5 Advantages of Copyright Registration on a Song

5 Advantages of Copyright Registration on a Song

by Susan Basko, esq. 

The advantages of registering copyright on your songwriting and sound recordings include:

1. You can't sue for copyright infringement until you register.

2. If you have registered a song timely after it was created or before it is infringed, and it is then infringed, you can collect statutory damages, which are quite high, even if the real damages are quite small.  If there was not registration before the infringement, statutory damages cannot be claimed and neither can attorney fees.  THIS IS HOW simply registering will usually cause people to not infringe on a work, or to immediate remove it or cease with no argument, even without a lawsuit.  This leverage power comes from registering before it is infringed.

3. Registration gives notice to the world.

4. Registration provides a very easy, centralized way for people to find who owns a song and how to contact them.  The US Copyright Office has now included space for all that information on the registration, so it acts now as a centralized information database for songwriters and recording artists.  This enables a songwriter or owner of a sound recording to be easily contacted by those who want to license the song, use the song in a film or TV show, or who want to know where to pay mechanical royalties.

5. Copyright Registration allows the copyrights to be easily included in a will, trust, or as collateral for a loan or as a business asset.