When I’m registering a group of photographs, is it better to submit individual images, or should the images be grouped together on a one-page PDF file? If individual files are preferred, what is the best file size and type to deposit?
To register a group of published photographs, the applicant must submit one copy of each photograph in the group. The Copyright Office strongly encourages photographers to submit a digital copy of each photo that is included in the group, rather than submitting them in a physical format, such as prints or contact sheets. The Office strongly encourages applicants to upload these digital copies through the electronic registration system, preferably by saving them in a .zip file and then uploading the .zip file to the system. The files may be submitted in a JPEG, GIF, TIFF, or PCD format. The Office also would accept a PDF file containing all of the images in a size that allows them to be viewed adequately. But in all cases the photos must be submitted in the same format, and the size of each uploaded file must not exceed 500 megabytes, regardless of whether the applicant is uploading an individual file or a .zip file containing multiple files. Applicants may digitally compress the files to comply with this requirement.
For a detailed discussion of acceptable formats for registration of a group of published photographs, please see Compendium (Third) § 1116.4.
Rob Kasunic, Director of Registration Policy and Practices at the U.S. Copyright Office