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Copyrights Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation United States Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Copyright Registration of Multiple Works

The 'Unicolors' case highlights the value of copyright registration, not only for creators who rely on the exclusivity of their content for making a living, but also for anyone with copyright eligible works in their IP portfolio.


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Copyright registration is not mandatory to obtain rights in the United States, consistent with the rest of the world, under the Berne Convention. The owner of a work is entitled to mark the work “© [owner] [date]” to provide notice of ownership, regardless of registration status. A federal copyright registration is only required to enforce rights in U.S. courts. So why register early? U.S. law contains some valuable incentives to encourage copyright registration. An owner who timely registers is eligible to recover statutory damages (if desired) and attorney fees, in addition to obtaining an injunction. A copyright owner who registers more than three months after publication and after infringement commences, can still seek an injunction, but monetary recovery is limited to actual damages.

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