Q&A – Copyright Registration Issues

Q. Are images posted on a website considered “published” for registration purposes?
A. The courts have not spoken directly on whether images on a website are considered “published” for copyright registration. It may depend on whether your photos are posted behind password protected pages and/or are for sale, but considering them as published is the safest way to register your photos. Read more here on an earlier blog.

Q. What are the best ways to submit my photos?
A. The “deposit” requirement (copies of your photos) may be fulfilled in many ways (listed in the order of the Library of Congress’ preference):

  • Digital form on one or more CD-ROMs including CD-RWs and DVD-ROMs in one of these formats: jpeg, gif, tiff or pcd (no minimum or maximum size of file is required; a thumbnail that clearly depicts the photograph, such as 100 pixels in height or width, should be sufficient).
  • Unmounted prints at least 3 x 3 inches in size, but no larger than 20 x 24 inches.
  • Contact sheets.
  • Duplicate slides, each with a single image.
  • A photocopy of each unmounted print at least 3 x 3 inches in size, but no larger than 20 x 24 inches.
  • Slides, each containing a photograph of up to 36 images. A videotape clearly depicting each photograph.

Check this blog to learn how to batch process your photos for registration.

Q. Is the online eCO system a good way to register your photos?
A. Many photographers have found the electronic registration process to be an easy and good way to register. Here’s one review from an earlier blog.

Q. If I registered my photos before they were published, do I register them again after I publish them?
A. You should register your photos only one time unless you make a derivative work from a photo. (Read more about derivative works on this blog.) It’s easier to register your photos as unpublished, but it’s most important to register them, and to register them accurately!

Q. Is there a way to indicate (along with the copyright notice) that the image has been registered?
A. There is no shortcut way to indicate that a photo has been registered, but register your photos anyway!

Take my advice; get professional help.
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