How To Register Thousands of Photos
Full Question: What’s the best way to go about registering hundreds or thousands of photographs? There seem to be some limits on what you can submit as a batch. Can you clarify what the limits are, if any?
Answer: The U. S. Copyright Office recently updated its regulations governing group registration options for photographers to encourage broader participation in the registration system, increase the efficiency of the registration process, and create a more robust record of the claim. Photographers now have the option to submit a group of published photographs or a group of unpublished photographs, provided the eligibility requirements are met, some of which are as follows.
- All the works in the group must be photographs.
- The group must contain no more than 750 photographs.
- The applicant must specify the total number of photographs that are included in the group.
- All of the photographs must be created by the same author.
- The copyright claimant for each photograph must be the same person or organization.
- When using the group option for published photographs, all of the photographs in the group must be published; likewise, if using the group option for unpublished photographs, all of the photographs in the group must be unpublished.
For further information on these group options, see 37 C.F.R. ¤ 202.4.
Given resource limitations and the modest filing fee for these group options, the Office decided it had to impose a limit on the total number of photographs that could be submitted. In light of its experience with the Form GR/PPh/CON, the Office determined that 750 strikes an appropriate balance between the interests of photographers and the administrative capabilities of the Office.
The Office eliminated the pilot program that allowed applicants to submit groups of published photographs with the standard online application. Similarly, the Office will no longer register a group of unpublished photographs as an unpublished collection.
Rob Kasunic, Director of Registration Policy and Practices at the U.S. Copyright Office.