If you make your living from selling or performing your original works of authorship, it is good practice to register that work of authorship with the United States Copyright Office.  Registration creates a public record of your ownership, and if done within 3 months of publication or prior to infringement, it gives the author the right to seek statutory damages and attorneys’ fees from an infringer in a lawsuit.  Most importantly, though, registration is prerequisite to bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court.

Many authors, however, don’t bother to register their works until after an infringement occurs. 
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Law360 recently published an article about the Fifth Circuit case of BWP Media USA, Inc. v. T&S Software Associates, Inc.   The issue in BWP Media was whether “volitional conduct” is required for direct copyright infringement.   Defendant T&S Software Associates hosted an internet forum in which users posted images that infringed copyrights owned by Plaintiffs BWP Media USA and National Photo Group.  The plaintiff sued T&S for direct and secondary copyright infringement, but the trial court granted summary judgment for T&S. 
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Companies often debate as to whether their software code should be treated as a trade secret or should be registered as a copyright. There are many variables to consider, but perhaps the most important is whether the company wants its source code to remain a secret. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals provided this recent breakdown of the intellectual property considerations for software code:
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