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The Basics About Copyright Registration

The advantages of copyright registration.

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In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection.

Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration.

Advantages of Copyright Registration

  • Copyright registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
  • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, copyright registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
  • If made before or within five years of publication, copyright registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
  • If copyright registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Copyright registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

When Can You Register

Copyright registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright.
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