FAQ Copyright Protection
I.) Is the registration of copyrights mandatory?
Taking into account that the signatories of the Berne Convention agreed that their copyright laws should not require any registration of a copyright nor the filing of whatever documents for the copyright to become effective, and given that over the last 120 years more than 170 countries have signed the Berne Convention, it can be stated that in the utmost majority of countries in the world the registration of a copyright is not mandatory.
II) Why should registration be conducted then?
However, the problem is that owing a valid copyright does not necessarily mean owing an enforceable copyright.
In the end, it will be a question of proof and in this regard, a valid but unregistered copyright may force you to spend a good deal of time and money to show that you are the lawful owner of the respective right.
And time - as well as money - you may not have when dealing with infringements of your copyright in a foreign country.
The voluntary registration of your copyright may solve this problem, as it will provide you with documents issued by state authorities of the very state you need to prove your ownership in.
Easy to imagine that customs and other public authorities will accept such documents much more easily than would be the case with foreign declarations or certificates or else which, furthermore, will often have to be translated into the local language first.
Therefore, taking care of your core markets and registering your copyrights there, if possible, may give you an advantage over infringers and may enable you to successfully fight counterfeiters and free riders.