A recent copyright case, May v. Sony Music Entm't and Cyrus, involving a top-of-the-charts song illustrates the importance of early copyright registration, before any infringement begins.
Later registration will not preclude suit, but it will limit the relief that can be collected. In some cases, that limitation may turn what seems like a winning case into a loser.
The case also highlights an effective strategy for those defending against copyright infringement claims, especially in cases involving “copyright trolls.”
Lawsuits are about more than who is liable – they are also about remedies, including how much to pay in damages. If there is a way to limit the awardable damages, that can go a long way towards disposing of a suit.