Columbia, MO asked in Copyright for Missouri

Q: Do I need to copyright an autobiography?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD

A: Once you "fix" a work, meaning making it perceivable by others, the rights of copyright immediately attach. So that part is covered. But in order to ease enforcement of those rights, it is wise to register the copyright with the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office's website ( has much useful information if you wish to file on your own. Check out Circulars 1 and 2 for starters.

There are several reasons why registration can ease enforce against copyright infringement. Two reasons are: 1) In order to file an infringement case, you must file in federal court and registration gives the court jurisdiction to hear the case. 2) You may be able to claim statutory damages and attorney's fees, neither of which are available if you file for the registration AFTER the infringement occurred.

The registration application may look very simple to complete, but their are some issues to consider that may not be apparent without further inquiry. If this will be your first go at registering a work with the Copyright Office, you may want to work with a copyright attorney to smooth the bumps.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.