Similar to a trademark, registration is not necessary to appreciate legal protection for copyrightable work. In fact, copyright protection is something that is automatically earned by an author as soon as any type of creative expression is fixed in some type of tangible medium. While this is true, there are a few benefits offered by registering any work with the U.S. Copyright Office, with these advantages being listed here.
Create a Public Notice of Ownership
The work is published inside of the Copyright Office’s Catalog. Once there, it can be searched by the public. Anyone that things about using the work can search the catalog to find out that the work has been protected. This provides constructive notice to the public that the work is owned and it will defeat the claims of any type of “innocent infringement.”
Legal Ownership Evidence
If someone takes a person’s work, the registration will help to avoid an expensive dispute over the ownership. The copyright registration is going to offer proof of ownership and relieve a person of this level of legal burden.
The registration is going to demonstrate that the copyright is valid if it has been registered within a period of five years of the publication. This will help to prevent any future challenges to a person’s rights for the work.
If registration is not handledin a timely manner, the copyright holder is limited to the actual damages for the infringement case. In some cases, these are nominal, and they may be hard to prove. When the copyright is registered, the holder of the copyright is able to receive statutory damages, along with attorney’s fees.
Instead of having to prove the actual damages occurred, the holder of the copyright may be eligible for receiving up to $150,000 per infringement along with the lawyer’s fees. Understanding the ins and outs related to copyright infringement and how it can affect someone’s work or original creative expression, can be quite beneficial. Being informed is the best way to know what to do and how to protect something, regardless of the situation.