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Copyright Registration and Term

Learn about the advantages of using the optional copyright registration system, registration formalities, and how long a copyright lasts.


Copyright protection begins the moment an original work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Registration isn’t required to create a copyright in a work. However, registration is required for a copyright owner to sue for infringement.

A copyright owner can register its copyright with the United States Copyright Office. To register a copyright, an author must submit a registration form, a fee, and a copy of the work, called a deposit. The Copyright Office maintains different...