What’s New In eCO?

March 26, 2021 Release

New Group Registration Options for Works Published on an Album of Music

Beginning March 26, 2021, applicants may register up to twenty musical works that were published on the same album with one application and one filing fee. Likewise, applicants may register up to twenty sound recordings and any accompanying photographs, artwork, or liner notes that were published on the same album.

The Copyright Office created a separate online application for each option:

  • Musical works (with or without lyrics): If you want to register a group of musical works (with or without lyrics), you must submit the online application for “Musical Works from an Album.” This application can only be used to register two to twenty musical compositions (including any lyrics). It cannot be used to register sound recordings. For instructions on how to access the group application for musical works, click here.
  • Sound recordings, photographs, artwork, liner notes: If you want to register a group of sound recordings, you must submit the online application for “Sound Recordings from an Album.” This application may be used to register two to twenty sound recordings. It may also be used to register photographs, artwork, or liner notes that were published with the same album. But the online application for “Sound Recordings from an Albumcannot be used to register musical works. For instructions on how to access this group application for sound recordings, click here.

Important: Musical works and sound recordings cannot be registered together with the same group registration application—even if the musical works and sound recordings were published on the same album.

There are strict eligibility requirements that must be met to use these group registration options:

  • The works being registered must be published on the same album.
    • Note: An album track that was previously released as a single may be included in the claim if certain requirements are met. Read more.
  • All of the works must be created by the same author or they must have a common joint author.
  • The copyright claimant or co-claimants for all of the works must be the same person(s) or the same organization. Specifically, the claimant may either be (1) the author or co-authors of all of the works being registered, or (2) the person or organization that has obtained ownership of all of the exclusive that initially belonged to an author for all of the works being registered.
    • If you name the author or co-authors as the claimant, then all of the works being registered must be created by the exact same author(s).
    • If you name a third party as the copyright claimant (such as a music publisher or record label), that party must own all of the exclusive rights that initially belonged to an author of all of the works being registered. And you must provide a transfer statement that explains how that party obtained ownership of all of the exclusive rights

Resources for applicants who use this group registration option are posted here.

  • If you have specific questions about this process, email the Office or call (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

November 30, 2020 Release

Draft Applications More than One Year Old Removed from the Electronic Registration System

Many users have saved draft applications in the eCO system that have never been submitted to the Copyright Office. To conserve system resources, all draft applications created on or before November 30, 2019, were discarded by the system on November 30, 2020. In the future, the Office expects to make similar changes to the system on an annual basis.

October 29, 2020 Release

New Group Registration Option for Short Online Literary Works

Beginning October 29, 2020, applicants may register up to 50 short online literary works with one application and one filing fee. The works must contain at least 50 words and no more than 17,500 words, such as a poem, short story, article, essay, column, blog entry, or social media post. And the works must be first published as part of a website or online platform, including online newspapers, social media websites, and social networking platforms.

To use this option, applicants must submit the online application designated for “Short Online Literary Works.” In addition, applicants must upload a digital copy of each work and a list containing the title, filename, publication date, and word count for each work being registered.

For instructions on how to access this application, click here.

Important Note: If you attempt to register two or more literary works with the Standard Application or a paper application, the Office will refuse registration and instruct you to resubmit the claim using the appropriate online application, along with a new filing fee and a new deposit.

The Copyright Office offers the following resources for applicants who use the group registration option for short online literary works:

  • Circular and FAQs. The Office released a circular that provides general information about this option and FAQs that provides answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Help Text. Instructions for completing the online application for “Short Online Literary Works” appear in the onscreen instructions and help text that accompany the application.
  • Fillable form. The Copyright Office has created a fillable form that may be used to create the list of titles, filenames, publication dates, and word counts. Applicants are strongly encouraged to create this list before completing the online application form.
  • Video Tutorial. The Office released a video that provides step-by-step instructions for completing this application. The tutorial also shows how to use the Office’s fillable form to create a list of titles, filenames, publication dates, and word counts for each work, and how to upload the list and digital copies of each work to the electronic registration system.
  • Webinar. The Office released a webinar that provides additional information about this group registration option.
  • If you have specific questions about this process, email the Office or call (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).