New E-Copyright-ing!

The U.S. Copyright Office “is conducting a beta test of its web-based registration system, electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Participants in eCO beta testing will file basic registration claims online at a reduced fee established for electronic filings ($35). eCO beta testing covers basic registration claims for literary works, visual arts works, performing arts works, sound recordings, and single serials. Other claim types and services will be offered via eCO at a later date.”

This process is quick and easy-to-use (and ten dollars cheaper than conventional filing)! Once an account is set up, you can use eCO for any future claims, with all your pertinent information saved for later as a template. I was able to fill out a typical application online, pay the fee online through a site backed by the U.S. Treasury, then upload all three files related to my claim online. Just about any form of file is accepted for upload, and you have the alternative option of mailing hard copies into the Copyright Office. eCO’s only limitation is that it currently supports only Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and Netscape Navigator 7.02: “Internet Explorer 7.0 and Firefox 2.0 may work also. The Safari browser is not currently certified for use with the eCO system.” However, being a Safari user, I got around this by using Camino and had no problems.

To become a beta tester for eCO click here, for information and a link to the online invitation application. Once applying, the Copyright Office will contact you by email on how to proceed next – just follow all email instructions carefully, and you’re set!

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