Oh my goodness!  I did it!  I am now the proud submitter of original songs to the Copyright Office. 

Although I won’t say it was easy as pie, it was fairly straightforward.  At least the basics are.  And making pie would not be easy for me, anyway.  How’d I do it?  I simply went to the Copyright Office’s website.  There they have a link to the “Electronic Copyright Office.”  At the ECO you will find plenty of FAQs and other information to help you determine just how you want to submit your material.  To submit online, you will have to register for a username and password.  Once you have that, you can follow the instructions step-by-step. 

The site says it can take a number of months for processing to be completed.  And given the number of submissions they must receive, I can certainly understand how it might take a little while.  Still, they have made the submission process easier and quicker.  And the online submission fee is fairly reasonable, too!

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  1. Joe, I just went through this process, too. One question: I couldn’t figure out if after submitting my songs electronically I was also supposed to print the shipping labels and snail mail a CD as well. The FAQS seemed really vague on the subject, only saying to submit hard copies “if required by the Library of Congress.” How am I supposed to know if it’s required?! What’d you do?


    1. Yeah, good question. I stuck with just the electronic submission as I didn’t see anything that required a hard copy submission as well. I am assuming that in the absence of a clear instruction to submit a hard copy (and since I did elect to submit electronically rather than via mail) what I have submitted will suffice. My feeling is: they collected sufficient contact info that if they need more, they will let me know.

    2. One more thought now that I’ve read your post at freepmusic. I only submitted individual songs, not whole CD’s. If you want each CD as a piece of creative work to be protected as well – for whatever reason – perhaps you do need to submit a physical copy of the CD. BUT — I don’t honestly know for sure. They have a help page with email and phone contact.

  2. Yeah, I emailed them. It’s confusing. The ‘help’ powerpoint specifically points out the label print thing at the end and says to mail it in. It seems counterintuitive to the whole online thing.

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