Just To Be Clear – Registering Your Copyrights for Statutory Damages

To be eligible for statutory damages for copyright infringement (of at least $750 and up to $150,000 for willful infringements, plus costs and attorneys’ fees), you must have registered your photograph with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to the infringement or within three months (not 90 days) of first publishing it (NOT from the infringement). See 17 USC Section 412:

Section 412. Registration as prerequisite to certain remedies for infringement

. . . [N]o award of statutory damages or of attorney’s fees, as provided by sections 504 and 505, shall be made for –

(1) any infringement of copyright in an unpublished work commenced before the effective date of its registration; or

(2) any infringement of copyright commenced after first publication of the work and before the effective date of its registration, unless such registration is made within three months after the first publication of the work.

Don’t risk it! Register early and often!

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