How Do I Protect My Copyright?

you have (at least) two options.

If you've created a valuable work that meets all of the copyright requirements, you automatically get copyright protection for it in the United States. You don't have to register the copyright, though you can do so with the United States Copyright Office. But, if you get copyright protection automatically (and for free) why would you want to pay money to register your work with the Copyright Office?

Registration has many benefits. A few are outlined below:

  • You have a public record that you created something and have ownership of it.
  • If you want to sue someone for illegally copying your work, you have to have it registered first.
  • While you can register your work any time, if you do it within 5 years of publishing the work, courts can assume that the copyright is valid and that everything in your application is true.
  • If you register your working within 3 months of publishing it, or before someone else illegally copies your work, you can get better money damages in court. The other side may also have to pay your attorney's fees.
  • You can record your registration with the United States Customs Offices to protect against illegal copies coming into the country.

Filing a copyright application isn't necessarily a long process, but it can be deceivingly complex. If you need assistance registering your copyrights, please reach out to us.