Photo Attorney

Sep 27, 2005

Registering Your Published Photos As a Group? There Is A Limit!

Copyright law changed in 2001 to allow you to group register images published in the same year (if they were made by the same photographer who also owns the copyrights to them) on one Form VA and for one registration fee. You also can include Form GR/PPh/Con ("Group Registration of Published Photographs Continuation Form") with your registration to list each photograph by its title, date of publication, nation of publication, and description (optional).

While tedious to prepare, this continuation form can give you extra insurance and additional damage awards if your copyrights are infringed. For example, as long as you register the photo before it is infringed or within the three months of its publication, you are eligible for significant statutory damages. Form GR/PPh/Con helps you and the US Copyright Office keep a more accurate record of important dates in case you need them for these types of claims.

Previously, there was no limit on the number of photographs that you could include in a group registration for published images. But think of the poor US Copyright Office employee when opening one recent registration that consisted of a staggering total of 1,776 continuation forms! It's no wonder the Copyright Office quickly amended its regulations to limit to 750 the number of photographs (which equates to 50 forms) that may be submitted with a single application form and filing fee.

There still is no limit to the number of photographs that may be included in a single group registration when you elect not to use continuation sheets. Instead, you can identify the date of publication for each photograph on its deposit, in a text file on the CD-ROM or DVD that contains the photographic images, or on a list that accompanies the deposit and provides the publication date for each image.

Regardless of how you choose to do it, registering your photographs is never the wrong choice.

Take my advice; get professional help.