When it comes to intellectual property in California, sometimes it can be tough to protect it. You may not know right away that someone is using your work. Furthermore, once you discover an issue, it can be hard to remedy the situation. If you register your copyright, you will receive additional protections. Copyrights are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
The U.S. Copyright Office explains registration is not a requirement. You own a copyright as soon as you share your creative work with the public. Registration, however, gives you legal proof of ownership. It also dates when you copyrighted the material. In addition, you have to register a copyright in order to sue someone for infringement.
If someone else claims a right to your work, registration can clear it up. If you registered the material previously, you own the rights and can offer registration as proof. Moreover, if you wish to transfer your rights, it makes it easier if your copyright has already been registered.
Finally, registration also alerts the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This means if someone tries to bring copies of your work into the country to sell, they will not be able to do so. The CBP checks for counterfeit goods caught at the border.
You can register your copyright at any time, but it is wise to do it as soon as possible to secure your rights. You want that legal record of your ownership in case issues come up.
This information is for educational use. It is not legal advice. If you want to learn further about protecting your copyright, then please contact us at The Wang IP Law Group.