I am about to release an app to the store and I have a feeling that before I publish it I have to do some legal stuff.

For the lack of my knowledge in this field, I want to ask you:

1) Should I register a copyright of my app?

2) Does registering a copyright of my app means (the source code)?

3) What if I didn't register my code before publishing (what the worst that could happen)?

4) Isn't the act of putting the app on the store considered a timestamp of the first author?

5) some people suggested putting my code on private github repo (I don't know if this is safe)?

I don't see people talking about this, they say the key is to push the product forward and don't worry about legal stuff, plus I don't really understand how I should register a copyright for every update and every new feature and every fixed bug on and on and on.

I am from Lebanon.

2 Answers 2


Copyright isn't something you register, it's something that you automatically have when you create something, so there is nothing to register.

Publishing to the app store, and backup files of your code will prove you created first if someone else steals it and you decide to take legal action.

Generally a private GitHub repo considered safe, but I don't believe it would add any value. (GitLab has free private repos and large enterprises use/trust that)

  • Copyright is something you register if you want a registered copyright.
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 17:31
  • yes you are right, you can "register" but I find the terminology misleading. What you are doing is registering proof of ownership, not registering your copyright. - Copyright is automatic, no formality required. -- OP would have proof of ownership by publishing to the app store, so registering isn't advantageous. Neither does registering prevent someone from infringing, so IMO registering is pointless.
    – flexi
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 19:24
  • A registered copyright allows you to claim damages easier because you dont have to prove losses.
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 19:30

What you were told would help you if I claimed I wrote the exact same software before you, and you copied my software. In practice that doesn't happen. If it happened, you would have lots of evidence about the creation of your software.

What does happen in practice is that someone copies the functionality of your software, or even steals your code, and tries to make money from it, and these people will claim they didn't copy your code but created it themselves. Depending on how your software is distributed someone may be able to take your compiled software and slightly modify it to make it look as if it was theirs. There's very little you can do to stop this from happening, what you can do is to hire a lawyer when it happens to make them pay.

  • So if I put my app, can someone take my code and register it with an office?
    – SomeUser
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 20:51
  • Do you know what I mean?
    – SomeUser
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 20:51
  • NO. No one can take your work and register it as their own without breaking copyright laws. You can't stop someone from stealing your work, you can only go after them once they have stolen it.
    – flexi
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 11:03

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