eCO Frequently Asked Questions
For general questions about copyright, please see Circular 1: Copyright Office Basics and the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Copyright Office website.
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, single serial issues, groups of serial issues and groups of newspaper/newsletter issues. At this time, the following types of registration are not available in eCO: renewals, corrections, mask works, vessel hulls, 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Currently eCO accepts registrations for (a) any single work or (b) a collection of unpublished works by the same author and owned by the same claimant, or (c) multiple published works contained in the same unit of publication and owned by the same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) or (d) groups of serial issues and groups of newspaper/newsletter issues.
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:
- Complete an application
- Pay the associated fee (Pay online with credit/debit card or ACH transfer via Pay.gov, or with a deposit account)
- Submit your work
Keep in mind that payment is required before the system will prompt you to upload copies of your work(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- Unpublished works;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 hard copies of the work(s) being registered.
Which browsers does eCO support?
The eCO System has been confirmed for use with the Firefox browser on the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating system.
Other browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Netscape (as well as out-of-date browsers) may work but potentially could show less than optimal behavior when used 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.
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).
- Click the “Continue” button on the upper right of the Payment Successful screen.
- Click the green “Select files to upload” button in the “Deposit Submission” table. A window with fields for browsing and selecting files to be uploaded should appear.
- Select the file(s) to be uploaded for the work being registered. As they are selected, the file names will be displayed under the green “Select Files to upload” button.
- After selecting all files for the work, click the blue “Start Upload” button.
- When all files have been uploaded for the work, click the green “Complete Your Submission” button.
- If you submitted multiple applications together, repeat these steps for each application to upload and electronic copy of the work(s).
- Click here to for a demonstration of how to upload your work.
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 maximum size for each file is 500 MB.
How do I upload multiple files?
After clicking the green “Select files to upload” button, you can browse and select as many files as needed to upload a copy of your work. After all files have been selected, click the blue “Start Upload” button to upload them together.
What if I need to upload files that are larger than 500 MB?
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 no file exceeds 500 MB.
I register works that require hard copy 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 for packaging 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
- 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.
What payment options are available in eCO?
You may pay with credit/debit card or ACH transfer via Pay.gov or with a copyright office deposit account.
What is Pay.gov?
Pay.gov is a secure, web based application operated by the U.S. Treasury Department that allows users to make online payments to government agencies by credit card or by debit from a checking or savings account.
Do I have to create a user account with Pay.gov?
No. For payment via credit/debit card or ACH transfer, eCO will forward you directly to the Pay.gov payment screen. Once payment has been completed, Pay.gov will redirect you back into eCO to complete your registration. You will receive a payment confirmation email from Pay.gov after a successful transaction.
What is a deposit account? The Copyright Office maintains a system of deposit accounts for those who frequently use its services. An individual or firm may establish a deposit account, make advance deposits into that account, and charge copyright fees against the balance in their account via eCO. Click here for more on deposit accounts.
How do I link an existing deposit account to my eCO account?
You may link an existing deposit account to an Organization account in eCO and then charge fees against the balance of the deposit account any time you use eCO to register claims. To create an Organization account in eCO, click the Organization/DA link in the menu bar on the right side of the Welcome screen.
- Firefox users must adjust the Tabs setting to “Open new windows in a new tab instead.” The Tabs setting is under Menu/Options for Firefox for PCs and under Preferences for Firefox for Macs.
- Internet Explorer users: Click on Tools, Internet Options, Advanced Tab. In the Browsing Section, uncheck “Reuse window for launching shortcuts (when tabbed browsing is off)”
- Turn off popup blockers for the eCO website.
- Disable any 3rd party Toolbars (Google or Yahoo Toolbar).
- Check your security and privacy setting and make sure they are set to MEDIUM.
- Create an eCO Shortcut on your desktop (Right mouse click anywhere in an open area on your desktop; choose New from the drop down menu and then select Shortcut; type or copy and paste the following URL: https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/; click on Next and type in a name for the shortcut (for example: “Electronic Copyright Office”); click Finish.)
- If you bookmarked or saved the eCO home page in your favorites, change the address path (Go to favorites; right mouse click on the link; go to Properties and shorten the address to https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/)
After paying in pay.gov all I received was a blank page, what do I do?
If you completed an application and paid the registration fee but were not re-directed from Pay.gov into eCO correctly to complete the registration, do the following:
- You MUST disable your browser's pop-up blocker (if it is enabled).
- Revisit the eCO login page and log into the system.
- In the Open Cases table at the bottom of the welcome screen, click the blue case number associated with your claim.
- On the Case Summary page, click the green “Select files to upload” button. A window with fields for browsing and selecting files to be uploaded should appear.
- If you need to send hard copies of the work to satisfy Library of Congress deposit regulations, click the “Create Shipping Slip” button at the bottom of the page to generate and print a Shipping Slip to be attached to your work(s).
If you are a Firefox user, you likely have this problem because you did not adjust the tab setting. To remedy, Click on Tools | Options and deselect the option “a new tab” under the heading “New pages should be opened in.”