Online copyright registration - your questions answered

Commonly asked questions relating to our online copyright registration services.

General questions

  1. How soon is my work protected?

    Cover starts as soon as we receive the work, it is protected from the point you complete the online transaction.

  2. Will my work be protected across the world?

    Yes. Copyright itself is an automatic international right and protects your work across the world. Our registration provides independent verification of your work, and you can use this as evidence to support your rights at a worldwide level.

    There are some specific notes that apply only to US citizens, but as copyright itself is governed by international conventions, it should not matter where the author lives or where the infringement occurs.

  3. What happens at the end of the registration period?

    At the end of the registration period we will automatically contact you, and you will be offered the chance to extend the registration at a discounted rate. It is also possible to extend any registration with less than 5 years remaining using the online registration renewal form.

  4. Will I receive a certificate in the post?

    Only if you have specifically ordered them. You will receive an digital copy of both your invoice and Certificate/Schedule of Revision as PDF documents. You may order paper copies of the Certificate/Schedule of Revision.

  5. Will I still receive a certificate in the post?

    Not unless you order paper certificates. By default a PDF certificate is sent by email for online submissions. If you require a paper certificate these (and also labels) can be ordered on the form when you make your submission.

  6. Will I have my own ftp/web-space to upload files to whenever I want?

    No, that is not how the service operates. Apart from the security risks of such an option, this would severely reduce the strength of the evidence that registration provides.

    Every deposit you make must be treated as a separate item of legal evidence, with its own chain of custody and processed accordingly. You can of course submit updates to your work, but this must be through the formal update procedure as explained in our registration updates fact sheet.

  7. Can I keep adding work free of charge?

    No. We must to treat every deposit as a separate item of legal evidence and process it accordingly, so there is always a fee of some kind when you submit work, otherwise the service could not operate.

    It is however possible to make further submissions to an existing registration as registration updates. Updates to an existing registration are charged at a reduced rate and just like the initial registration deposit, each update deposit is processed as separate item of evidence with its own chain of custody.

Security and payment

  1. Can I be sure my payment details are safe?

    Yes. Card details are sent to our payment service providers over highly secure 256bit encrypted direct connections. Card details are not held locally with Copyright Witness, and are never stored or transmitted in a unencrypted format. Our payment service providers are also regularly audited by Visa and MasterCard to ensure that their systems conform to the latest security standards.

  2. Is my work safe when I transmit it to you?

    Yes. When you connect to us it is a direct connection between your browser and one of our servers over a secure encrypted connection.

  3. Is my work safe on your servers?

    Yes. Your files are uploaded over a secure connection. Once we receive them, they are moved to secure storage servers, where they are encrypted to prevent unauthorised access. Our storage servers have no direct Internet access to ensure your files are protected against online attacks from hackers.

  4. When do I get an invoice/receipt?

    You will be sent a confirmation e-mail immediately after completing the transaction which is your receipt and transaction reference. Once our administrators have completed the final processing of your registration a VAT invoice will sent to your email address along with your certificate, this is normally sent within 1 working day.

Limits

  1. Do charges vary on size of upload?

    The current charges for online registration are £42.50 for 5 years or £72.50 for 10 years per work.

  2. What is the upload limit for registrations?

    Submissions up to 20GB* in size can be made using the on-line registration system (*individual file limit is 2GB, but multiple files can be included in a single submission up to the 20GB maximum).

    If you have a large number of files, we do suggest that you use an archiving program such as WinZip, StuffIt or Tar, to preserve your directory structure and simplify your upload.

    Note: Most web browsers, (i.e. Internet Explorer), will only upload files up to 2GB. To avoid problems we therefore have a 2GB limit per file, so larger items would need to be split into 2 or more files before uploading.

  3. Is there a limit to the number of files I can upload per registration?

    No, we do not set a limit for the number of files, but for you own convenience, if your work involves a lot of files, we do recommend you use an archiver such as WinZipWinRar/Rar7-ZipStuffIt, or Tar. This will allow you to combine all your files into one manageable file, and also compresses your files which may reduce the cost of registering. When uploading remember that you need to complete the transaction using the same connection, using compression can make a significant difference to upload times.

  4. How many works can a register at a time?

    There are no restrictions on the number of works you may register at the same time. Once again, please be aware of any time-restrictions you may have on your Internet connection. For dial-up or ISDN users, the best time to register is immediately after the connection has been established.

  5. My work is large and fails to upload what do I do?

    The speed that a file uploads will depend on your connection speed, and make take some considerable time to complete.

    Upload failures can be caused by dial-up connections dropping, broadband connections temporarily dropping and also by your operating system power management options placing your computer into standby or hibernation.

    Additionally some web browsers will fail to upload very large files, and none will upload files over 2GB. You may try splitting your files into smaller chunks before uploading (perhaps using an archiving program like WinRar or Rar or the Split utility on Unix systems).

    Please see our upload information page for further details.

    If the total file size of the work is large, or if you continue to experience problems a postal submission may be a better option.

  6. Is there a file size limit?

    The maximum file size we accept is 2GB, most web browsers can only upload up to 2GB (and a few browsers will fail before this point), this sets a limit of 2GB on the size of individual files we can accept. It should however be noted that you can upload as many files as you like within a single registration, and the overall size is not limited, so you can still register large works such as films by submitting them as several files.

  7. Can I upload compressed files?

    Yes, indeed we recommend compression, if you have many smaller files, it allows you to create a single archive, (rather than uploading many individual files). It may also reduce costs as your upload will be smaller.

  8. Can I just submit all my work in a single registration?

    Although you can submit several items within a single registration, a registration can only have a single identifying title. You should only group together items which form part of an overall work, for example; a collection of poems that will be published together, an album of music (along with artwork and lyrics), etc.

Miscellaneous

  1. What if I make an error?

    Our software allows you to amend any details already entered and if necessary to correct any errors, or add extra files.

    Once the transaction is completed, (after you have authorised payment), it is no longer possible to add further files, as the files then become time-stamped evidence of the content of your work at that point.

    If you discover an error in the title of the work, owner name, or contact details when you receive your certificate, this can be corrected by contacting our  department. Please ensure you advise us of any corrections within 28 days from the receipt of your certificate.

  2. My certificate shows a date a day after (or before) the day I registered, what’s happened?

    Because we may need to provide evidence around the globe, it is important to have a standard verifiable time. Our servers therefore run on UTC/GMT (Greenwich meantime), if you live in a different time zone, depending on what time of day you register it is possible to have a difference due to the change of time zone.

  3. Other companies only offer small uploads, why is this?

    This is probably because they rely on a third party (normally an ISP), to host their services. As a result the uploads may either be stored by their ISP, or are most likely to be forwarded simply via email (it should be noted that standard email is insecure).

    Our policies prohibit such actions. We do not allow client information to be stored or transmitted via a third party, nor do we allow data to be transmitted in a non-secure manner. By hosting our own services, we are able to ensure security and provide much greater upload limits.

Additional information

For more information about registering your work, please see our fact sheet P-04: Registering Copyright, or see our question and answers pages on general registration questions and postal applications.