17 U.S.C. § 411 : US Code - Section 411: Registration and civil infringement actions

      (a) Except for an action brought for a violation of the rights of
    the author under section 106A(a), and subject to the provisions of
    subsection (b),(!1) no civil action for infringement of the
    copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until
    preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been
    made in accordance with this title. In any case, however, where the
    deposit, application, and fee required for registration have been
    delivered to the Copyright Office in proper form and registration
    has been refused, the applicant is entitled to institute a civil
    action for infringement if notice thereof, with a copy of the
    complaint, is served on the Register of Copyrights. The Register
    may, at his or her option, become a party to the action with
    respect to the issue of registrability of the copyright claim by
    entering an appearance within sixty days after such service, but
    the Register's failure to become a party shall not deprive the
    court of jurisdiction to determine that issue.

      (b)(1) A certificate of registration satisfies the requirements
    of this section and section 412, regardless of whether the
    certificate contains any inaccurate information, unless - 
        (A) the inaccurate information was included on the application
      for copyright registration with knowledge that it was inaccurate;
        (B) the inaccuracy of the information, if known, would have
      caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse registration.

      (2) In any case in which inaccurate information described under
    paragraph (1) is alleged, the court shall request the Register of
    Copyrights to advise the court whether the inaccurate information,
    if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse
      (3) Nothing in this subsection shall affect any rights,
    obligations, or requirements of a person related to information
    contained in a registration certificate, except for the institution
    of and remedies in infringement actions under this section and
    section 412.
      (c) In the case of a work consisting of sounds, images, or both,
    the first fixation of which is made simultaneously with its
    transmission, the copyright owner may, either before or after such
    fixation takes place, institute an action for infringement under
    section 501, fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502
    through 505 and section 510, if, in accordance with requirements
    that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation, the
    copyright owner - 
        (1) serves notice upon the infringer, not less than 48 hours
      before such fixation, identifying the work and the specific time
      and source of its first transmission, and declaring an intention
      to secure copyright in the work; and
        (2) makes registration for the work, if required by subsection
      (a), within three months after its first transmission.