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US Copyright Office eCO system

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Some questions I hope you can help with.

 

1. What's the general consensus as to size of .jpg to upload to the system?  Or isn't there one?!

Do you upload the max. that you think the uploader can manage without timing out, or do you just upload low resolution thumbnails? And in either case, what size do you upload?

 

2. In an effort to save both time and money, I had thought of uploading as many files in one shot as possible - files which cover various years. However, it seems this may be difficult to do without creating potential legal problems further down the line should there be a case of infringement to pursue.

 

E.g. As the “Year of Completion (Year of Creation)” clearly cannot be later than the “Date of First Publication”, if I upload some images taken (or rather, “first published”) in say, 2011, along with images taken in 2014, I (presume I) have to put 2014 as the year of creation (?), as some are from this year.  Yet some will have been ‘published / available’ (i.e. licensed or sold; for license or sale; or just viewable on the Web) from 2011.  In such a case, would this just be an issue for images which brought up an infringement which first occurred prior to 2014?  I’m probably just fretting too much, but I didn’t want to register everything, and then potentially create future problems for the complete registration on this technicality.

 

I’m sure that someone must have come across this problem before, as to actually register everything 100% correctly, you have to create a newly registered batch of all new images and upload to eCO, prior to putting those images up for license or sale, or anywhere on the Web at all, no?  This would not only take forever, it would also cost a fortune, unless you upload 000’s of images at a time?

 

3. And just to clarify - files which are available for license here on Alamy (or elsewhere - including POD sites, personal Websites - in fact, anywhere on the Internet) are deemed to be “published” files in the view of the UCO, correct?  Thus the higher fee is payable ($55 rather than $35)?

 

Please feel free to PM me if you don't wish to publicly discuss what you do, or have done in this regard.  Many thanks.

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Hi Danny-

 

I'll offer some advice based on personal experience with the USCO and what I have learned over the years: please double check everything as I am not a lawyer!

 

1) I generally use around 600-800 px (long side) compressed jpegs. The actual size is not too important, they just have to be 'identifiable' whatever that means. Not too big. Just create an export preset from Lightroom or a batch action in photoshop to resize as desired.

 

2) A very important thing to note here is that you can not register both published and unpublished images on the same registration! As you correctly state, incorrectly registered images can lead to problems down the road with those registrations being invalidated if ever they had to stand up in court! Take the time to get things properly organized as it's not worth doing at all if not done right. 

 

HOWEVER: For unpublished files you can register as many files as you want at a time- do it all in one batch. for published files you are limited to 750 images at a time unfortunately. I would suggest: One registration (or two or three depending on numbers-) per year of original publication for all previously published files. Then, one registration to register all remaining unpublished files. This would get you up to date. Going forward best would be best to register all files before publication as this offers the most protection, however this is of course not always possible! In which case the copyright office has added a provision for previously published files registered within 90 days of original publication to be protected retroactively to the date of publication. So many people opt for quarterly registrations of all 'published' files from last 90 days. Otherwise, save up large batches of 'unpublished' files to register as often or infrequently as desired. All will depend on workflow and output.

 

3) YES, anything accessible on a publicly viewable website is considered published... Files that are archived on FTP, cloud storage, Photoshelter (not publicly viewable), etc. should not be, but best to clarify to be sure.

 

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions (either publicly or privately) and will do my best to help.

 

-Jason

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So looking at my notes....I make jpegs 72 resolution, 70 quality, sRGB, sharpen for screen, 400 pixels on long size, minimize metadata and include copyright. I think I got this from the instructions on the PPA website and I have it as an Export choice in Lightroom. You have to make a zip file of the folder before uploading the images.  One reason I am sooooo slow to get my images from trips up on Alamy is that I do my copyrighting before I put anything out in the world. I did an upload to the copyright office last week and I succeeded in doing a bit more than 2K images. The amount you can do has changed over the years. I used to be able to do 3K. Maybe the difference is that I now have a 24mp camera for most of my work.

 

Paulette

 

Edit: You can't use Safari. I use Firefox for this. The cost is $55 now. I initially tried 2400 images last time and they said it was too big so I took some out. It's just guesswork for me about how much I need to take out to make it acceptable. Maybe someone else can enlighten us on that.

Edited by NYCat

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So looking at my notes....I make jpegs 72 resolution, 70 quality, sRGB, sharpen for screen, 400 pixels on long size, minimize metadata and include copyright. I think I got this from the instructions on the PPA website and I have it as an Export choice in Lightroom. You have to make a zip file of the folder before uploading the images.  One reason I am sooooo slow to get my images from trips up on Alamy is that I do my copyrighting before I put anything out in the world. I did an upload to the copyright office last week and I succeeded in doing a bit more than 2K images. The amount you can do has changed over the years. I used to be able to do 3K. Maybe the difference is that I now have a 24mp camera for most of my work.

 

Paulette

 

Edit: You can't use Safari. I use Firefox for this. The cost is $55 now. I initially tried 2400 images last time and they said it was too big so I took some out. It's just guesswork for me about how much I need to take out to make it acceptable. Maybe someone else can enlighten us on that.

They only allow up to 750 images per submission now. I use to copyright 10-15,000 at a time. They changed it this year!   L

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They only allow up to 750 images per submission now. I use to copyright 10-15,000 at a time. They changed it this year!   L

 

Hi Lina-

 

I have replied to one of your posts before regarding this: I believe there is some misinformation around the web regarding this 750 image limit.

 

The 750 file limit applies ONLY to Published files, and then only when using continuation sheets (alternative is to include an excel sheet of all file names and publication dates as part of deposit materials). Registration of unpublished files remains unlimited as there is no need to use the continuation sheets at all. I have confirmed this earlier this year with the USCO and continue to register more than 750 files at a time with no problems...

 

-Jason

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Thanks guys.  Very helpful comments and suggestions.  Just one more, if I may?

 

When uploading files for copyright registration, I presume that, as long as they aren't substantially altered, then I would be OK to first upload original, unpublished files to UCO almost straight out of camera, then work on those files at a later date with minor alterations (e.g. saturation, levels, slight cropping), prior to making them available for sale/license, without having to re-register the files?  Hope I'm being clear... :)

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I haven't had to test my methods with a lawsuit, fortunately, but I feel free to alter images in any way after I copyright the original image. Maybe someone else has info on this.

 

Paulette

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I haven't had to test my methods with a lawsuit, fortunately, but I feel free to alter images in any way after I copyright the original image. Maybe someone else has info on this.

 

Paulette

 

That would seem reasonable - an infringer could well make similar changes as a matter of course so it may  not be identical to the registered image anyway. In fact registering an uncropped essentially out of camera image makes sense then it matters less if you decide to publish it in a modified form. e.g. a different crop to that registered

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They only allow up to 750 images per submission now. I use to copyright 10-15,000 at a time. They changed it this year!   L

 

Hi Lina-

 

I have replied to one of your posts before regarding this: I believe there is some misinformation around the web regarding this 750 image limit.

 

The 750 file limit applies ONLY to Published files, and then only when using continuation sheets (alternative is to include an excel sheet of all file names and publication dates as part of deposit materials). Registration of unpublished files remains unlimited as there is no need to use the continuation sheets at all. I have confirmed this earlier this year with the USCO and continue to register more than 750 files at a time with no problems...

 

-Jason

 

Funny when we called them after they made the change,we were told 750 max at a time per submission. Glad I've copyrighted more than 300,000 since the 80s/90s. It would be too much to do all that work now.I register every 28 days.Just makes life easier.I register the original as well as modified versions.

L

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I think a link to this Compendium has been posted in this forum before, but here it is in case someone finds it helpful: http://copyright.gov/comp3/

 

There is a lot of useful information in this large document - fortunately Acrobat Reader has a very useful search function.

 

The parts I found most useful relate to derivative works.  I make stitched images, and recently started making abstracts that are derivatives that bear no visual relationship to the source image/s.  In these cases I register the stitched image or final abstract as the case may be, but not the source images except for isolated cases where a source image is useful in and of itself.

 

Regards

Lionel

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I am grappling with preparing my approach to USCO registration. I shoot news and stock so a small selection usually get published almost immediately to Alamy, my web site or wherever and then I may trickle out any other worthwhile images over time, but of course even the ones I don't upload anywhere are available if anyone asks. It seems a potential nightmare to keep track which image is at what state.

 

I am thinking that I might register all usable images as "published" along with the sets I have uploaded to my website or libraries. Strictly I suppose I need to publish them so I am thinking I might publish them by putting thumbnails up to a "rest of my stuff" gallery in the bowels of my website. It also makes the publication date straightforward. Then I will not have to worry about changing them from unpublished to unpublished; or am I misunderstanding the need to change status. I am tightening my edit standards substantially at the moment so the usable image number will not be huge, I could probably get by with registering 750 (if that is the limit) every 90 days at the moment, perhaps every 6-8 weeks as I get more active and income increases.

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I assume you're aware that you can register images as unpublished as long as you register them within 3 months of being published?  That might allow you to register new images as unpublished if you register a batch every 90 days.

 

Have you read through Carolyn Wright's PhotoAttorney.com where she describes the process?  I think her information is a little out of date now, but you might still find it helpful.

 

At the risk of repeating info already posted, ASMP, APA and Photoshelter have information on this topic too - the Photoshelter info is very recent.

 

Regards

Lionel

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I assume you're aware that you can register images as unpublished as long as you register them within 3 months of being published?  That might allow you to register new images as unpublished if you register a batch every 90 days.

 

Have you read through Carolyn Wright's PhotoAttorney.com where she describes the process?  I think her information is a little out of date now, but you might still find it helpful.

 

At the risk of repeating info already posted, ASMP, APA and Photoshelter have information on this topic too - the Photoshelter info is very recent.

 

Regards

Lionel

 

Interesting. I have just downloaded the USCO guidance and I am trying to find the strength to plough (plow) through it!

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They only allow up to 750 images per submission now. I use to copyright 10-15,000 at a time. They changed it this year!   L

 

Hi Lina-

 

I have replied to one of your posts before regarding this: I believe there is some misinformation around the web regarding this 750 image limit.

 

The 750 file limit applies ONLY to Published files, and then only when using continuation sheets (alternative is to include an excel sheet of all file names and publication dates as part of deposit materials). Registration of unpublished files remains unlimited as there is no need to use the continuation sheets at all. I have confirmed this earlier this year with the USCO and continue to register more than 750 files at a time with no problems...

 

-Jason

 

Funny when we called them after they made the change,we were told 750 max at a time per submission. Glad I've copyrighted more than 300,000 since the 80s/90s. It would be too much to do all that work now.I register every 28 days.Just makes life easier.I register the original as well as modified versions.

L

 

 

Strange! I have heard the 750 number quoted from various sources, however I have yet to be able to actually find this documented anywhere in the USCO's own material on the website. When I called, they explained that the limit was in place only when using the continuation sheets which is in line with what is documented. 

 

 

I am thinking that I might register all usable images as "published" along with the sets I have uploaded to my website or libraries. Strictly I suppose I need to publish them so I am thinking I might publish them by putting thumbnails up to a "rest of my stuff" gallery in the bowels of my website. It also makes the publication date straightforward. Then I will not have to worry about changing them from unpublished to unpublished; or am I misunderstanding the need to change status.

 

This could be a solution to the published/unpublished status, but there is no reason to change status after registration. Files registered as Unpublished are simply offered full protection when registered before publication, however files registered as Published within 90 days of publication are given same protection retroactively to date of publication.

 

-Jason

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I am grappling with preparing my approach to USCO registration. I shoot news and stock so a small selection usually get published almost immediately to Alamy, my web site or wherever and then I may trickle out any other worthwhile images over time, but of course even the ones I don't upload anywhere are available if anyone asks. It seems a potential nightmare to keep track which image is at what state.

 

I am thinking that I might register all usable images as "published" along with the sets I have uploaded to my website or libraries. Strictly I suppose I need to publish them so I am thinking I might publish them by putting thumbnails up to a "rest of my stuff" gallery in the bowels of my website. It also makes the publication date straightforward. Then I will not have to worry about changing them from unpublished to unpublished; or am I misunderstanding the need to change status. I am tightening my edit standards substantially at the moment so the usable image number will not be huge, I could probably get by with registering 750 (if that is the limit) every 90 days at the moment, perhaps every 6-8 weeks as I get more active and income increases.

Martin, I believe you may misunderstand the registration process.  As far as I know, and I'm no expert, there is no need for you to to change the published/unpublished status of your images.  Once they're registered, they're registered, and you're free to publish or not as the case may be with no time limit.  I have definitely not encountered any mechanism on the ECO web site that would enable you to change status when you publish, nor have I seen any reference to a need to do so.  I'll do some checking and let you know what I find; Linda almost certainly knows more than I do, perhaps she'll chime in.

 

Regards

Lionel

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I am grappling with preparing my approach to USCO registration. I shoot news and stock so a small selection usually get published almost immediately to Alamy, my web site or wherever and then I may trickle out any other worthwhile images over time, but of course even the ones I don't upload anywhere are available if anyone asks. It seems a potential nightmare to keep track which image is at what state.

 

I am thinking that I might register all usable images as "published" along with the sets I have uploaded to my website or libraries. Strictly I suppose I need to publish them so I am thinking I might publish them by putting thumbnails up to a "rest of my stuff" gallery in the bowels of my website. It also makes the publication date straightforward. Then I will not have to worry about changing them from unpublished to unpublished; or am I misunderstanding the need to change status. I am tightening my edit standards substantially at the moment so the usable image number will not be huge, I could probably get by with registering 750 (if that is the limit) every 90 days at the moment, perhaps every 6-8 weeks as I get more active and income increases.

Martin, I believe you may misunderstand the registration process.  As far as I know, and I'm no expert, there is no need for you to to change the published/unpublished status of your images.  Once they're registered, they're registered, and you're free to publish or not as the case may be with no time limit.  I have definitely not encountered any mechanism on the ECO web site that would enable you to change status when you publish, nor have I seen any reference to a need to do so.  I'll do some checking and let you know what I find; Linda almost certainly knows more than I do, perhaps she'll chime in.

 

Regards

Lionel

 

 

I thought it a bit odd but as I was skimming the guidance it talked about changing the nature of the claim and referenced previously registerations. I have not read it anything like properly yet.

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Strictly I suppose I need to publish them so I am thinking I might publish them by putting thumbnails up to a "rest of my stuff" gallery in the bowels of my website. It also makes the publication date straightforward.

 

That's exactely what I want to do, but in my case not because I "need" to do it, but because I "want" to do it, in order to pay just one group registration fee for thousands of photos (there is no limit if the continuation form is not used).

Could you confirm that I could technically register my photos as published already the day after I upload the publicly online?

I also opened a specific topic here

 

http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/5631-us-copyrights-registering-images-as-published-the-folowing-day/#entry93925

 

Thank you

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