The Reasons You Need To Copyright

Why Copyright?

Before finding out ‘why’ you should copyright, it’s helpful to know what it is.

Copyright is the legal, exclusive right of an author of original works to prevent unauthorized copying, reproduction, distribution, public displays of original works such as books, music, artwork, photos, screenplays, computer programs, websites and logos. Original works whether they are published, unpublished, even those with or without copyright notices are considered copyrighted. So then, why is formal copyright registration still advisable?

#1 The best reason is that without copyright registration, you cannot sue someone for stealing, plagiarizing or creating derivative works from your original work. Copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is treated as prima facie evidence of copyright ownership (in other words, a presumption that the registration is both valid and factual). This is an enormous advantage when pursuing a lawsuit.

#2 Is that if you have registered your work for copyright within three months from the date of first publication or prior to the date of infringement, you can collect statutory damages. Otherwise, you can only be awarded actual damages, which might be minimal. Statutory damages can be awarded up to $150,000, plus attorney fees and court costs, depending upon the nature and level of infringing conduct. This difference in potential damage awards could mean the difference between you deeming it worthwhile to sue or not!

The moral of the story. Save yourself potential grief or even loss and copyright your work today! If you dont, one day you may wish you had.