Unlike patents (i.e., inventions) or trademarks (slogan, text, and logos), copyrights restrict others from infringing on your art. Such art may include music, books, publications, paintings, photos, etc. When “snipping” a photo from the website you may notice the copyright disclaimer attached to the picture.
Here are some critical tips to know regarding copyright law. You cannot file a lawsuit against an infringer if your art is not registered with the United States Copyright Office. Although you may have some “common law” remedies against infringers you are limited to certain damages.
You do, however, have an option. If you suspect someone has infringed on your unregistered art, you have three months to register your art in order to file a claim. However, as stressed above, you are limited to amount in damages you can receive.
Other options include preregistration which is limited to certain art under certain circumstances.
The moral of the story is to quickly register your art if you plan on licensing.