In California, a unique challenge arises when the creator is an independent contractor. An independent contractor who enters into an agreement with a work made for hire clause triggers California Employment Law provisions, which can create significant headaches for the commissioning party.
Copyright rights exist the moment the work is created. These rights are weak, however, and a rights holder cannot sue for infringement or obtain certain remedies without registering their work. Without these remedies as a bargaining chip, the copyright owner will find it difficult to assert their rights. Therefore, every work–within reason–should be timely registered with the Copyright Office.