Copyright on music


Performing Art Works

Follow these steps to register your musical work.
Make sure your work is a performing arts work. Performing arts works are intended to be “performed” directly before an audience or indirectly “by means of any device or process.” Included are
musical works, including any accompanying words; (2) dramatic works, such as scripts, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic works; and motion pictures and other audiovisual works.
Note: Performing arts registration is not the same as registering a sound recording. Read more about choosing the
correct registration method. To register sound recordings, see the Sound Recordings instructions. Read more about the registration of musical compositions and sound recordings.

Put into one envelope or package:

  • a completed application Form PA or Short Form PA (choose Form to use)
  • a $45 payment to "Register of Copyrights."
  • nonreturnable copy(ies) of the material to be registered. (Read details on deposit requirements for musical compositions, motion pictures.

Please read this important notice about mail delivery disruption.

Send the package to:

Library of Congress
Copyright Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

Your registration becomes effective on the day that the Copyright Office receives your application, payment, and copy(ies) in acceptable form. If your submission is in order, you will receive a certificate of registration in 4 to 5 months.