Effective August 17, 2020, the U.S. Copyright Office will begin providing a special group registration option for “short online literary works” such as poems, short stories, articles, essays, columns, blog entries, and social media posts. This new registration option will allow applicants to cover up to 50 works with a single application and one filing fee.
In order to qualify for group registration for short online literary works:
- There must be 50-17,500 words in each work;
- Each work must be created by the same individual or individuals (if created jointly);
- Each creator must be named as the copyright claimant for each work; and
- Each work must be published online within a three-calendar-month period.
This new group registration option provides a streamlined, cost-effective path for influencers, bloggers, and other online content creators to register the copyright to their creative works. While copyright registration is not technically required to own the copyright to one’s creative works, under U.S. law, copyright owners cannot file a lawsuit against infringement until they have received a registration, or refusal to register, from the U.S. Copyright Office. Owning a registration prior to a creative work being infringed may also provide options for the owner to be awarded enhanced damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.
Because of the relatively inexpensive insurance copyright registration may provide if a creative work is infringed, copyright registration is worth considering, particularly for any content that is particularly valuable or likely to become a target for infringement.