Importance of Copyright Registration

Copyright provides the creators of original works of authorship with a set of exclusive rights to copy, distribute, and perform their works for a limited period of time. Protected works include (but are not limited to) books, plays, music, movies, photographs, paintings, sculptures, digital files, and web pages these all are valuable creations worth protecting. Although copyright in a work exists automatically when an original work is created, a certificate of registration is evidence that your creation is protected by copyright and that you, the person registered, are the owner. It can be used in court as evidence of ownership.


  1. Establishes a public record of the copyright holder’s ownership.
  2. Enables copyright holders to sue infringers in federal court.
  3. If made before or within 5 years of publication establishes sufficient evidence in court concerning the validity of the copyright and the facts stated in the copyright certificate.
  4. If Copyright registration is made within 3 months of publication of the work or at any time prior to an infringement of the work, the copyright owner is entitled to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Without registration, only an award of actual damages and profits will be available, and these can be quite difficult to prove.
  5. Allows the copyright owner to record the registration with U.S. Customs to protect against the importation of infringing copies into the US.