A Copyright is a form of protection for original writings and covers published and unpublished works. This includes literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Protection begins the moment the work is created in tangible form. The author can register his or her work with the U.S. Copyright Office, which is a part of the Library of Congress, however, you do not need to register a work to gain copyright protection. Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office provides the following protections:
- The work is on the public record and has a certificate of registration;
- In the event of litigation, a registered work may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees if successful; and
- Registering within within 5 years of publication is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.