Copyright registrations here in the United States are a matter of public record. As such, personal information about the author or creator of a work will be available for just about anyone to find. This is done not only as a matter of law, but also so that the public can easily identify the owner of a work for informational purposes, to request permission to use or license the work in question, or to serve the copyright owner with a takedown notice, demand letter, or an infringement lawsuit.
When applying for copyright protection, some applicants are rightfully concerned about their privacy. It can be unnerving for people to learn that their name, address, and other personal information may be easily found on the internet once they submit their application to the Copyright Office.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways for copyright applicants to protect their privacy if they desire. Some of the strategies that we suggest to our clients include:
- Submitting a copyright application using a business address and phone number instead of a personal address or phone number.
- Registering under a pseudonym or pen name.
- Choosing to opt out of the “Rights and Permissions” section of the application, which is optional for publishing.
- Creating a designated email address to use for copyright matters that’s separate from your personal email address.
- Using a third-party agent to file your application.
- If someone is filing on your behalf, make sure they are aware of your privacy concerns. You are ultimately responsible for the information that’s submitted, even if you did not personally file the application.
Like most professional documents and business filings, copyright registrations are public documents, but they do not have to be a cause for alarm. If you are worried about your home address, phone number, or other personal information falling into the wrong hands, talk to an experienced copyright attorney about your concerns. Our copyright attorneys have worked with many clients to protect their intellectual property while simultaneously safeguarding their privacy. If you’d like to discuss your options, please contact us at 888-666-0062 to schedule an appointment.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.