Copyright non-repudiation service Safe Creative recently announced that they were launching a service to help their users register content with the U.S. Copyright Office and have an official USCO registration in addition to the timestamp and other registration services provided by Safe Creative.
The idea is actually fairly simple. As a Safe Creative user, you have provided much, if not most, of the information needed to register a work with the USCO. So Safe Creative, for a small fee, takes that information and uses it to fill out the form for a copyright registration, combine that with the file already uploaded to the service and then send it off.
The service costs $25 per registration plus the $35 filing fee charged by the U.S. Copyright Office. However, free Safe Creative accounts have one free registration and professional ones have three.
The process, during my testing, is very straightforward. As someone with a completely filled in Safe Creative account, I only had to add some information about the work itself, including publication information, work type and my contribution. The rest, including my information, was already filled in. If I had gone ahead and hit submit, it would have easily been the fastest USCO registration I’d done on any service I’ve tested.
That being said, I did spot a few concerns, likely due to the newness of the product. First, there’s little explanation about how to answer many of the questions. If you want guidance as to whether your work is published or unpublished, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Also, my “free” registration actually cost $12.50 after taxes and financial fees, totaling $47.50. While still cheap, it came as a bit of a surprise and will likely catch others off guard too.
All in all though, the system does work very well and, considering that Safe Creative has good RSS integration and you can register multiple works at once, this might be a good alternative for bloggers and photographers looking to register their sites every three months. Especially if you want to avoid the hassle of going through the USCO’s system yourself and don’t mind paying a bit extra.
In short, if you are a Safe Creative user and either currently registering your works with the USCO or want to get started, this is a fast, effective way to do it, all at a cost that well below industry norms. Most importantly, this service plugs a hole in Safe Creative’s offerings, one that all non-repudiation services face, in that they are not “official” and can’t offer the benefits of a USCO registration.
Disclosure: I have done consulting for Safe Creative. I am also a competitor with this service in that I occasionally offer USCO registrations as a service.