send it. If you add new content to your site after you mail in your CD, obviously that new material is not covered. You need to make a new CD each year, or more frequently depending on your rate of writing, to ensure that there is not a huge gap between when something is created and when you get around to legally protecting it.

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