Answered By: Rob Lopresti Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016 Views: 78
Everyone owns the copyright to their works as soon as they are produced. There is no need to go through a formal process for copyright protections, nor is there a need to include copyright notices with your works. However, if you register your copyright with the United State Copyright Office, it makes it easier to sue if your copyright is violated.
From the U.S. Copyright Office website:
"To register a work, submit a completed application form, a nonrefundable filing fee, which is $35 if you register online; and a nonreturnable copy or copies of the work to be registered. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Registration Procedures.”"
One exception is work for hire. Your employer could own your work under certain circumstances. For details see the University of Texas's page Who owns what?