Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Registering Copyrights ...

I'm in agreement with the "associational plaintiffs" of the copyright class action on one point: registering your copyrights is valuable. You don't have standing to sue in federal court for infringement until you've registered. And unless registration is within 90 days of first publication or before infringements occur, you're eligible only for "actual damages," not for extraordinary or punitive "statutory damages" and reimbursement of attorneys' fees.

With that in mind, I decided this week to register the copyrights for four of my old magazine pieces. For two of them, I used separate Short TX forms. Because the other two were published in the same 12-month period, I was able to combine their registration by using both Short TX's and an omnibus form, known as the GR/CP. The advantage with the omnibus registration is that you pay the same $30 fee as for a single-work registration. The forms, with instructions, can be downloaded at http://www.copyright.gov/forms.

More step-by-step details shortly.


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