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Keep the Thieves Away by Registering Your Copyright

Today, almost every business has an online presence, with a website full of juicy original content like articles, videos, photography, courses and other digital media that thieves would just LOVE to get their paws on.

And as you probably know, copyright gives the author of any original creative work the exclusive (key word) right to display, perform, make copies of, distribute, and prepare derivative works.

Now, we’ve said before that you don’t have to register or publish your work to own the copyright in it. Common law copyright protection kicks in the moment the work is fixed in tangible form. You don’t even have to publish it first and you don’t have to tell anyone that you’re claiming ownership of it. The problem is, there are bad people out there who will steal your stuff and use it however they want and if you haven’t registered your work, you won’t have much recourse. The benefits of registering your work MEGA outweighs those you get from common law.

Here’s what you get when you federally register your copyright that you DONT get with common law copyright:

  1. You create an official government record of your creation and ownership of the work.
  2. You get to bring a Federal lawsuit. Registration gives you the right to file a claim of copyright infringement in Federal court. Hell yes.
  3. You get to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in that lawsuit (i.e., mo’ money).

The ugly truth is that there are pretty savvy copyright infringers; some of whom have an entire business plan based on scooping up other people’s content and using it to drive ad sales and page views on the Internet. Nasty, right?

SO a way to keep them away is to have your copyright registered in your work, because at least then they know that there’s a great chance of them getting sued for statutory damages.  So register your creative work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Do it and do it now so the bad guys don’t win!

 

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