As soon as they are created, all works are protected by statutory copyright. BUT, even though we have statutory copyright, there are some good reasons to register your work with the U.S. copyright office, including:

  • Proof of the validity of your copyright.
  • Registration must be made before an infringement in order to qualify to receive attorneys fees and/or statutory damages.
  • Registration is necessary in order to bring suit for copyright infringement.
  • If the work was published between 01/01/1978 and 03/01/1989, registration cuts off defenses that an infringer might be able to assert.

(From Tad Crawford's, Legal Guide for the Visual Artist).

You can use snail mail to request a copyright kit from:

Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington D.C. 20559
You can view information on their website and download the forms you need by going to:
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright

Some of this content was created by the University of Colorado at Boulder and was released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License. The Regents of the University of Colorado, 2005.