Registration establishes a claim to copyright with the Copyright Office. Although copyright exists automatically in an original work of authorship once it is fixed in a tangible medium, a copyright owner can take steps to enhance the protections of copyright, the most important of which is registering the work. Although registering a work is not mandatory, for U.S. works, registration (or refusal) is necessary to enforce the exclusive rights of copyright through litigation.
In addition to establishing a public record of a copyright claim, registration offers several other statutory advantages:
- Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration (or refusal) is necessary for U.S. works.
- Registration establishes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright and facts stated in the certificate when registration is made before or within five years of publication.
- Registration permits a copyright owner to establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for protection against the importation of infringing copies.
- When registration is made prior to infringement or within three months after publication of a work, a copyright owner is eligible for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Even though you must register your work within three months after publication of a work, registration can be made at any time within the life of the copyright.
If you think you may need to register a copyright, please use the contact form below to set up a follow up call or paid consultation, or call us at (615) 620-5838.