The Copyright Office is proposing to raise fees to register new works, and is currently seeking public comments on the proposed hike. The fee to file copyright registrations electronically would go up from $35 to $65. The fee to submit a paper registration would rise from $64 to $100. (These fees cover the cost of bulk registration of unpublished images.)

The Copyright Office is accepting comments from the public through May 14.  Concerned that the increased fees will discourage photographers from protecting their copyrighted works, the Advertising Photographers of America (APA) is encouraging photographers and other artists to voice their opinions now.

The Copyright Office’s proposed new fees and rules are spelled out in the Federal Register, which can be downloaded here in a PDF.

The Copyright Office claims it needs the fee increase to cover costs: “In fiscal year 2011, the Office recovered only 64 percent of its cost to process an online claim and only 58 percent of its cost to process paper applications.” And given that copyright registration service “benefits both copyright owners and the public,” the Office figures copyright holders will cough up the extra money.  Registering copyright before a work is infringed, for example, makes you eligible to collect statutory damages if you win an infringement claim in court. That’s useful clout when dealing with infringers.

The problem is, of course, that many creators fail to register copyrights until after they’ve seen their works copied, and want to take legal action. A higher fee isn’t going to encourage photographers to make registering and protecting their works part of their routine workflow, but how many photographers will it deter?

Comments on the proposed fee hike can be submitted using a form available here:
www.copyright.gov/docs/newfees/comments/


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Survey: Why is the Editorial Market Unfair to Photographers?

Posted by on Wednesday July 20, 2016 | Business, Media

In the current editorial photography market, budgets are shrinking as contract terms become less favorable for photographers. As a follow-up to our story “What Lawyers See When They Look at Editorial Photography Contracts,” we surveyed photographers who shoot editorial assignments about the financial challenges of the editorial photography market. A total of 142 photographers responded.... More

Swipe Right: FStop Pairs Up Photographers and Models

Posted by on Wednesday July 13, 2016 | Business, Social Media/Web

  For photographers and models just starting out in the business, building a portfolio by soliciting help online can quickly get… creepy. Craigslist aside, services like Model Mayhem or even direct messaging on Instagram can help forge connections but a new site called FStop is looking to streamline the process still further with a Tinder-style approach.... More

Unfair Editorial Photo Contracts: VICE Wants “All of Photographer’s Rights”

Posted by on Tuesday June 28, 2016 | Business, Copyright/Legal

When we published our story “What Lawyers See When They Look at Editorial Photography Contracts” in the June issue of PDN, we asked readers to tell us about editorial contracts they feel are unfair to photographers. We received a copy of a “Vice Media Photographer Agreement” that a Vice website sent to a photographer earlier... More