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Online Registration Help (eCO FAQs)

For general questions about copyright, please see Copyright Basics (Circular 1) and the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Copyright Office website. For general questions about copyright registration, please see Copyright Registration (Circular 2). For eCO updates click here to find out what’s new.

Video Tutorials

The Office has created video tutorials that provide step-by-step instructions for completing the following registration applications:

Group Registration Applications

Supplementary Registration

Yes. To establish an eCO account you must provide an email address. If you enter that email address in the “Rights and Permissions” section of the application it will be included in the public record.

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 a 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 your work(s) as an electronic file or to print out a shipping slip if you intend to submit a hard copy of your work.

You may upload an electronic copy of your work if one of more of the following conditions has been met:

  • The work is unpublished.
  • The work is NOT subject to the best edition requirements.
  • The work has been published ONLY in electronic format.
  • The work has been published and identifying material is permitted or required instead of a hard copy of the best edition.
  • You are using the group registration options for unpublished works, serials, newspapers, newsletters, photographs, short online literary works, contributions to periodicals, or secure test items.
  • You are using the pilot program for registering a group of database updates that consist predominantly of photographs.
  • The Copyright Office agrees to accept electronic copies under a grant of special relief.

Important Note: If you plan to use the following group registration options YOU MUST upload a digital copy of each work being registered. DO NOT mail a physical copy to the Copyright Office:

For all other classes of works you may submit your application and pay the filing fee via eCO but you must submit a physical copy of the work to the Copyright Office.

You may upload an electronic copy of your work if one of more of the following conditions has been met:

For more information about these options, please see Circular 34 on Multiple Works.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

You must complete a copyright registration application in order to create a Template. When you have filled in all the required information on all of the screens and you are at the “Review Submission” screen, look for the “Save Template” button. Click on it and follow the screen prompts.

Note: The “Template” feature is not included in the following applications:

  • The Single Application
  • Group Registration Applications: Unpublished works created by the same author or co-authors, or published photographs or unpublished photographs created by the same author
  • Supplementary Registration

When payment is complete, you will see the "Payment Successful" screen. (If not, refer to the Troubleshooting section). Click here for a demonstration of how to upload your work.

  1. Click the “Continue” button on the upper right of the Payment Successful screen.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. After selecting all files for the work, click the blue “Start Upload” button.
  5. When all files have been uploaded for the work, click the green “Complete Your Submission” button.
  6. If you submitted multiple applications together, repeat these steps for each application to upload and electronic copy of the work(s).

Click here for the list of acceptable file types.

Yes. The maximum size for each file is 500 MB.

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.

If you have one or more very large files, we recommend that you:

  1. Compress the file(s) by zipping them.
  2. Break large files into two or more smaller files so that no file exceeds 500 MB.

Note: If you are registering a group of issues from the same serial publication, the same newspaper, or the same newsletter, YOU MUST upload each issue in a separate electronic file. DO NOT upload all of your issues in a ZIP file.


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. For step-by-step instructions on how to generate a shipping slip, consult the tutorial on the Copyright Office’s website.

  1. 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.
  2. Click the “Create Shipping Slip Ship” button.
  3. Click the Shipping Slip attachment link that appears in the Attachments table to open and print the 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. This will ensure that the Copyright Office will be able to connect the copy to the appropriate application. If the shipping slip is not included in the package and attached to the appropriate copy, the Office will not be able to connect it to the appropriate application. This may result in processing delays, submission of additional copies, and a later effective date of registration.

Important Note: If you plan to use the following group registration options YOU MUST upload a digital copy of each work being registered. DO NOT mail a physical copy to the Copyright Office:

  • Unpublished works created by the same author or co-authors
  • A group of issues from the same serial publication, the same newspaper, or the same newsletter
  • A group of contributions by the same individual that were first published in a periodical
  • A group of test items that were prepared for use in a secure test.

The “best edition” of a work is defined as “the edition, published in the United States at any time before the date of deposit, that the Library of Congress determines to be most suitable for its purposes.” 17 U.S.C. § 101.

The criteria used to identify the best edition for a particular work are listed in 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, please package the following items in boxes rather than envelopes for mailing to the Copyright Office:

  1. Electronic media such as audiocassettes, videocassettes, CDs, and DVDs
  2. Microform
  3. Photographs
  4. 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 security screening process than those packaged in slim-line case.

After completing the application you must pay the required filing fee. After you submit your payment, you will be returned to the Copyright Office’s website to submit a copy of your works.

You may pay with a credit/debit card or an electronic check. If you choose to pay the fee with a credit card or electronic check you will be directed to Pay.gov to submit your payment.

Alternatively, if you have established a deposit account with the Copyright Office, you may pay the fee with your deposit account.

Please note that filing fees are not refundable.

To view current Copyright Office Fees click here.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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)”
  3. Turn off popup blockers for the eCO website.
  4. Disable any 3rd party Toolbars (Google or Yahoo Toolbar).
  5. Check your security and privacy setting and make sure they are set to MEDIUM.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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/)

If you completed an application and paid the registration fee but were not re-directed from Pay.gov into eCO to complete the registration, do the following:

  1. You MUST disable your browser's pop-up blocker (if it is enabled).
  2. Log out of eCO. Then return to the eCO login page and log back into the system.
  3. In the Open Cases table at the bottom of the welcome screen, click the blue case number associated with your claim.
  4. 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.
  5. If you need to send hard copies of the work to satisfy the deposit requirements, 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.”