What are the benefits of registering my copyright?
While registration of a copyright with the Copyright Office is option, there are benefits and advantages to seeking a registration. If the work is registered within five years of the date it was first published, the subsequent registration acts as prima facie evidence of the copyright’s validity (in other words, in a later lawsuit involving a claim of copyright infringement, there is a presumption that the author’s copyright is valid). In addition, if an author wants to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement for a work they authored in the United States, they cannot do so if the copyright has not been registered. However, the registration can be done after the infringing actions took place - so if an author has not registered their copyright and discovers someone infringing their copyright, they can seek a registration and then file a lawsuit for infringement (but the lawsuit cannot be filed until after they obtain the copyright registration.
Finally, if the author registers their copyright either before a work is published, or within three months of publishing, there are additional remedies available to them in a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Specifically, if an unpublished work is registered before any infringement takes place or if a published work is registered within three months from publication, the author can seek statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in an infringement lawsuit.