Benefits of Copyright Registration

Many people wonder about the benefits of copyrighting their music with the United States Copyright Office. Registration of a copyright is not required for your work to be protected by copyright, however, there are certain benefits and protections of the law that you will only get with registration. For example, you cannot file a copyright infringement case in federal court (the court that handles copyright cases) if you have not registered!  Plus, the costs of registration are minimal and allow for the peace of mind that you can protect your rights later in a case of infringement.

Registering your mark with the United States Copyright Office gives you the following benefits*:

  • Public notice that you own the work;
  • Listing in the United States Copyright Office’s online databases;
  • The ability to bring a lawsuit to protect your work against infringement in federal court;
  • A legal presumption of your ownership of the work in court (if certain conditions are met);
  • Statutory damages and attorney’s fees (i.e. more money!) can be awarded to you if you win an infringement suit (if certain conditions are met). This is in addition to the award of actual money damages you would be entitled to if you won your case; and
  • The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

Filing a copyright application is best done by someone experienced in filing copyright registrations as the applications can specific information and can also be quite confusing to someone who has never filed one of these applications before.  Click here for more information on IAR’s Copyright Registration Services.



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Jacobson, Esq. Erin M.

Erin M. Jacobson is a practicing attorney that represents musicians, songwriters, music publishers, producers, and other music professionals. She is known throughout the music business as "The Music Industry Lawyer" and her clients range from Grammy and Emmy Award winners to independent artists and companies. She works directly with her clients at every career stage and strives to protect her clients and their creative endeavors through deal negotiations and proper intellectual property management. Erin founded Indie Artist Resource to provide protection to independent musicians with barriers to obtaining basic legal and business documents.

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