How to Copyright Your Comic Creations
Comic books, strips and graphic novels are among the works of authorship that come under copyright protection. Comic works are protected under copyright law upon creation. Copyright ownership can only be transferred in writing. A drawing or written description of a comic character can be registered with the United States Copyright Office to enjoy the maximum protection available under the law. Comics creators can register their works online or via postal mail. Online registration is preferred by the Copyright Office. The online registration fee is $35, while a paper filing fee is $65.
Prepare an electronic file of your comic creation. For written works, save the file as a word document. For drawn works, scan the artwork into your computer and save in a graphic format such as tiff or jpg.
Determine the deposit requirements for your work with the copyright office. For unpublished works, one copy is required. For works published in the United States, two complete copies are required. One complete copy is required for works first published outside the United States. If your comic creations are part of a collective work, one copy is required.
Visit the United States Copyright Office Website. Locate the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) and click through. Navigate to the"login to eCO" link and select. Create a User ID and password to sign up for an online account with the Copyright Office. Use these to login to your new account.
From the Electronic Copyright Office welcome page, find the link menu on the left side. Select "Register a New Claim" to go to the Registration Process Overview page.
Click the "Start Registration" link at the top of the Registration Process Overview page to get to the Copyright Registration Application. Fill out required fields in each screen and click "continue".
Follow the prompt to the pay.gov site to pay the online application fee after you have completed the final application screen. Pay the fee via credit or debit card.
Return to your copyright application upon payment. Click the upload link. From the upload dialog box, select your comic creation file to send it to the copyright office. You will be sent an electronic receipt for your application for copyright protection.
Check on the status of your application. Login to your Electronic Copyright Office account and click the "my applications" link. A paper copy of your copyright registration is mailed to you upon the successful processing of your application.
Things You Will Need
Comic creation, drawn or written
To register via mail with paper forms, visit the Copyright Office website and click on "Forms". Print out the form that applies to your comic creation: Form VA for visual works, Form TX for literary works, or Form CON, the continuation sheet for paper applications. Mail your documents to the address listed on the website.
Titles and names cannot be copyrighted but may be eligible for protection under trademark law.