Importance of Copyright Registration

There are many reasons why it is important to register the copyright in a video[1] or a collection of videos. First, registration helps limit the likelihood that a copyrighted work is “innocently” infringed by someone else. Registration provides constructive notice of copyrights to others. Second, if someone does infringe your work, registration is required prior to bringing an infringement lawsuit.[2] Registration is required in order to collect up to $150,000 of statutory damages plus attorneys’ fees.[3] In short, copyright registration is important if one wishes to protect their valued works. Harrison Media Law recommends that you register all your important works. 

Attorney West Seattle offers a number of resources to clients who wish to license their work products via licensed distribution channels.  Attorney West Seattle work ranges from documentary films to computer software to trademark licenses.  In regards to media, a license allows a producer (the intellectual property rights holder also called the licensor) to sell their media by charging a user (the licensee) for the permission to use their work. Licenses protect the proprietary rights the producer has in his content and gives legal security to the buyer/licensee. Attorney West Seattle offers a collection of standard business licenses, releases, and agreements to help clients begin the negotiation step. For further inquiries please contact council at 206 745 3738 or


Copyright Counseling, Registration and Protection

Work-For-Hire Agreements

Ownership and Use Issues

Internet Copyright Issues

Non-Infringement Opinions

Copyright Contract Negotiation (Music, Movies, Entertainment, etc.)

Copyright Strategies for Media Companies

Filing and Prosecution of Copyright Applications

Protection and Enforcement of Copyrights


Domestic and International Trademark Counseling and Registration.

Selection, Use, and Enforcement of Trademarks

Trademark Searching, Opinions and Risk Analysis

International Trademark Applications, Management and Strategy

Filing and Prosecution of Federal, State and International Trademark Registrations

Management and Maintenance of Trademark Applications, Registrations, Renewals and Licenses Worldwide

Prosecuting and Defending Oppositions, Cancellations and Appeals Before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

[1] The federal copyright statute uses the term “work” to describe copyrightable material. Videos are included under “works”. According to 17 U.S.C. § 101, a “work” is created when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time; where a work is prepared over a period of time, the portion of it that has been fixed at any particular time constitutes the work as of that time, and where the work has been prepared in different versions, each version constitutes a separate work. 

[2] 17 U.S.C. § 411; See also, U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright Basics, Circular Title 1 (2011). 

[3] 17 U.S.C. § 412; 17 U.S.C. § 505; 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2). See U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts, Circular Title 40 (2010), “To collect attorneys’ fees or statutory damages, registration has to be done before the infringement occurs or within three months of publication. If infringement occurs after the three month window but before applicant has submitted a registration deposit, the applicant can still register copyrights and file suit, but they will not be eligible to ask for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.” Id. See Addendum C for further discussion of when attorneys’ fees are awardable without proper copyright registration.