Y’all are probably sick of hearing me nag about registering your work as soon as possible, but here is a great example of why I do that. In a recent opinion the court wrote (emphasis added by me):
Because Compass did not register its copyright until February 17, 2012 one day after the alleged infringement commenced the court finds as a matter of law that Compass is not entitled to an award of statutory damages or attorneys fees.
Ouch. That really sucks.
Remember that yourregistration has to be before the infringement actually began (or, in the case of published work, within 3 calendar months of first publication), not just before you discover the infringement, for you to be able to get statutory damages or attorneys’ fees. Clearly the courts are willing to say “One day too late, tough.”