How to Register a Copyright in Louisiana?


Copyright law provides the creators of original works with exclusive rights over their creations. These rights include the right to reproduce, distribute, and perform the work, as well as the right to create derivative works based on the original. In Louisiana, creators can protect their works by registering their copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. This guide explains the steps involved in registering a copyright in Louisiana and provides additional information on the benefits of registering a copyright.

Determine Eligibility

The first step in registering a copyright is to determine if the work is eligible for protection. This includes literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works, as well as sound recordings and architectural works. Works that are not eligible for copyright protection include ideas, facts, and short phrases.

Complete the Application Form

Once you have determined that the work is eligible for protection and has not been previously registered, the next step is to complete the appropriate application form. The U.S. Copyright Office offers several forms for registering different types of works. The most common form for registering a copyright is Form VA for a visual arts work. It is important to complete the application form accurately and completely, as incomplete or inaccurate applications may result in delays or rejection.

Gather Required Supporting Materials

Along with the completed application form, the following materials must be submitted:

  • A non-returnable copy or copies of the work being registered
  • A non-refundable filing fee
  • A completed and signed certificate of authenticity

Submit the Application and Supporting Materials

The completed application and supporting materials can be submitted online or by mail to the U.S. Copyright Office. It is recommended to use the online submission process as it is faster and more convenient. When submitting the application and materials, it is important to keep a copy for your records.

Wait for Approval

After the application and supporting materials have been submitted, the U.S. Copyright Office will process the application and notify the applicant of any issues or deficiencies. If the application is approved, the copyright office will register the copyright and send a certificate of registration. The process of registering a copyright can take several months, so it is important to be patient and allow sufficient time for the process to be completed.

Benefits of Registering a Copyright

There are several benefits to registering a copyright, including:

  • Legal presumptions: A registered copyright provides legal presumptions that the work is original and that the creator is the rightful owner. This makes it easier to enforce the rights in court
  • Statutory damages: If a registered copyright is infringed, the owner may be entitled to statutory damages, which are damages awarded by the court without proof of actual damages
  • Attorneys’ fees: In certain cases, the owner of a registered copyright may be entitled to recover attorney’s fees in addition to damages
  • Public record: Registering a copyright provides a public record of the ownership and creation of the work, which can be important in the event of disputes.


Registering a copyright in Louisiana is an important step for creators to protect their original works of authorship. The process involves determining eligibility, searching the Copyright Office database, completing the application form, gathering required supporting materials, submitting the application and materials, and waiting for approval. Registering a copyright provides several benefits, including legal presumptions, statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and a public record of ownership and creation. By following these steps and understanding the benefits of registering a copyright, creators in Louisiana can take the necessary steps to protect their works and secure their rights.

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