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Copyright Registration

Although copyright protection attaches as soon as the screenplay or other literary property exists in tangible form, and the rest of the world is notified of your copyright by placing a Copyright Notice on the title page of the screenplay (see section entitled Copyright Protection), there are a great many benefits to registering the copyright.

For example, you cannot sue another party for copyright infringement unless and until you have registered your copyright. Any damages which occurred prior to registration that are allowable under the Copyright Act cannot be collected prior to the registration date. If you register the copyright, any infringement that occurs after the registration will allow you to collect your attorney fees as well as statutory damages, in addition to other damages, for each copyright violation.

In order to register with the Copyright Office obtain Copyright Form PA (for screenplays) or TX (for other literary works).

You should also pay the then current filing fee, provide a complete copy of your screenplay, and send it off to the copyright office.

If you wish to contact the Copyright Office, the address is U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000. The telephone number is 202-707-9100 or 1-800-688-9889. The website is http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright. You may download all forms and obtain all necessary information on that website.

For further protection, the property should be Registered with the Writers Guild of America.

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