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Old 19th November 2019
Lives for gear
You have to have a registered copyright before you can sue Robin Thicke in court...
You also need to have a registered copyright if you want to collect the damages for infringement that are set by law. They are fairly hefty. If the infringement was intentional, it can be as high as $150,000... plus any of the infringer's profits attributable to the infringement.

If you rely on the automatic copyright without registration, you have to prove your actual damages in court... arguing against the infringers' lawyers, who are getting well paid.

The US government system exists to protect artists*. Take advantage of it.

IANAL. Even if you have government registration, a lawyer can help you maximize the payment for infringements... much much more than the same lawyer would be able to do if your work isn't registered.

* It exists to protect Disney even more, but there's nothing we can do about that.