U.S. Copyright Office
eCO

The Electronic Copyright Office
Online System of the U.S. Copyright Office

link

Contents

Introduction to eCO

File a copyright registration for your work through the Copyright Office online system.

Advantages include:

  • Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only)
  • Fastest processing time
  • Online status tracking
  • Secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account
  • The ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files
  • Available 24 hours a day, except for routine maintenance every Sunday from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM Eastern Time

Source: www.copyright.gov/eco/

List of Acceptable File Types

If the type of file you plan to upload or mail is not included in this list, you must convert the file to an acceptable file type.

Click here for the current list of acceptable file types.

[For Photos:]

  • .bmp (Bitmap Image)
  • .dwg (AutoCAD Drawing)
  • .gif, .giff (Graphics Interchange Format)
  • .jpg, .jpeg, .jfif (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • .pdf (Portable Document Format)
  • .pic, .pict (Picture File)
  • .png (Portable Network Graphic)
  • .psd (Photoshop Document)
  • .tif, .tiff (Tagged Image File Format)

Text

  • .doc (Microsoft Word Document)*
  • .docx (Microsoft Word Open XML Document)*
  • .htm, .html (HyperText Markup Language)
  • .pdf (Portable Document Format)
  • .rtf (Rich Text Document)
  • .txt (Text File)
  • .wpd (WordPerfect Document)
  • .wps (Microsoft Works Word Processor Document)**

Compressed

  • .cab (Windows Cabinet File)
  • .rar (Compressed Archive)
  • .zip (Zipped File)

* For Microsoft Office files, please use version 2003 or earlier.

Source: www.copyright.gov/eco/help-file-types.html

eCO Tips

Uploading Multiple or Large Files

The “browse and select” window enables you to upload individual files. If you have a large number of files, we recommend that you create one or more ZIP files; if you have a very large file, we recommend that you break it up into two or more smaller files. The system has a 30-minute upload time out that, depending on your connection speed, limits the size/number of files that can be uploaded in one session.

Mailing Deposit Copies

To avoid damage to your deposit due to Capitol Hill security measures, please packagethe following items in boxes rather than envelopes for mailing to the Copyright Office:

  • Electronic media such as audiocassettes, videocassettes, CDs, and DVDs
  • Microform
  • Photographs
  • Slick advertisements, color photocopies, and other print items that are rubber- and vegetable-based

Also please note that CDs/DVDs packaged in standard full-sized jewel boxes are more likely to survive the mail radiation process than those packaged in slim-line cases.

Source: www.copyright.gov/eco/tips.pdf

eCO FAQ

Registering a Claim in eCO

Uploading Electronic Files in eCO

Submitting Hard Copies of Works

Registering a Claim in eCO

Who can use eCO to register claims?

Anyone can use eCO to register basic claims to copyright, even those who intend to submit a hard copy(ies) of the work(s) being registered. Basic claims include literary works, visual arts works, performing arts works, sound recordings,motion pictures, and single serial issues. At this time, the following types of registration are not available in eCO: renewals, corrections, mask works, vessel hulls, groups of serial issues, groups of newspaper/newsletter issues, groups of database updates, and groups of contributions to periodicals.For information about registering these types, see the Copyright Office website.

Do I need an email address to file electronically through eCO?

Yes. One of the requirements for establishing an eCO account is to provide an email address. That email address is not available on the public record.

What kinds of claims can be registered in eCO?

Currently eCO accepts basic registrations only, including (a) any single work or (b) a collection of unpublished works by the same author and owned by the same claimant, or (c) multiple published works contained in the same unit of publication and owned by the same claimant. (Examples: A compact disk containing 10 songs; a book of poems)

What are the process steps for registering a claim in eCO?

Registering a claim to copyright via eCO involves three steps in the following order:

  1. Complete an application
  2. Pay the associated fee (Pay online with credit/debit card or ACH transfer via Pay.gov, or with a deposit account)
  3. Submit your work

Keep in mind that payment is required before the system will prompt you to upload copies of yourwork(s) as an electronic file or print out a shipping slip if you intend to submit a hard copy of your work.

What works may be registered with electronic deposits?

The following classes of works may be registered in eCO with electronic deposit copies:

  • Unpublished works;
  • Works published only electronically;
  • Published works for which the deposit requirement is ID material (see the Special Deposit Requirements section of Circular 1 for more on ID material);
  • Published works for which there are special agreements requiring the hard copy deposits to be sent separately to the Library of Congress.

All other classes of works may be registered via eCO (application and fee payment) but require hardcopies of the work(s) being registered.

Can I register a collection of works with a single application?

A collection of works may be registered with a single application if either of the following requirements is met:

  1. The collection is made up of unpublished works by the same author and owned by the same claimant; or
  2. The collection is made up of multiple published works contained in the same unit of publication and owned by the same claimant.

Which browsers does eCO support?

The eCO system is designed to work with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and Netscape Navigator 7.02. Firefox 2.0 users must adjust the Tabs setting to “New pages should be opened in: a new window.” The Tabs setting is under Tools/Options for Firefox for PCs and under Preferences for Firefox for Macs. The Safari and Google Chrome browser ARE NOT currently certified for use with the eCO system. Other browsers such as Opera and Konqueror may work with the eCO system.

Do I need to configure my browser before using eCO?

Before getting started be sure to check your browser’s settings and make the following adjustments as necessary:

  • Disable your browser’s pop-up blocker.
  • Disable any 3rd party toolbars (e.g., Google or Yahoo Toolbar).
  • Set your security and privacy settings to MEDIUM.

Can I check the status of a claim registered via eCO?

Login to eCO and click on the blue case number associated with your claim in the Open Cases table at the bottom of the Welcome screen to view the Case Summary associated with the claim.

I have duplicate information to submit for several claims. Is there a way I can keep from entering this data multiple times?

Yes. When you register a New Claim you can elect to save it as a Template. This is a very useful tool when you have duplicate information to enter for several claims.

You must first “Register a New Claim” in order to create a Template. When you have completed filling in all required information on all screens, and you are at the “Review Submission” screen, look for the “Save Template” button. Click on it and follow the screen prompts.

Uploading Electronic Files in eCO

How do I upload an electronic copy of my work in eCO?

When payment is complete, you will see the “Payment Successful” screen. If not, refer to the Troubleshooting section).

  • Make sure the pop-up blocker on your browser is turned off. (IMPORTANT NOTE: The “Electronic Deposit Upload” window will not appear if your pop-up blocker is enabled.)
  • Click the “Next” button on the upper right of the Payment Successful screen.
  • Clickthe “Upload Deposit” link in the “Deposit Submission” table. Click “browse” to select the file(s) you wish to upload (that is, send to eCO electronically).

What file types are acceptable?

Click here for the current list of acceptable file types.

Is there a maximum file size that can be uploaded in one session?

Yes. The eCO system has a 60-minute upload time out that limits the size of files that can be uploaded in one session. See the table below forguidance.

Network connection *Max. file sizeHow many files can be zipped into a single file for upload in one session?
Typical Modem (56 kbps)11.3 MB
  • 6 high quality (low compression) JPEGs taken with a 5MP camera
  • 3 three-minute standard (128 kbps bitrate) MP3 files
Fiber Optic Cable (2mbps)170 MB
  • 220 high quality (low compression) JPEGs taken with a 5MP camera
  • 135 three-minute standard (128 kbps bitrate) MP3 files

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The maximum file size that can be uploaded within 60 minutes will vary depending on the method and speed of your connection to the Internet, i.e. dial up users will typically experience longer upload times than high speed internet users.

How do I upload multiple files?

The “Electronic Deposit Upload” window in eCO enables you to browse for and select files one at a time,then upload them as a group in one “session”. (See the table above for the total file size that can be uploaded in one session.)

What if the files for a single case are too large to be uploaded in a single session?

If you attempt to upload one or more files whose total exceeds the maximum that can be transmitted within 60 minutes, you will see a message alerting you that files selected are too large for successful upload in one session. If you have one or more very large files, we recommend that you:

  • Compress the file(s) by zipping them.
  • Break large files into two or more smaller files so that the total is less than the maximum size for uploading.
  • Upload multiple deposit files in more than one session: after files are submitted, close the “Upload” window, click the Upload Deposit link for the same case in the Deposit Submission table, then select and upload more files. Repeat these steps until all files for thecase have been submitted.

Submitting Hard Copies of Works

I register works that require hardcopy deposits to satisfy Library of Congress deposit regulations. How do I do that in eCO?

You may submit an application and payment in eCO and then create and print a shipping slip to be attached to the hard copy(ies) of your work for delivery to the Copyright Office via mail/courier.

  • You should see a Payment Confirmation screen upon completion of payment (if not, refer to the Troubleshooting section). Click the “Submit your work” button toward the top of the page.
  • Click the Send by Mail link in the Deposit Submission table.
  • Click the Shipping Slip link that appears in the Attachments table to generate a shipping slip to be attached to your work(s).

The shipping slip includes the correct mailing address and zip code for the class of work(s) being registered. To avoid misrouting, please be sure to attach a shipping slip directly to each work or set of works that you submit.

What does “best edition” mean?

The copyright law (title 17, United States Code) requires that copies or phonorecords deposited in the Copyright Office be of the “best edition” of the work. For more on “best edition,” see Circular 7B: Best Edition of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collections of the Library of Congress.

Are there special instructions forpackaging copies of my work(s) for mail/courier delivery?

To avoid damage to your deposit due to Capitol Hill security measures, please package the following items in boxes rather than envelopes for mailing to the Copyright Office:

  • Electronic media such as audiocassettes, videocassettes, CDs, and DVDs
  • Microform
  • Photographs
  • Slick advertisements, color photocopies, and other print items that are rubber- and vegetable-based

Also please note that CDs/DVDs packaged in standard full-sized jewel boxes are more likely to survive the mail radiation process than those packaged in slim-line case.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

Source: www.copyright.gov/eco/faq.html

Next: FAQ »

Comments

Comments


Reply by Davide Phidias

April 8, 2016

Hello, I see that you have some experience with uploading large numbers of files. It’s my first time doing a registration and I guess I’ll need to upload around 3 Giga of data (over 50.000 photos reduced to 600x600). As far as I can see there is now a limit of 500mb per file. So technically I could divide my archive in 6 or better 7 zipped files. As far as I understand there is no limit on the number of zip files uploaded right? But then the problem would be the upload time. When you wrote this article it was 60 minutes. Is it still like that?

If so, then I should divide my archive in 30 files of 100 MB, if there is no file number limit. But of course I couldn’t upload them all at once, I would need more days to upload all of those files. Can I finish the upload for the application during more days, adding more zip files in different sessions, before submitting the complete application? Thank you for the help.


Reply by Andrew Hudson, PhotoSecrets

June 7, 2016

Hi Davide,

Wow, you are registering a lot of photos!

The U.S. Copyright Office says their eCO “system has a 30-minute upload time out” (source).

The upload time is usually limited by your own Internet connection. For example, my connection (via Time Warner Cable) has a speed of 66 Mbps download and 12 Mbps upload. So in 30 minutes, I could upload about 12 M x 60 seconds x 30 minutes=2160 M=2 gigabytes (GB).

For safety, I might divide 3GB of data into three 1GB files, then submit the three files.


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