Photographers trying to get their group registrations of photographs in at the last minute, before the Copyright Office implements its 750-image limit, need to know there are some important updates from the past week:
- The Copyright Office announced there will be a shut-down of the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system for maintenance from 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 to 9 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 19. The rule change goes into effect three hours after the system is scheduled to come back online. Those who are waiting until the last minute to file their group registrations will NOT be able to use the online registration system after Thursday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m.
- The Copyright Office has released new forms for group registration of photographs for both published and unpublished photographs, which contain the 750 limit. But on Friday, the Office clarified this release was only to familiarize users with the new forms. The Office advised these forms should not be used to actually register your work until Feb. 20. It is possible to begin filling out the forms, save them, and finally submit them starting on Feb. 20 but the Office said: "they should not actually be used to submit any claims until the final rule goes into effect."
- The new group registration of photographs forms will not allow photographers to register more than 750 images. This is causing some confusion among photographers trying to group register before the limit goes into effect. The Copyright Office clarified on Friday that photographers "may continue to use the Standard Application or a paper application to register a group of published photographs or a 'collection' of unpublished photographs, but the claim must be received by February 19, 2018." Note that the Office has clarified any attempts to use the Standard Application or paper form to group register photographs "on or after February 20, 2018," will be refused by the Copyright Office.
For more information:
Announcement about eCO maintenance shutdown
Announcement about new group registration forms and the ability to continue to use the Standard Form for group registration
Previous article regarding changes to the group registration of photographs
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