In general, original works of authorship are protected under United States copyright law from the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Filing a copyright registration is a legal formality, which is not a condition of copyright protection. Even so, the copyright law provides several advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Circular 1 published by the United States Copyright Office summarizes these advantages and provides instructions for preparing and filing a copyright registration application. (See Circular 1, p. 7.)
Additional information about the copyright registration process is provided at the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) Registration System webpage. The filing fee can vary based on the type of application, as set forth on the Copyright Office Schedule of Fees.