Under U.S. law, copyright protection extends to literary works, musical works, dramatic works, performances, graphical works, motion pictures and sound recordings.

Works that are not subject to copyright protection include facts. However, literary works of a factual nature are subject to protection. Copyright protection also does not extend to systems, methods of operation and individual words or short phrases.

Pure ideas are also not subject to copyright protection. Expressions of ideas are subject to protection, however, when they are fixed in tangible medium. Copyright registration is not a requirement for protection. This raises the question as to why one should register their copyright.

Registration creates a public record of the copyright. Owners of registered copyrights are entitled to statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. If registration occurs within five years of publication, it is considered prima-facie evidence in a court of law.

Registering a copyright is a very simple process. It usually takes one to two years. To register, you usually need a form, a fee and a copy of the work.

The examination process is usually not substantive unless there is an issue about whether a work is subject to protection.