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I also "think" that you don't need to register to be protected by copyright, I sure hope that is correct! But you could copyright each design - yes, who is going to spend that amount of money
It is true that as soon as you create an original work, it is protected by copyright.

The benefit of officially registering a copyrighted work is that you now have PROOF to show if someone does infringe on your original work.

Without the registration as proof, you will have a much harder time proving that you are the original creator of the artwork. Mailing yourself a copy of the design isn't a valid way of proving creation date.

I also *think* you can only get damages for a proved case of copyright infringement if your design is actually officially registered with the copyright office.
 
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