Copyright Registration for Short Online Literary Works

The Copyright Office recently implemented a new method of group registration for short online works that simplifies the registration process and provides a much more cost-effective path to protection.  This development offers a great opportunity for bloggers and other authors that frequently publish online content, who may not have previously considered copyright protection due to effort and expense, to obtain protection for their works.  The Group Registration for Short Online Literary Works (GRTX) allows authors to simultaneously register between two and fifty works.

To be eligible for the GRTX process, the relevant works must be:

  • Published for the first time online;
  • Between 50 and 17,500 words;
  • Published during the same 3-month period; and
  • Written or co-written by the same author or joint author.

The process is primarily for those who regularly publish content online, for example with social media posts, articles, and blogs.  The protection conferred only applies to the text of the work, so the GRTX is not suitable for images, videos, audiobooks, or computer programs.  Works made for hire are also not eligible for GRTX.

A major benefit of the GRTX is its ability to save copyright owner’s money.  For a Copyright Office fee of only $65,[1] authors using the GRTX can register up to fifty works.  Before the GRTX, clients would have spent more than $3,000 in government fees to register and protect the same volume of works in separate applications.  The new filing also helps to accelerate the registration process for online content creators who would likely have spent much more time and effort on registering their many publications separately before the GRTX.

If you are interested in developing a copyright protection strategy for your creative works, please feel free to reach out to us for more information on the process and associated fees.

-Jamie Seibert

[1] Please note, this fee represents only the government filing fee at the Copyright Office, and not any associated legal fees if you hire an attorney to represent you in connection with strategizing and filing for copyright protection.

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