1602 What Is Preregistration?
In cases involving the infringement of a United States work, copyright registration is a prerequisite for filing an infringement action and for seeking an award of statutory damages and attorney’s fees. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, 411 (A), 412. Often, copyright owners do not seek registration until the work has been completed and distributed to the public, which may limit the remedies that may be available in cases involving “prerelease” infringement. See H.R. REP. NO. 109-33, pt. 1, at 4 (2005), reprinted in, 2005 U.S.C.C.A.N. 220, 223.
To address this concern, Congress created preregistration – a procedure that allows certain copyright owners to file an action for infringement and seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in cases where the work was infringed before the copyright owner completed the work and released it to the public. See 17 U.S.C. § 408 (F) (1)- (2); see also Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims, 70 Fed. Reg. 42,286, 42,286 (July 22, 2005); Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims, 70 Fed. Reg. 61,905, 61,905-06 (Oct. 27, 2005).