While an individual owns the rights to the copyright from the minute the work is put into material form, the owner of said copyright cannot actually enforce the copyright in court until after the copyright has been registered in the Copyright Office. Copyrights must be registered before a lawsuit can be filed in Federal court. Similarly, obtaining a registered copyright allows the owner to sue an infringer for statutory damages and legal fees. Statutory damages can range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousand dollars (potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars if the infringement was determined by the courts to be “willful”) but will only be granted if the Copyright was registered prior to the commencement of a lawsuit.
IP Attorneys Specializing in Copyright Registration and Enforcement, .