Copyright registration exists for the sole purpose of protecting an individual or corporation from the possibility of infringement or violation of copyrights. Copyright registration, as allowed by provisions of copyright law, gives the opportunity to copyright owners to bring lawsuits of copyright infringement. The only way to legally be granted the opportunity is to have their copyrighted works registered with the United States Copyright Office.
Due to advances in technology, the piracy or illegal distribution of copyrighted works before they are published or commercially released has become an issue in terms of legal dispute. Because legislation requires that published works be registered within three months of publication or release in order to be eligible by legislature to pursue a copyright infringement lawsuit, the legal structure would not provide for the opportunity of those individuals or owners whose works are currently unfinished and not yet publicly published or distributed to file such a lawsuit.
Therefore, preregistration became a new option and has relevant importance in terms of copyright procedure to protect the copyright owners and their yet unpublished works from infringement.
Preregistration is strictly available to only those individuals that have works that are unpublished or in the process of being completed for commercial distribution. The United States Copyright Office determined that only certain types of works are vulnerable to have their copyrights infringed, such as movies, music, books, computer programs, video games, and commercially-viable photographs.
Though preregistration does not replace the formal copyright registration process, it does allow for individuals to protect their copyright materials and products before they are released or unfinished.
Applying for preregistration, as stated by law, also assumes the copyright owner’s responsibility of complying to the formal copyright registration process once the work is published or released. The application and preregistration process is simple and can be conveniently completed online at the United States Copyright Office website.