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 (These fees cover the cost of bulk registration of unpublished images.)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:
Terms of service. Unless you’re a masochist or a lawyer (but I repeat myself), you’ve probably never read them. Most of us impatiently click “accept” on our way to signing up for whatever it is we want to divulge our personal information to want to use. In the case of photo-oriented services like Instagram, accepting... More ›
Robyn Cohn, a New York-based CPA who has provided bookkeeping and tax services to photographers for more than a decade, offers advice that PDN readers can act on right now to minimize taxes on their 2016 income—and manage their finances better in the future. PDN: What would you advise photographers to do before the end... More ›
In 2013, Robert Herman self-published The New Yorkers, a book of mostly 1970s and ‘80s street photos that is now on its third printing. In a seminar at PhotoPlus Expo last week, Herman described the steps he took to turn his archive of thousands of images into a successful photo book, from designing and printing... More ›