This blog posting uses the term podcast; however, these guidelines for copyright registration apply to any original audio recording you produce.
Submit Your Application Electronically or On a Paper Form
You can register the copyright in your podcast as a basic claim using the Copyright Office’s online registration system or using a paper application form available from the Copyright Office’s website. Online registration is less expensive and has a faster processing time.
Determine Which Elements of the Podcast You Own
Your podcast potentially consists of two separate copyrightable elements. There is a copyright in the recording and a copyright in the underlying material (assuming the underlying material qualifies for copyright protection).
For example, suppose you write and develop a seminar on woodworking and then record a podcast featuring that seminar. There is a copyright in the seminar content you developed. There is also a separate copyright in the podcast recording of the seminar.
If you are the producer of the podcast but did not create the underlying content, claim ownership only in the sound recording. If you are also the owner of the underlying material, you may claim ownership in both the sound recording and the underlying material. By registering the underlying work and sound recording together in one application, you pay one filing fee instead of two.
More Resources on Copyright Registration:
How to Copyright Protect Your Work. Part One.
How to Copyright Protect Your Work. Part Two.
Copyright Protection for Internet Content. Part One. – Some Basics
Why You Must Check the Status of Your Copyright Registration Application
The Cyber Citizen’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle includes a sample of a completed copyright registration application for a podcast with explanatory notes.