copyright registration


If your images are floating around the internet you’ve got to do it. Even if they’re not you should do it.

If the images are unpublished it’s easy. I just did it. It took 5 minutes to fill out the form and 5 minutes to burn the cd.

For more information and a step by step pdf form go The US Copyright Office here. Also check out the Photo Attorney’s step by step primer here. If the images are published go here for some info.

It’s your work, make sure you protect yourself.

So tell me this:
Is your work registered?


10 Responses to “copyright registration”

  1. I copyright my work by setting the EXIF/IPTC Copyright field as well as marking the image with a “Copyright (C) 2008 Christopher Blunck” when I publish it to Flickr. But I don’t go the added step of registering my work with the US Copyright Office.

    I suppose that hurts me in the long haul. If I were using my photographs for commercial purposes I would consider registering. But for now I’m just getting started and the copyright isn’t very important to me. Right now I’m more concerned with continuing to receive assignments to events than I am with protecting my copyright. When only 50 people look at my photos it’s not much of a risk.

    I know that’s probably sacriligious but it’s my reality.

  2. this is something I’m ashamed I haven’t done (still!)… not due to the fear of the form or anything, but just trying to wrap my mind around which photos to send in. When you take many thousands a year… and post hundreds to your blog… how do you narrow it down?
    Any tips on incorporating this into your workflow? Or copyrighting your blog without printing the whole dang thing out?

  3. Luckily, I don’t have to, since I live in the Netherlands where (full!) copyright protection is a given, without any formalities.

  4. Ed McCulloch Says:

    Jessamyn Harris-

    No need to narrow anything down. Just run an automation and turn all of your full res images into email size, then burn to CD’s. On the form you name the submission not each individual image. There’s no limit of images per submission. So you could name your submission “All images shot from 1969 through 2007”.

    Joost- Lucky!

  5. Thanks so much for clearing that up! I always hesitated sending anything in because of the naming and possible cost per image that it would take to copyright the 20 or so thousand images I have from the past years. What about listing all the publications that they were used in?

  6. Derek Says:

    What resolution did you resize to? I really need to do this.

  7. Ed McCulloch Says:

    Derek- The Photo Attourney says a 100×100 thumbnail is fine. Personally I felt that was too small so I leave no doubt and resize to 600 on it’s longest side.

  8. If anyone is reading this . . take Ed’s advice and do it now. It’s a real pain once you have a mix of published and unpublished images, but it’s so easy when they are unpublished.

    I now send off a cd once a month or once every two months. Very easy to keep up with, hard to catch up on. Just keep a folder on your hard drive where you export low res jpg copies of all your new photos as you bring them through your workflow. Then every so often burn the folder on a cd and mail it off.

    I have a friend who shoots video and a decent part of his income is from copyright infringements. Of course his work is registered.

    Thanks Ed

  9. […] officeStep by step on how to register your photography images with the US library of Congress- Regulation Tracker – Copyright Office, Library of Congress …Justia Federal Register […]

  10. vavovu Says:

    Somebody here can advise me as or than easier to earn in the Internet. Not in a year, not through two, and for example in a month.
    Prompt examples from a life.
    It is a lot of theorists, and who earns are silent.
    Who can works on somebody where do not deceive.

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