5 Reasons You Should Register Your Copyrighted Work

For every e-commerce business, your website is your intellectual property and contains your most valuable asset for marketing, sales and brand power.  It includes your company’s domain name, graphics, logo, images and written content.  Frankly, the better it is, the more likely it will be to catch the eye of an unscrupulous competitor that can easily copy your website content and images and present them as their own.  The best way to prevent others from stealing your content and images is copyright protection.  While copyright law automatically gives you ownership of your original work at the moment you create it, there are important benefits to registering the copyrighted work.  If your e-commerce business targets U.S. based customers or you have U.S. based competitors, then you should consider registering with the U.S. Copyright Office.  Here are five reasons why:

 

Evidence of Validity

 

Its evidence that your copyright is valid.

 

Pre-requisite to Filing an Infringement Action

 

Before you can sue someone for copyright infringement, you are required to register the copyrighted work at issue.

 

Receive Statutory Damages and Attorneys’ Fees

 

To be eligible for an award of statutory damages, which can range from $30,000 to $150,000 per infringement, and attorneys’ fees the copyrighted work must have been registered before the infringement occurred.  Otherwise, proving harm and damages from infringement are generally more difficult.

 

Provides a Public Record

 

Puts others on notice that your work is protected by copyright and you are the copyright owner.

 

Satisfies Deposit Requirements

 

With some exceptions, the Copyright Act requires owners to deposit two copies of their work with the Library of Congress within 3 months of publishing the work. This is commonly referred to as “mandatory deposit”.  However, registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office will satisfy this requirement.