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Better “Late” Than Never - Register Your Copyright

If you want to enforce your copyrights, then you need to timely register your copyrighted works with the U.S. Copyright Office. Timely registration effectively means that you have registered your work before it is infringed. 17 U.S.C. § 412. By timely registering your works, you will be able to claim statutory damages and attorneys fees. Without statutory damages and attorneys fees, enforcing your copyright may not be cost-effective. Thus, register your work as soon as possible.

It also means that, if your registration was not timely for one particular infringement, it could still be timely for a later infringement. How is this possible?

For this example, let’s assume your work was published on January 1, 2011. Person A infringed your work on July 1, 2011. You registered the work on February 1, 2012. Person B infringed your work on August 1, 2012.

In this case, your registration would be untimely for the infringement by Person A. However, your registration would be timely for the infringement by Person B.

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash.


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