Benefits of Copyright Registration

I am often asked “is the cost of registering the copyright worth it for me by both businesses and individuals?”  Although this is generally a case specific inquiry based on the nature of the work, how it is to be used, the needs of the business or individuals, and the goals of the business and/or individual, there are some general benefits to registration. 

Generally, registration according to 17 USC 412 provides for statutory damages and award of attorney’s fees so long as it is done within 3 months of the first publication date.  Registration is often a predicate to sue for infringement under 17 USC 411.  Registration often provides the benefit of constructive notice to others of your rights as of the date of registration and eliminates certain defenses an infringer may assert 17 USC 401.  Finally, the registration certificate provides a presumption of validity of your copyright and often shifts the burden to the infringer to assert any invalidity in your copyrights under 17 USC 410 (c).  

Depending on the needs of a particular business or an individual these benefits can often outweigh the costs and fees of filing a copyright registration.

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