Registering Your Copyright

Registration, while optional, is relatively cheap ($45), takes little time, and provides a physical record of the copyright that exists independent of the work itself. Registration also confers various legal advantages if you file for registration promptly, should you ever have to go to court. These advantages include additional damages and the ability to recover the cost of lawyers’ fees. Because registration has these advantages, it can be useful to cite the registration if you ever have to notify someone to stop infringing your work. That person is more likely to sit up and take notice of your claim.

The U.S. Copyright Office has a page explaining what you need to do to register your works. You don’t need to have a lawyer to do this. The forms are designed to be filled out by individuals, and the Copyright Office makes a lot of information available to individuals who wish to register their works.

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