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

For more information, Contact Us

What Is a Copyright?

An Intellectual Property FAQ with Mark A. Williams.

Copyright is a federal right that is granted to the author of a work of art. So, you can think about someone who writes a book, someone who writes music or performs a play. Those people get a copyright, or a legal right, to reproduce and distribute that to the exclusion of all others.

Copyrights can be registered, but the nice thing in the United States is that as soon as you write a book, whether you have sold it to anyone or given it to anyone else to read, you have copyright protection. You do not have to register it. There are some benefits of registering it but a copyright attaches immediately and protects your intellectual property.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

For more information, Contact Us