Saturday, March 09, 2019

The Importance Of Being Registered

The Supreme Court has spoken with unanimity. If a copyright owner wishes to sue, they must first have the copyright of the work registered with the Copyright Office.

Additionally, if a copyright owner prevails in court, "full costs" don't necessarily mean "all costs".

Legal blogger Jonathan Hudis, writing for Quarles & Brady LLP, analyses the ruling, and the costs that even successful litigants may no longer hope to recover unless Congress writes new laws, in Copyright Lawsuits: Harder To Bring, Harder To Collect.


It's an important article.

For another thoughtful perspective, read The Supreme Court Weighs In On Copyright Matters - A Costly Decision And A Registration Requirement, by Eversheds Sutherland LLP legal bloggers Ann G. Fort,  Robert D Owen, and Anna C. Halsey.


The bottom line for authors is, register your work as early as possible, definitely before it is published or distributed in any form to any one.  

Authors playing catch up should be aware that it costs around $35 to register a single work, but that single work may only include the title, the copyright page, the work itself.  It is more expensive if the work contains promotional "back matter" such as a list of other works, or a preview chapter of another book.  On the other hand,  an author may register several her unpublished works as a group.

For something completely different, Artists Rights Watch discusses the collateral damage ( ie the creators and copyright owners) when tech giants indulge in a food fight amongst themselves.

It's reminiscent of what happened when a publisher rebelled against Amazon contracts, and Amazon allegedly blocked sales of books by authors published by that publisher!

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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