In order to take legal action against someone who has copied your original work, your copyright
must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Without federal copyright registration, you cannot legally prevent someone from copying or using your original work.
Copyright registration provides powerful ammunition against potential infringement.
The Benefits of Copyright Registration Include:
- Deter People From Copying – Copyright registration establishes a public record of your copyright which can deter others from copying the work without your permission.
- Have Exclusive Rights – Only the copyright owner has the exclusive rights to reproduce or change the work, display or perform it, or distribute it for commercial purposes.
- Sue for Infringement – You cannot bring a copyright infringement lawsuit until you have registered your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.
- Get Proof of Ownership – If you don’t register your copyright and someone else claims your work
as their own you will have to prove that it is actually yours. Registration avoids this burden of proof.
- Collect Money Damages – If registered before copyright infringement occurs or within three
months of publication, once proven, statutory damages of up to $150,000 plus attorney’s fees could be awarded to you as copyright owner, even if your actual damages are minimal.
- Know Your Copyright is Presumed Valid – If registered within five years of publication, your registration certificate is legal evidence of the validity and accuracy of your copyright.
- Get the Protection of U.S. Customs – Your registration may be filed with the U.S. Customs Services, which provides protection against the importation of infringing copies.