Should You Register Your Copyright?
Generally you must register your work with the Copyright Office in order to have the benefits of the copyright statute and its statutory remedies. Some courts allow an action to be brought after an application has been filed; whereas others require the registration to be issued. However, there are other reasons to register your copyright. A copyright registration creates a public record of the copyright in the work, permits the copyright holder to mark the work with a copyright notice, and will help the owner establish willful infringement in a copyright infringement matter. Moreover, if registration is made within five years from the date that the work was published, the certificate of registration constitutes prima facie evidence in any judicial proceeding of the facts stated in the certificate and of the validity of the copyright. And if a registration is made within three months after first publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, then the copyright holder can be awarded statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in an infringement action.. Statutory damages can range anywhere from $200 to $150,000 per work infringed. Finally, a copyright holder who has registered the work can also avail themselves of the takedown provisions ofr the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).