Why do you need to get copyright protection?
Protecting your business' intellectual property is akin to protecting its image. Whether you produce instruction manuals or advertise with a television commercial, written and visual media represent your company. You thus want to control its use.
Though you will always retain some control over original works, copyright registration gives you ultimate control. The following are some examples of what copyright protection can do for you.
If you get copyright protection, you also get:
1. A public record of ownership. Placing others on notice may discourage copyright violations. A public record will also make it infinitely easier to stop internet violations. An Internet Service Provider will need to remove infringing content at your request.
2. Presumptive validity. If litigated, a copyright registered within five years of publication will be considered valid. The defendant bears the difficult burden of proving otherwise.
3. You can sue. Registration is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit under the federal Copyright Act. If a work is registered within 3 months of first use, you may also be entitled to $150,000 in statutory damages and attorney's fees.
4. Stop importation. Copyright registration can also prevent the importation of infringing goods. However, you will first need to record your registration with the U.S. Customs Service.
In addition to the above, when you get copyright protection, you get a preferential bargaining position. During disputes, definitive ownership gives you the upper hand. And during business transactions, it provides you with an easily transferrable and valuable asset.
- Top 10 Reasons You Should Claim and Register Your Copyright (FindLaw)
- FAQs: Copyright Registration & Copyright Enforcement (FindLaw)
- Public Domain: When Can You Lift Content? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)