New Copyright Group Registration Option for “Short Online Literary Works”

Takeaway: Protecting short, online text postings has become much easier, particularly for bloggers and other online authors.

In August of this year, the U.S. Copyright Office amended its regulations to establish a new “group registration” option for “short online literary works.” For this new registration option, each work must contain at least 50 but no more than 17,500 words. The applicant can submit up to 50 works with one application and one filing fee, but all of the works must be created by the same individual or jointly by the same individuals, and each creator must be named as the copyright claimant or claimants for each work. The works must all be published online within a three-calendar-month period, and if the U.S. Copyright Office registers the claim, the registration will cover each work as a separate work of authorship.

This is particularly beneficial for bloggers, social media influencers, and other online authors who put out short, frequent postings. That being said, these copyright registrations currently only cover text. If an author wants to cover photographs, there is an exception for group registration of photographs, but that must be filed separately.