David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld


Copyright Registrations – Do You Need ‘Em?

By David Lilenfeld on February 1, 2011

This is for non-lawyers and lawyers who do not practice in the area of intellectual property.  It is meant to correct a very common and damaging misconception about United States copyright law.  As an intellectual property litigator, I see this error frequently and, for those copyright owners who end-up having to deal with an infringer, it creates a serious problem.

Most of us understand that works gain the protection of U.S. copyright law when they are created and fixed in some tangible format.  This is accurate and important but, at the same time, a little bit misleading.  Creating and fixing your work affords you with rights, but  . . . and here is the key . . . you cannot enforce those rights without a copyright registration (A refusal from the Copyright Office to register will also suffice, although you will have to prove to the court that the Copyright Office’s refusal was improper).

In other words, you cannot bring a lawsuit under the U.S. Copyright Act until your work is registered or registration was refused.  If your work is infringed, you can rush to register it, but having waiting, you will likely have forfeited your right to recover money damages or attorney fees.

So, register your work and do so early.  Think of the registration as your key to the courtroom.

And, while on the topic, let’s quickly address another misconception.  There is no “poor man’s copyright.”  The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself and then relying on the date on the envelope gives no copyright protection.  Save your stamp!

Filed under: Q&A Leave a comment
Comments (83) Trackbacks (0)
  1. What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this website, and
    paragraph is actually fruitful designed for me, keep up posting such articles or reviews.

  2. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful &
    it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help
    others like you helped me.

  3. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how
    they believe. Always go after your heart.

  4. This article presents clear idea for the new
    visitors of blogging, that genuinely how to do blogging.

  5. Hi there to every one, since I am actually keen of reading this web site’s post to
    be updated regularly. It includes pleasant information.

  6. Hello, just wanted to mention, I loved this article.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  7. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This webpage presents helpful facts
    to us, keep it up.

  8. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness to
    your submit is just excellent and i can think you
    are an expert in this subject. Fine along with your permission let me to take
    hold of your RSS feed to keep up to date with imminent post.
    Thank you a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  9. We stumbled over here different web address and thought I should check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

  10. Fastidious answers in return of this query with firm arguments and telling the whole thing about that.

  11. This page definitely has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t
    know who to ask.

  12. This article provides clear idea in support of the new people of blogging, that actually how to do blogging.

  13. What’s up everybody, here every one is sharing such know-how, so it’s pleasant to read
    this blog, and I used to pay a visit this web site daily.

  14. Hello to every single one, it’s in fact a nice for me to visit this web page, it contains important

  15. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with
    the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  16. Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve keep in mind your stuff prior to
    and you are simply too wonderful. I really like what you’ve
    bought right here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you
    assert it. You are making it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible.
    I can not wait to read far more from you.
    That is actually a wonderful web site.

  17. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph i
    thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

  18. Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this webpage; this website contains awesome and actually good stuff in support of readers.

  19. This paragraph is really a good one it helps new net visitors, who
    are wishing for blogging.

  20. Highly descriptive article, I loved that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

  21. Wow! At last I got a weblog from where I know how
    to actually get helpful facts concerning my study and knowledge.

  22. My relatives always say that I am killing
    my time here at web, but I know I am getting know-how everyday by reading such pleasant articles.

  23. What’s up to every one, it’s genuinely a pleasant for me to go to see this
    web page, it includes helpful Information.

  24. Thanks very nice blog!

  25. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing,
    thus he/she wants to be available that in detail, thus that thing is
    maintained over here.

  26. I read this piece of writing completely concerning the resemblance
    of most recent and preceding technologies, it’s
    amazing article.

  27. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really understand what you are speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my website =).

    We will have a link trade agreement between us

  28. Hello I am so thrilled I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say
    thanks for a fantastic post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please
    do keep up the fantastic jo.

  29. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas
    you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your
    work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

  30. Article writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with after that you can write or else it is difficult
    to write.

  31. Outstanding post but I was wanting to know if
    you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thank you!

  32. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account
    your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access
    consistently quickly.

  33. bookmarked!!, I like your web site!

Leave a comment


No trackbacks yet.

Go to top ↑