A certificate of copyright registration creates a public record of information about the authorship and ownership of a work. This includes its title, the name of its author, the name and address of the claimant or copyright owner, the year it was created, and whether it is published, has been previously registered, or includes pre-existing material.
Apart from establishing a public record of a copyright claim, copyright registration offers several other advantages as well:
- Registration (or refusal) is necessary for all U.S. works, before an infringement suit can be filed in court.
- Registration establishes prima facie evidence of the copyright being valid. It also establishes the validity of facts stated in the certificate when a work is registered before – or within five years of – publication.
- A copyright owner is eligible to damages, attorney’s fees, and other costs, when registration is made prior to infringement or within three months after a work is published.
- If you register a work for copyright before it is published, you don’t have to re-register when the work is published, although you can register the published edition, if you like. You can register for copyright at any time within the life of the copyright.