Copyrights are enforced through:
- Copyright registration
- Controlling use
If you own the copyright in a work you may sue anyone who violates
any of your exclusive rights for damages. Unfortunately, lawsuits
are expensive and unless you are making a lot of money from your
work, you may find the cost of litigation greatly exceeds the amount
of damages you could recover.
Registration and Litigation
To preserve the right to sue infringers, you need to file a copyright
registration on your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration
can be filed any time up to three months after an infringement has
occurred, however, you can recover greater damages in a lawsuit
if you have registered your work prior to infringement.
Since lawsuits are not always practical, you should consider other
means of ensuring your work is used by others in accordance with
your wishes. The best method for enforcing your rights is through
controlling how others may access your work or establishing ground
rules for use in a license.