Email us for help
Attorney Steve® Copyright Law Essentials - Getting attorney fees and statutory damages by registering your copyright AFTER you notice infringement.
17 U.S.C. 412 has been used by "copyright trolls" to justify seeking high monetary demands out of court (ex. photography tolls) even though their photos are not registered with the United States Copyright Office. But, is this the law? Attorney Steve provides a general legal overview of this code section. In short, this section is for "pre-registered" content under section 408(f) of the copyright law. Don't be fooled otherwise.
17 U.S.C. 412 - Registration as prerequisite to certain remedies for infringement
"In any action under this title, other than an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author under section 106A(a), an action for infringement of the copyright of a work that has been preregistered under section 408(f) before the commencement of the infringement and that has an effective date of registration not later than the earlier of 3 months after the first publication of the work or 1 month after the copyright owner has learned of the infringement, or an action instituted under section 411(c), no award of statutory damages or of attorney’s fees, as provided by sections 504 and 505, shall be made for—
(1) any infringement of copyright in an unpublished work commenced before the effective date of its registration; or
(2) any infringement of copyright commenced after 1st publication of the work and before the effective date of its registration, unless such registration is made within three months after the first publication of the work.