More Q&A – More Copyright Registration Issues

Q. Since I’ve been negligent in registering my copyrights, I would like to catch up.  It would be nearly impossible to determine which images have been published vs. unpublished. How can I protect everything? If I identify the entire collection as unpublished, does this affect or negate protection for the images that have been published?

A. Registering the copyrights to your entire collection of images is a bit like eating an elephant — you can do it only one bite at a time.  So break it up into smaller chunks that are manageable.

The most important step is to register the copyrights to photos that have been provided to others.  That is, register those shots that are on your website or that you have given to clients.  A photo can’t be infringed if the infringer doesn’t have access to it.

You should register your copyrights as accurately as possible. If you file a registration with known errors, your registration can be voided. This has been referred to as “fraud on the Copyright Office.”  Don’t waste your time and money. Fortunately, as explained in my March 21, 2010 blog entry, your registration won’t be invalidated unless you knowingly provide material inaccurate information in it.

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