Pro Photo Daily | What We Learned This Week: New Rule for Copyright Registration

By: David Schonauer
Publish Date: Feb. 8, 2018, 8:04 a.m.

A makeover is coming to copyright registration: Starting on Feb. 20,  the U.S. Copyright Office will implement a new rule affecting how groups of photographs are registered. The rule aims to modernize and streamline the registration process for group registrations of photographs, noted the Copyright Alliance  recently.

But it also implements other important changes, added PDN.

“There are six changes you need to be aware of,” states DIY Photography. Here are the changes:

Modified registration processes for two group registration options. There are two new group registration options for photos: group registration of published photographs (GRPPH) and group registration of unpublished photographs (GRUPH). According to the new rule, it’s now up to photographers to determine if a photo is published or unpublished. The Copyright Office will try adding examples and update their informational materials.

GRPPH and GRUPH applications are now filed online. Photographers are no longer required to submit paper applications.

Registrations are now limited to 750 photos. Previously, photographers were able to register an unlimited number of photos in a single application. The new rule applies to both published and unpublished work.

Applications require digital deposits and identifiable information. You can either upload them to the electronic registration system or send them on a flash drive, CD/DVD.

There are new eligibility requirements for group applications. Each photo in the group must be created by the same author. When it comes to “works made for hire,” the copyright owner doesn’t need to identify the person who took the photos. However, if the copyright owner checks the work made-for-hire box but leaves the designated “employee” space empty, the application will not be accepted.

Group registration won’t limit a photographer’s available remedies. Each individual photo registered under the GRPPH and GRUPH is treated as a separate work under the Copyright Act.

“Copyright registration is, of course, voluntary. However, photographers should still consider the benefits that copyright registration offers, such as being able to bring an infringement lawsuit,” notes the Copyright Alliance.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:

1. Arthur Meyerson's Artistic Journey

Photographer and photo educator Arthur Meyerson's latest book, titled The Journey, is an autobiography told through art — and, we noted, the stories behind the work. The book brings together selected personal projects and commissioned work from Meyerson's archive. There is also an interview with Meyerson by noted curator Anne Wilkes Tucker covering both his photography and his teaching in workshops. ”Early on," he notes, "I learned that photography was a process of discovery.”

2. Welcome to the Coldest City on Earth

With temperatures that hover around the -40° Fahrenheit mark for at least three months of the year, Yakutsk in eastern Siberia claims the title of coldest city in the world, noted National Geographic, which featured photographer Steeve Iuncker’s frigid images of the place. Iuncker, who grew up in the Swiss Alps (averaging 25° Fahrenheit from December to the end of February) decided to witness firsthand “how such glacial temperatures affect the body, the soul, and social life,” explained Nat Geo.

3. Behold This Eruption of Love

Bangkok-based photojournalist Jack Kurtz  arrived in the Philippines on January 20 to cover the eruption of the Mayon volcano for ZUMA Press. While there, noted PetaPixel, he stumbled upon a newlywed couple, thereby creating an unplanned wedding photo: “The volcano had been quiet all day. I didn’t know if it would erupt,” Kurtz said. Just then he saw a newlywed couple heading for a restaurant near him. At that moment, the volcano erupted. Kurstz got permission from the couple and their wedding photographer to make an unforgettable image.

4. Grasping Rio's Beauty and Tragedy

“What I’ve witnessed in Rio isn’t much different from what I’ve seen in places like Libya, Afghanistan or the Ivory Coast,” says photographer João Pina, whose images of Rio de Janeiro were recently featured at The New York Times. “The body count is still climbing in the labyrinth of Rio’s favelas, reflecting a devilishly complex struggle for control of the cocaine trade,” noted The Times. Not far from Ipanema, gangs fight each other, the police, and paramilitary militias largely made up of active-duty police officers.

5. Turning Mom Into a Sex Object

In graduate school, photographer Natalie Krick  began taking pictures of women in what she calls “female drag”: She would “meet her subjects on Web sites like Craigslist or Model Mayhem, go over to their houses, and give them ultra-feminine makeovers: bright lipstick, false nails and eyelashes, pushup bras,” noted The New Yorker. Then one day, her mother came to visit. The result is a series of photographs that won Aperture’s 2017 Portfolio Prize and now appear in Krick’s first book, Natural Deceptions.
At top: From Arthur Meyerson