What steps do we need to take to protect our works as copyrights?

Under the 1976 Act, two steps were required to protect a work created on or after January 1, 1978:

  1. a registration had to be obtained from the U.S. Copyright Office for the work; and
  2. a proper statutory copyright notice had to be placed on all copies of the work that were publicly distributed.

Under later changes in the law -- specifically, the Berne Convention -- a copyright notice is no longer required for works created after March 1, 1989. Only a registration is needed to be able to stop someone in court. You cannot sue for copyright infringement, to stop unauthorized copiers, until you register the work at the U.S. Copyright Office.  The application process typically takes three months, but the time can be shortened.

Last update on April 10, 2013 by Administrator.

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