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last updated: 4/26/2011

Copyright Registration

Why Register?
Registering your copyright is not necessary, but has several advantages. First, you must register your copyright before you can bring a lawsuit against an unauthorized user. Second, registration creates a public record of the claim of copyright, which will make litigation far easier for you.

How Can I Register?
To register a copyright with the US Copyright Office, you will need to fill out a form, pay a non-refundable fee, and deposit a copy of the work. You can fill out an electronic registration form at the the US Copyright Office website. Registering online is a less expensive option as there is a lower filing fee.  You can also register your copyright by filling out the form and mailing it to the Copyright Office. When registering your copyright, make sure to follow all the instructions. 

When Should I Register?
You can register a copyright any time, but filing promptly has advantages. Registration within three months of publication makes it much easier to sue and recover money from an infringer. 17 USC § 412. However, late registration will never cause forfeiture of your copyright.


last updated: 4/26/2011