What is a pseudonym?
A pseudonym, or pen name is a fictitious name that identifies an author or artist. A nickname or shortened variation of a person's legal name is not a pseudonym.
How do I copyright my work using a pseudonym?
A. Your best choice for legally protecting your work is to record the work with the Copyright Office using both your pseudonym and your legal name.
In the space for “name of author” (on the copyright form), enter your legal name followed by your pseudonym. Example: Anne Wallingford whose pseudonym is Beatrix Telic.
Check “yes” in the box that asks “Was this author's contribution to the work pseudonymous?”
In the space for “name of copyright claimant” use your legal name.
By identifying the author's legal name in the Copyright Office's records the term of the copyright is the author's life plus 70 years.
B. If you do not want to have your legal name connected to the pseudonym: in the space for “name of author” enter only the pseudonym and identify it as a pseudonym. Example: Beatrix Telic, pseudonym. Or, you can leave this space blank. (You must still identify the citizenship or domicile of the author.)
In the space for “name of copyright claimant” use your pseudonym instead of your legal name.
CAUTION: If a copyright is held only under a pseudonym, legal disputes about ownership of the copyright property may arise. You should consult an attorney familiar with these issues before registering your work only under a pseudonym.
If an author is not identified by legal name in the Copyright Office's records, the term of the copyright is 95 years from publication of the work, or 120 years from its creation, whichever expires first.