Skip to content

Copyright registration is a statutory legal formality which makes a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. Copyright in a work is obtained as soon as it is put into a tangible form. Before registration the author has common law rights in the copyright. Advantages to copyright registration:

  • Copyright registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
  • Copyright registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin to be the basis of an infringement suit in US federal courts.
  • If registration is completed 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. If registration occurs after infringement and not within three months after publication of the work, 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.

Back to Copyright Dictionary