Photo Attorney Blog Celebrates TWELVE YEARS!

Today is the 12th Anniversary of the Photo Attorney® blog!

Thank you for your continued support! 

This blog is full of helpful information for the photographer’s legal needs. With hundreds of blog entries on a variety of legal subjects that affect photographers, the best way to find information is to use the search tool located at the top right hand corner of the page or check the Posts by Topic at the bottom of the right hand column. Subscribe to the RSS feed to easily get new posts. Also follow Photo Attorney on Twitter for other links and quick updates on the law. Learn even more with the Photographer’s Legal Guide and get the Photo Attorney® photography forms to help your business.

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Final Rule Adopted to Remove Personally Identifiable Information from Registration Records

The U.S. Copyright Office issued a final rule to allow authors and claimants to replace in or remove from the Office’s online registration catalog personally identifiable information (PII). This rule allows authors, claimants, or their authorized representatives to pay a fee and request the removal of certain PII requested by the Office and collected on registration applications, such as names, home addresses, or personal phone numbers. The PII will be removed from the Office’s Internet-accessible public catalog but retained in the Office’s offline records as required by law. The rule also codifies an existing practice that removes extraneous PII free of charge, such as driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, banking information, and credit card information, whether by the Office’s own volition or upon request by authors, claimants, or their authorized representatives.

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Photo Attorney® on Twitter for More Law for Photographers

Lots of information is available these days, thanks to the world wide web. But sifting through it all can be a challenge.

In addition to the information available on this blog, you can get more on the law for photographers by following Photo Attorney® on Twitter. There, you will find quick links to great resources. (Note that ethical and time restrictions prevents Twitter conversations.)

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Reminder: Provide Input on Register of Copyrights

Let the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, know what you want out of the Register of Copyrights position.

Participate in the online survey by January 31, 2017

If you need some help with what to say in the survey, the Illustrators’ Partnership has provided some suggestions. Note that your name and information provided through the survey will appear online.

 

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Copyright Office Extends Comment Period for Section 512 Study

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a Federal Register notice extending the deadlines for public comment in connection with the Office’s study on section 512 of Title 17. The Office requested additional public comments, as well as the submission of empirical research studies assessing issues related to the operation of section 512 on a quantitative or qualitative basis, on November 8, 2016. Public comments are now due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on February 21, 2017, and empirical research studies are now due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 22, 2017. Additional information, including instructions on how to submit a comment, is available here.

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Copyright Office Initiates Study on the Moral Rights of Attribution and Integrity

In the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”), Congress for the first time legislated limited moral rights of attribution and integrity to authors of narrowly defined works of visual arts. These rights, following the model suggested in the international Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, mirror rights granted to authors by most industrialized nations of the world. They guarantee to authors of so-called fine arts and exhibition photographs the right to claim or disclaim authorship in a work; limited rights to prevent distortion, mutilation, or modification of a work; and the right, under some circumstances, to prevent destruction of a work that is incorporated into a building. VARA covers only limited, fine art categories of “works of visual art”: paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, still photographs produced for exhibition. Within this group, only single copies or signed and numbered limited editions of 200 or less are actually protected. See http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/martin/art_law/esworthy.htm  The Copyright Office has a report on waiver of the VARA that includes some history and comparison of the VARA to other nation’s “moral rights” protection for artists.

The U.S. Copyright Office is now undertaking a public study to review how existing U.S. law, including provisions found in Title 17 of the U.S. Code and other federal and state laws, protects the moral rights of attribution and integrity and whether any additional protection is advisable in this area. To support the congressional review of the nation’s copyright law and provide thorough assistance to Congress, the Office is seeking public input on a number of questions.

The Office published a Federal Register notice today soliciting written comments from the public. Instructions for submitting comments are available here. Comments must be received no later than11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 9, 2017. Reply comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on April 24, 2017. The Office may announce one or more public meetings, to take place after written comments are received, by separate notice in the future.

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Take Survey to Provide Info on Copyright Registrations

As previously reported, the U.S. Copyright Office is reviewing the rules on group registration of photographs, group registration of contributions to periodicals, and supplementary registration. In response, several photography organizations:

  • American Photographic Artists
  • American Society of Media Photographers
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • North American Nature Photography Association
  • Professional Photographers of America
  • PLUS Coalition

are conducting a 15-question survey to collect, collate, and provide information to the Copyright Office on these important issues. Participate in this survey by midnight EST January 21, 2017, so that the Copyright Office can hear your voice.

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Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of Congress on expertise needed by the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.

Beginning today, December 16, an online survey is open to the public. The survey will be posted through January 31, 2017. Input will be reviewed and inform development of knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register position.

Information provided through the survey will be posted online and submitters’ names will appear. Note that input will be subject to review, and input may not be posted that is off-topic or contains vulgar, offensive, racist, threatening or harassing content; personal information; or gratuitous links to sites that could be considered spam. The Library’s complete comment policy can be viewed here.

To provide input through the survey, click here.

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