Virginia Beach, VA asked in Copyright for Virginia

Q: Can I copyright a published work that I have already posted? I make webcomics and want to protect a page I posted.

I can provide the original files and such, and I want to keep my characters protected.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC

A: You had the copyright as soon as you created the work (you might say a "common law copyright"). But to be eligible for "statutory damages," U.S., copyright law encourages registration before publication. Beyond 3 months after publication, if there's been an infringement, a copyright owner might only be able to pursue actual damages. Here's the law:

Even if it's beyond 3 months, registration is still beneficial (i.e., to protect against future infringers). This is not legal advice. See a copyright attorney with your specific facts to be sure you're not overlooking anything.

Good luck.

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