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Protecting Your Copyrights: Don’t Forget to Register!

Stories like this one always make me cringe and shake my head, just a bit.

To briefly summarize what you will read about in the article linked to above, an artist came to find that a retailer was selling prints of his work without his permission. As air max 270 pas cher is often the case with artists, this artist did not have a lot of money on hand to spend on a lawsuit — but, fortunately, he was able to find a lawyer who would take the case on contingency.

The retailer in question over 100 copies of the artist’s work. If you are familiar with the sort of statutory damages available in copyright cases, you know that 100+ infringements can add up to some serious money — upwards of $15 million, if the court imposes the maximum penalty on the offender.

In this case, however, the artist ending up settling a little over $10,000. Why so little? Because the artist in question never registered his work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

There are other benefits to registering copyrights for your creative works, but one of the BIG reasons to do it is that should your work every be infringed upon, and you opt to rectify that infringement by way of a lawsuit, you can only seek statutory damages (which top out at $150,000 per infringement) if you have registered your work with the Copyright Office.

For a good primer on the fundamentals of copyright, check out this circular from the U.S. Copyright Office.