The Copyright Office has created a new online group registration option for short online literary works. The purpose behind this new program is to provide copyright claimants with the ability to protect blogs, social-media postings and similar online works. As with any other type of copyrighted material, registration is not mandatory to protect a short online literary work, but it is necessary if you want to enforce your copyright.
The group registration application can be used to register up to 50 short online literary works with the same application. A short online literary work is considered to be a work that includes between 50 and 17,500 words. The work must be first published as part of a website or online platform, including online newspapers, social-media websites and social networking platforms.
The works must also be published during a three-month period to be included in the same application. The works do not have to be registered during that time period. They can be registered at any time during the life of the copyright.
The application must be submitted through the Copyright Office’s online system. It cannot be submitted as a paper application.
Examples of short online literary works include poems, short stories, articles, essays, columns, blog entries and social-media posts.
Examples of works that cannot be protected through this type of application include emails, podcasts, audiobooks and computer programs. However, those types of works can be protected with other types of applications.