Photo Attorney

May 26, 2009

Copyright and Registration MisInformation

Rebecca Tushnet over at her 43(B)log (the name is related to Trademark Law) rightfully complains about the misleading information given in the Washington Post article referred to in my May 19, 2009, blog. The differences and the importance of keeping the terms of "copyrighting" vs. "registering" your copyrights separated is explained in more detail in my June 21, 2006, blog.

But the most important information provided in the Washington Post article is that it's taking a long time to get your registration certificate back from the US Copyright Office. Because most federal circuits follow 17 USC 411(a) of the Copyright Act strictly, you must have received the registration certificate for your copyright to file a copyright infringement action. While you can pay a "special handling" fee of an additional $685 to have your copyright registration expedited, that's a high price to pay. It's best if you register your copyrights as soon as possible. Check my article for information on how to register your copyrights using the eCO system.