Must I Register a Copyright With the Government to Receive Protection?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

Copyright protection attaches as soon as you create something. So, if you write a song or a book or even an article, as soon as you write it–you own it and you have the right to exclude other people from reproducing it, copying it, distributing it or really making any money off of it. The benefit of registering your copyright is that it is easier to get damages and you can get attorney fees.

If you find someone infringing your copyright, the first step you usually want to take is to consider registering your copyright, if you haven’t already done so, and then give notice to that offender that you believe they are infringing your rights. That way if you do have to file a lawsuit against them, it is easier for you to obtain damages and stop them from continuing to violate your copyrights.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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