"Copyright in the US is automatic on fixation of a creative work .... Registration is not necessary for basic copyright protection"
Rebecca Tushnet notes a Washington Post story that "confus[es] 'registration' with 'copyright' almost every single time the word 'copyright' appears. ... It is misleading, and potentially quite damaging, to tell authors that 'a claim filed with the government offers legal protection -- it is the only way to stop someone else from copying a work.'"