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Registering Us Copyrights with a low-cost budget: group registration, published-unpublished, year, one time

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Hello, I've been reading quite a lot of websites, FAQs, blog posts and whatever on the subject lately, but I still have some doubts.

I've never registered my photos before, I'm Italian, and I never thought I might have an advantage on doing it.

I run a travel websites (NomadTravellers.com) where 99% of the photos are mine, and get copied to hundreds of websites around the world (Mostly Asia and East Europe). Not many to US, but some yes. Last year I managed to get paid some money by 4-5 infringers, one of them from Usa, by simply writing some emails and putting some effort. So I though it would be worth to try registering my photos.

I'm on low budget, so I would like to understand what would be the most cost-efficient way for me to do it.

The best of the best would be to register them all in one single collection. So I ask to please don't answer according to "The best would be...". I already know that the best would be to register my photos with a cycle of maximum 3 months before they are published, and wathever else. What I would like to know is the cheapest way (not the best) to register most if not all of my photos, taken in the last 5 years.

 

Premise: I consider all of my photos uploded to my website, Alamy or facebook and social media, to be published, even if not for sale.

 

Below some questions and thoughts.

 

1) In theory you can't register published and unpublished work togheter.

What if I renounce to past infringements, is there a chance to legally register all of my photos as Published in 20 16? In example can a photo that was publishe din 20 12 be registered as published in 20 16 if I renounce to past years infringements?

(This would involve to publish all of my archive of my currently unpublished photos online before filing the request of course)

 

2) Is it possible to publish unpublished photos as published?

Online information were controversial. The website of an attorney specialized in Copyrights, stated that it was possible to register unpublished photos as published. But another source stated that if even one photo of a collection is found to be declared uncorrectly (published or unpublished) then your registration might be refused or during a lawsuit you might have problems, or you might need to rectify the mistake with a 100$ fine with Form CA if you fnd it out by yourself. (I could skip this problem by publishing all of my archive of my currently unpublished photos online before the request of course)

 

3) I read that Statuory damages are just one time per collection. What does exactly this mean?

In example an infringer, John, is using 5 of my photos from the same collection "Landscapes" in 2013, I can recover only one statuory damage, not 5. In 2014 another infringer, Mark, is infringing 10 of my photos from the same collection "Landscapes". Can I ask him statuory damages since he is a different person, or not because it's the same collection and I already was paid once statuory damages on that collection? Then John, the first infringer, in 20 16 uses different 20 photos form the same collection "Landscapes". Can he now use freely all the images he wants from the collection "Landscapes" since he has already paid me once in 2013, and I cannot sue him anymore for the same collection, or does it count as a new infringement and I can recover statuory damages once more, even if it's the same person infringing and the same collection?

 

EDIT:

In the comments in this webpage http://www.ipinbrief.com/ending-confusion-statutory-damages-ii/

A lawyer states that if the photos were registered together as a group, but not published in the same collection (example a book), then the damages can be asked more than one time.

Confirmation also in here

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/in-a-copyright-infringement-matter--are-you-awarde-589846.html

 

4) When doing the registration for a Published or Unpublished collection, can I register photos from different years?

My supposition is No, since I have to state the "Date of Creation" but I just would like confirmation.

 

5) What date counts for a collection?

My supposition is that for published images I have to group the photos according to the date of publication and for Unpublished images I can group my images according to the year they were taken. Is this right?

 

6) Is this correct: for published images there is a limit of 750 images per collection if the "continuation form" is used, while there is no limit for unpublished images (limit is one hour upload time) or published images without continuation form?

 

Here some info about group registration for publishe dimages, but I don't know if the legislation was changed in the meanwhile

http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2005/70fr15587.html

 

If it's confirmed that for published collection I can register an unlimited number of photos, then I could register all of my unpublished photos taken in any year, all togheter paying just one collection fee (instead of one fee per year), after having published a small but recognizable preview of them in my website.

 

7) I can register images as unpublished within three months of publication. But what if I want to register them as published within those three months, is it possible?

In example, today I upload them online to make them published, and tomorrow I do the registration, can I register them as published, or should I wait for 3 months to pass?

 

Thank you!

 

Edited by NomadTravellers

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Hi Davide,

 

I'm not legally qualified but the first thought I had reading your post was about legal jurisdiction. Firstly of yourself and secondly of the infringer.

 

You write about registering images. I'm guessing you are referring to registering copyright with the US Library of Congress? I would establish whether that is necessary for an Italian Citizen non resident in the United States. For the infringements in the rest of the world it's non applicable. The same with damages etc. Each country has a different legal system.  My advice would be to make sure you do not take unnecessary actions based on advice from webpages focused on US photographers.

 

I would then identify your 'worst' infringements based on use. So for example if a global brand is using a photo commercially then deal with that as a priority over a non professional blogger. Once you know the details you can research the best approach.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Armstrong

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You don't have to be a US citizen to register copyrights in the US.

But, OP, it presumably you are aware that it only applies to infringements in the US.

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Hi Davide,

 

I'm not legally qualified but the first thought I had reading your post was about legal jurisdiction. Firstly of yourself and secondly of the infringer.

 

You write about registering images. I'm guessing you are referring to registering copyright with the US Library of Congress? I would establish whether that is necessary for an Italian Citizen non resident in the United States. For the infringements in the rest of the world it's non applicable. The same with damages etc. Each country has a different legal system.  My advice would be to make sure you do not take unnecessary actions based on advice from webpages focused on US photographers.

 

I would then identify your 'worst' infringements based on use. So for example if a global brand is using a photo commercially then deal with that as a priority over a non professional blogger. Once you know the details you can research the best approach.

 

Good luck!

 

Yes, that's what I mean, registration with the US Library of Congress, accessible online from here http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

I'm aware it relates only to infringements in the US and I already select cases according to their commercial infolvement: no profit, blogs and "un-sue-able" countries, I just ask for a credit and a link;

Small businesses, the equivalent of a standard license for web usage;

Bigger businesses according to the usage they do and the country where they used it (In example in Sweden and Usa I asked more than in Italy or in Brazil or Poland)

 

 

You don't have to be a US citizen to register copyrights in the US.

But, OP, it presumably you are aware that it only applies to infringements in the US.

 

Yes I'm. aware of it I've actually studied quite a lot of regulations and blogs and whatever was needed. It's just those very specific questions that are not answered, or answered, but not confirmed.

 

I wanted to know if anybody had any more details from their personal experience.

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interesting topic, as im in uk and also registering with usa, or will be soon.

 

i have a batch of 2000 images currently, and didnt know of 750 limit so thats of interest to me. i knew about the upload limit of 500mb per file though, so i was going to split into 2 or more zip files etc

 

as i presume id have to pay roughly 3 times the reg fee, for the 750, plus another 750 images and again for 750 (to cover my 2000 images).

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I have only done unpublished so can't speak for anything else. I do 2000 images at once with no difficulty. I suspect I could do more. It may depend on internet speed but I think mine is OK but not outstanding.

 

Paulette

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interesting topic, as im in uk and also registering with usa, or will be soon.

 

i have a batch of 2000 images currently, and didnt know of 750 limit so thats of interest to me. i knew about the upload limit of 500mb per file though, so i was going to split into 2 or more zip files etc

 

as i presume id have to pay roughly 3 times the reg fee, for the 750, plus another 750 images and again for 750 (to cover my 2000 images).

The limit as far as I got, is only for published images and only if you use the "Continuation form", used to add details of each photos, as in example published date.

But If you attach a file with the filenames and published dates, then you don't need the continuation form, and you can register unlimeted published images from the same year-author.

That's what I got, but was asking for confirmation to more knowledable people.

Edited by NomadTravellers

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This is my understanding so far after having read more on the subject. I think it's quite accurate, but take it as my opinion only, of course no legal value.

1) Generally not possible to mix published and unpublished

2) Not recommandable, better to first publish all the photos

3) Are one time per collection, but not one time per group. SO if it was a group registration (not a collection) then more statuatory damages can be obtained

4) REferring to grouup registration (not collection) It is possible to register photos taken in different years as published, by pubishing them on the same year

5) yes

6) yes

7) yes it's possible

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