How do I register my work with the U.S. Copyright Office?

Send the completed application, the filing fee of $45.00 USD and 2 copies of your work to:

Library of Congress

Copyright Office

101 Independence Ave SE

Washington, DC 20559-6000

Your registration with the copyright office takes effect the moment your application, fee, and 2 copies of your work arrive at the office. The copyright office will send a certificate of registration to your mailing address in approximately 4 months.

If you need further information, please visit the United States Copyright website 


What is a copyright notice?

The copyright notice is a combination of the copyright year and the information entered in the Copyright Notice field (including the copyright holder's name).

Copyright Year: 2004

Copyright Notice: by Light House. All rights reserved.

The above information forms this copyright notice: © 2004 by Light House. All rights reserved.


How do I protect my work?

Under U.S. copyright law, your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  In other words, you own the copyright to your book as soon as you write it.


Do I have to register my copyright to be protected?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. However, holding a registered copyright can  be useful in the event of litigation. And it is encouraged by Destiny House Publishing.

  • Both published and unpublished works are considered copyrighted.
  • If you register your work with the copyright office, this registration can be used in court should a lawsuit occur. It provides protection for your work if someone infringes or challenges your copyright.
  • If you believe that someone else has infringed your copyright, you should consult an attorney. You can file a civil suit; a criminal investigation may be appropriate.
  • Keep in mind that US copyright law doesn’t cover all types of works. Titles, names, slogans, and concepts are examples of materials that are not protected by copyright. You are responsible for knowing whether your work is a protected type.
  • Remember that although the US has copyright relations with many nations across the world, not all countries honor the US’s copyright laws.

 Note: Please keep in mind that Destiny House Publishing does not offer legal advice or protection. Following copyright laws is the responsibility of you as a DHP author because you retain the copyright to your work when it is published on Destiny House Publishing. For more information, check out the United States Copyright Office


Can I use another person’s work?

You, as a DHP publisher, are responsible for respecting copyrights. If you use another work within your own, make sure that you have the proper copyright permissions.

  • For works published since 1978, copyright protection lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.
  • For works before 1978, the copyright duration varies. It is always best to research a work to determine whether it is still protected. The U.S. Copyright Office can help you do this.
  • Many works are in the public domain (particularly older works) because their copyright has expired or they don’t qualify for protection. You may use these unreservedly. Make sure that the edition or translation that you want to use is not copyrighted by the editor or translator.
  • The law provides specific exceptions to the use of protected work. The fair use clause of United States copyright law allows limited portions of copyrighted work to be used for criticism or academic purposes. However, genres like “fan fiction” are not considered fair use and do violate copyright law. Since it is sometimes difficult to determine, it is best to obtain permission to use copyrighted material if there is any doubt at all.
  • Images are protected by copyright as well as the written word. Even if a certain work of art is in the public domain, the copyright for the actual image that you have may be held by the photographer who took that particular image. You need the copyright holder's permission to use the work.
  • Many online resources contain information about works in the public domain; some sites provide galleries of images that may be used. It is worthwhile to do the research to ensure that your book or project does not violate any copyright laws, especially older works.