I know a woman who gets paid to help people copyright their intellectual property. (Did you think I misspelled the word copywriter? Haha)
A semester of intellectual property law and an interest in being a singer-songwriter armed The Copyrighter with just the information she needed to make a business out of registering people’s works with the U.S. Copyright Office.
At the time of this writing, the cost to digitally file a copyright with the U.S. Copyright office is $55 (or $35 to file a single work – read about copyright fees here). The Copyrighter charges $75. The process itself takes her about 10 minutes to complete. To answer your question, yes she could charge substantially more per copyright.
So how does one go about getting into the home business of registering IP with the U.S. Copyright Office, short of law school?
You don’t need to pay for college courses. Just do some reading and take good notes. Familiarize yourself with the copyright process. It is actually pretty straightforward, but there are some do’s, don’ts and best practices you need to know before you launch your copyright service.
Honestly, a few well-chosen articles and a visit to the Copyright Office website could get you started on the road to a bit more insight as far as copyright law is concerned.
Lawyers who specialize in intellectual property law are an invaluable resource for anyone looking to protect their works. If you are not a lawyer with expertise in intellectual law, don’t advise clients. Just focus on the logistics. You deal with the mechanics of knowing which forms to complete, when to complete them and how to complete them. I would encourage you to always advise your clients to seek professional counsel from a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law.
- Skills inventory: Attention to detail, understanding of U.S. Copyright law and the registration process
- Physical / virtual inventory: Computer and internet connection, electronic payment method
- Launch cost: None
- Marketing: Mix and mingle with creative types – musicians, authors, composers. List your business and your service with online business directories, especially Google My Business. If you want, you can even write a few pieces about different copyright forms OR spread the word about your clients works being published (with permission, of course) as part of your normal content strategy. For this type of business, it’s a good idea to cretae business cards because your clients will typically run a little older, especially if you’re helping to copyright books. So, business cards and a mobile-responsive, professional website will help you get the word out.