Copyrights protect original expression in various types of works, including software, music, lyrics, books, manuals, statues, paintings, photographs, movies, animations, web sites, and so forth.

Although copyrights arise automatically as soon as your work is put into a tangible medium, the federal registration process is very important for the following reasons:

  • You cannot actually sue anyone for copyright infringement until you have registered your copyright.

  • If you register your copyright before the infringement begins, then you are eligible to receive statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringing event, regardless of what your actual damages are.

  • If you register your copyright before the infringement begins, you are also eligible to receive payment of your attorney fees from the infringer.

Thus, registration of a copyright is well worth the effort, and an important step in protecting your intellectual property.

It is important to have a contract in place with any third party that helps to develop any copyrightable works for you, because in the absence of any such, the copyrights might belong to the developer and not to you as the person contracting and paying for the work.

In order to proceed with a copyright registration, you would need to have the following information:

  • An electronic deposit copy of each work to provide to the Copyright office,

  • The name of the authors of the work, or if the work is a work for hire,

  • The year in which the work was completed,

  • The month, day, and year that the work was published, if it has been, and

  • The name and address of the copyright applicant (either the author or the company).

We Can Help

If you want assistance with any phase of a copyright project - we can help! If you've tried to navigate the registration process by yourself and run into problems - we can help!