The world’s copyright registration service
What resolution should images be?
The resolution of submitted images simply needs to be sufficient to clearly show the content you are seeking to register.
Does a registration also provide evidence for a design right?
Yes, though there are two types of design right, ‘registered’ and ‘unregistered’ design right.
A registered design right (which covers the work for a longer period) can be applied for at national level, typically via the national Patent Office of the country in question.
Unregistered design rights are automatic (just like copyright) so a submission with us is evidence of the unregistered design right in the same way that it is evidence of copyright.
What is the best format for images?
PNG and JPG/JPEG files are a good format to use for images as they are generally smaller files, (due to compression), and can be read by most applications.
Registering art and design work
What to register
When registering you should submit copies of the work as evidence of the content of your creations. Do not send the original artwork. Your submission simply needs to be adequate to record the nature, content and design of your work, and what you actually submit will depend on the type of work you are registering.
- Artwork, plans or designs produced or stored electronically
If the work exists as a computer file, then submitting a copy of the computer file is normally the best option. If the artwork was created using a software package that stores files in a proprietary format that cannot be opened by other applications, it may be advisable to include a version exported to a more common format (such as a PDF, JPEG/JPG, PNG, SVG, TIFF, MS Office, etc.) to ensure future readability.
- Technical drawings, plans or designs on paper/printed materials
For work that only exists on paper, scanned images or digital photos of documents can be submitted during online registration or on a CD/DVD or USB flash drive with a postal application.
Hardcopy prints, photos, or photocopies can also be submitted if a postal application form is used.
- Physical artwork, paintings, drawings, etc.
If the work is a flat physical item such as a small painting you may be able to use a scanner to convert it to an electronic file.
For most other items it is best to photograph your work using a digital camera and submit the image files. One picture should show the entire work and close ups of any detail not clear in the main photo can be included if needed. It is a good idea to include something in the images that gives an idea of scale; a person or a ruler are common choices.
Work can also be submitted as hardcopy prints/photos, or photocopies if a postal application form is used.
- 3D work like sculpture, jewellery, etc.
For three dimensional items you should include photographs or plans of the work. Photographs are perfectly adequate to record the nature, content and design of your work and are an ideal way to register 3D items.
There should be images showing the complete work from a number of angles; i.e. one each from the front and back, plus additional images where needed to ensure all surfaces and detail are captured. You may include close ups of any detail that is not clear in the main photos. It is a good idea to include something in one or more of the images that gives an idea of scale (i.e. a ruler). For small items it is fine to include several items in the same photograph.
Copies of any plans/designs or technical drawing detailing the work are also acceptable.
How to register
Copyright registration can be carried out either online or by postal application.
Online registration is cheaper and will provide immediate cover for your work.
If there is a large amount of data, or if you have a slow or unreliable Internet connection, you may wish to consider a postal application instead.
- Registering by postal application
If registering by post - simply send the copy of your work either on CD, DVD, USB drive or as paper copies with your application form and payment.
- Registering online
During online registration you will be asked to upload the files that make up your work.
If you have a lot of files we strongly recommend that you take the following steps:
- Create a directory on your computer to temporarily store the files.
- Copy the files/images you wish to upload to the directory you just created.
- Use an application such as WinZip, WinRar/Rar, 7-Zip, StuffIt, or Tar to create an archive file (i.e. a .zip or .tar.gz file) from the directory (so you now have a single archive file containing your work).
- Upload this archive file when prompted during the online registration process.
We accept any type of compressed archive file, although we recommend that a non-proprietary format (i.e. .zip, .tar.gz) is used. As with all electronic files you should choose common formats to ensure that software to read the files will be available in the future.
Please be patient while uploading as most domestic ADSL lines will upload at around 1-2MB/minute.
Submitting a collection of related pieces as a single work
Sometimes a work may in fact be a number of items that are part of a larger project. For example a range of jewellery designs or a range of card designs. It is quite normal for designers to register a collection of designs as a single work and therefore pay one registration fee for the collection. In such cases you would simply enter a single title for the collection as a whole as the ‘title of work’ on the application form and submit all the designs that are part of that collection when registering.
It is also possible to add to the registration as a project evolves over time (i.e. if new designs are added to an already registered range of card designs). Updates to an already registered work are charged at a reduced rate, for more details please see our Updating Copyright Registrations fact sheet.