Bert P. Krages II
Why You Should Register Copyrights

Copyright registration offers substantial benefits in being able to enforce your copyrights. By registering works with the U.S. Copyright Office within either three months of first publication or before the infringement occurs, copyright owners are entitled to recover statutory damages and become eligible to recover attorney fees against infringers. Statutory damages are awarded by courts and do not require the copyright owner to prove any specific loss. Depending on the circumstances, courts typically award between $750 and $30,000 per infringed work but may award as low as $200 and as high as $150,000 in extreme cases. Ironically, having the ability to recover you attorney fees means that most infringement matters are resolved quickly without having to file a court action.

Register Copyrights Yourself

I encourage clients to register their works themselves because it is a straightforward process that generally does not require much time or legal knowledge on the part of the registrant. Some kinds of works, such as photographs, can be registered in collections or groups in which multiple works are registered by filing a single application and paying a single filing fee. The U.S. Copyright Office provides good instructions that can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office web site. The registration fee is generally $35 or $55.