Producing : Registering a motion picture by Sandrene Mathews

Sandrene Mathews

Registering a motion picture

I've only ever completed the copyright process for a screenplay so I'm not sure what the protocol is for registering the entire motion picture. It's still in post-production so I don't have a finished product to upload. Do I need that to finish the process or is just the script enough?

Stavros Georgiadis

You can register your motion picture with the Library of Congress. It is as far as I am aware the only place you can register the whole film as a copyrighted piece of work. So, make sure your have your chain of title sorted out before your register your film. A legal Begal will sort this out with minimal fan fare. They can also sort out your copyright registration for your completed project.

Sandrene Mathews

I know how to register with the Library of Congress. I've registered screenplays before, but as this is the first production my company has done that I care to copyright, I'm registering the entire project. I already have everything I need to prove ownership. I just want to know if I need to upload the finished product in order to complete the copyright process, or if just the screenplay is enough. I don't want to close out the copyright submission just to have to re-register.

Stavros Georgiadis

The US Copyright Office Circular 45 explains what you need to do. If that is still confusing then there are contact numbers on the Circular for you to follow up on.

Stefan LaToure

Yes, you have to do the finished film, and you don't have to go through Library of Congress, you can do it straight with the Copyright office. All the forms are downloadable on the website.

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