You saved me a similar post and you said it better than I would have! I'm
keeping a copy of your email in my business file for easy reference.
Jim Perkins wrote:
> Here's what the U.S. Copyright Office has to say about the subject (from
> Circular 1 - Copyright Basics, available online at:
> http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html )
> "COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION
> In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a
> public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However,
> registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though
> registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law
> provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to
> make registration. Among these advantages are the following:
> 1. Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
> 2. Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is
> necessary for works of U. S. origin.
> 3. If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will
> establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright
> and of the facts stated in the certificate.
> 4. If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or
> prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees
> will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only
> an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
> 5. Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the
> registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the
> importation of infringing copies. For additional information, request
> Publication No. 563 "How to Protect Your Intellectual Property Right,"
> from: U.S. Customs Service, P.O. Box 7404, Washington, D.C. 20044. See the
> U.S. Customs Service Website at www.customs.gov for online publications."
> In simpler terms: the work must be registered in order to file a lawsuit;
> if you register the work within 5 years of publication, this registration
> can be used as evidence to prove your claim; and if you register it within
> 3 months of publication, you can collect statutory damages (up to $150,000
> per infringement) plus legal fees, in addition to actual damages.
> You aren't required to include a copyright notice on your work when it is
> published but it's a good idea to do so anyway. The copyright notice
> informs people that this is a copyrighted work. If they infringe the work,
> they can't claim ignorance, i.e., they can't claim that didn't know it was
> copyrighted. Proving that the defendant knew what he was doing and
> "willfully" violated the copyright is an important step in making a claim
> for statutory (punitive) damages.
> The bottom line is this - register your copyrights within 3 months of
> publication and, whenever possible, affix a copyright notice to your work
> to let others know that it is protected.
> James A. Perkins, MS, MFA
> Assistant Professor of Medical Illustration
> College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
> Rochester Institute of Technology
> Bldg. 7A, Room 3415
> 73 Lomb Memorial Drive
> Rochester, NY 14623
> 585-475-2443 fax: 585-475-6447
> [log in to unmask]