• Victoria Smolyar, Esq.

Copyright: To register or not to register - THAT is the question!

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

As an entrepreneur and a content creator, you should know that every original work that you create, no matter how big or how small, is valuable and it should be treated as such.

When you invest in a registered copyright, you can continue to grow your business and your brand with confidence and security in the fact that your valuable creative works are protected and that only you and the people you give permission to are benefiting from their use.

That said, registration takes time and money, and, in the interest of full disclosure – though still valuable, not every original work is worth the time and cost of registration.

So how can you know which works are worth registering and which are not?

We often advise our clients to start by creating an inventory of their creative works. Once everything is in front of you, you can then evaluate each work one by one, to determine whether or not that work is significant to your current and future business interests.

Some things to consider when making this evaluation are:​

  • The amount of time and effort spent on creating the work.​

  • How easy it is to copy and/or share this work (in general and in connection with the channels used to distribute this work)?

  • How likely are you to enforce your copyright rights, if necessary?​

  • How is easy is it for someone to monetize this work?​

  • How damaging would infringement be for your business?

Works that you've deemed significant should then be registered with the US Copyright Office.

If you'd like more guidance, consider our legal guide: Should I Copyright? DIY Copyright Evaluation Guide & Worksheet

#entrepreneurship #smallbusiness #intellectualproperty #copyright #copyrightregistration #businesslaw

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