It is no longer necessary to register your copyright
with the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright protection begins the moment
an original work is fixed in tangible form and extends to unpublished
There are, however, some reasons you may want to register your copyright:
- Registration establishes a public record of the copyright
- Registration is necessary before an infringement suit may be filed in court
- If made before or within five years of publication, registration
will establish prima facie evidence in court of
the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in
- If registration is made within three months after publication
of the work or prior to an infringement of the work,
statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to
the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an
award of actual damages and profits
Registration may be made at any time within the duration of the
copyright. Today, the decision to register a work belongs entirely to
the copyright owner.
For More Information
Registering a Work FAQ -- A helpful guide to registering your work from the U.S. Copyright Office.
Online Copyright Registration -- Log in to the U.S. Copyright Office's eCO online registration system.