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by NWdev on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:41 pm
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First, a BIG thank you to Carolyn Wright for your informative responses here and the valuable resources on photoattorney.com -- it's a goldmine of info!

A little background...
My partner and I are on the verge of uploading our first copyright registrations for unpublished images.

After we get the most pressing unpublished registrations done (before they go on the web for sale), we'll be doing paper registrations (form VA + CO) for those we've allowed to 'escape' into the wild (web) before registering.

I've got one of the registrations 'done' via eCo (online) with all but the images uploaded. Since some of these images will be for sale online as prints and as part of a calendar, I'm trying to simutaneously get these images copyrighted and include as many other unpublished works as possible (to maximize the registration).

So I guess there are these goals for this first registration --
1) get the pending sale images uploaded & copyrighted asap
2) include other unpublished images as feasible
3) establish our workflow for future unpublished image registrations

Our workflow/files - what we use & generate...
We use Lightroom(LR) and Photoshop(PS) and so have raw files, TIFs, and virtual copies(VC) w/in LR.
We might have the original raw, an optimized TIF which we used to print, and crops for some images which may have their own optimized TIFs.

Because we use LR for printing we can print a VC directly without generating an output file with a different name than the original file. LR simply names it like our original raw or TIF and calls it 'copy 1' in the LR catalog database.
Our naming convention is the same throughout for example we might have these files:
BLC_20110921_23433.cr2 BLC_20110921_23433.tif

We plan to embed the copyright registration 'case #' in the "instructions" metadata field before uploading files (600x600 300dpi jpgs w/ metadata) as compressed *.rar files (zips) along with a PDF with thumbnails (3x3 LR contact sheet w/ info for each image - file name, size, shot date, camera S/N, exposure) to help keep track of the images submitted within a given registration.

Some photos we've completed (tifs) and others are in various stages of optimization -- typically early LR tweaks, or tifs not yet ready to print. Some may have a cropped (VC) version as well as an uncropped version.

We're considering quarterly registrations in the future but mostly want to try to get our unpublished photos registered so we can avoid doing paper registrations to the extent possible.

We're really almost *there* I think, but have some questions.

1) What files do you include in your uploads -- raws, ready to print, everything?
Some photos have not yet been optimized and are in their raw state -- they're on our "to do" list of sorts.
Do we simply register "everything" (raws, tifs, cropped + uncropped) or only those we have completed or nearly so?
If we go for "everything" then the question becomes when does it become derivative? I might remove an unsightly branch, dodge or burn an area to optimize an image -- the optimized image may be considerably better looking than the original -- is it then a 'derivative' of the raw (from a copyright perspective)?

2) What metadata do you include in your submissions?

3) Do you include a contact sheet in addition to your zipped jpg files?
Or is that more confusion for the copyright registration folks?

4) What is your pattern for registering images?
We're trying to sort out how to maximize our registrations. We want to get into the habit of doing the registrations before releasing any image to the "wild" without it. At the same time we recognize we might have spurts of more images ready to upload to the web in which case I suppose we'd need to do a registration just to get something online more quickly...

5) How much time do you have (days? weeks?) to upload zip files after payment of the registration fee?

6) Do any of you register products like special 'calendars' with photos and other researched text/info as well?

I guess what we'd like to know is how do you do it? :?:

Whew! Thanks for reading this far :) & whatever comments you might have!


by Carolyn E. Wright on Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:55 am
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Carolyn E. Wright
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Location: Lake Tahoe, NV
Member #:00282

Thanks for your kind words and congrats on registering your copyrights! I'll quickly try to address your questions.

1. usually my unedited files - http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=2841
2. Copyright notice and contact info
3. No
4. I register photos after a trip such as to Alaska or a special photo shoot and/or before I post photos on the Internet or give to a client
5. It's unknown but check this: http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=2945
6. You may a published work to protect the collective copyright (the organization and selection of works)

Carolyn E. Wright, Esq.
Retired Lawyer for Photographers and NSN Moderator
Photo Attorney® at www.photoattorney.com

by Mark Alder on Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:26 pm
Mark Alder
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Joined: 15 Apr 2016
I really appreciate the question posed by NWdev and the information that Carolyn provides--I was completely ignorant of the whole copyright issue and some of my images have been "borrowed" by vendors on Amazon. A follow-up question: Carolyn, I see that you upload your unedited files but is it ok to upload jpeg files that are smaller than the either the unedited or final edited files? I want to do this so I can speed up the process? Thanks very much.

by Jeff Colburn on Mon May 02, 2016 6:45 pm
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Location: Cottonwood, Arizona
Before you go crazy trying to copyright thousands and thousands of images, ask yourself if you can afford thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer for every copyright infringement.

And just because you win in court, doesn't mean that the other person will pay what they are ordered to pay by the court. I used to know a man that won in court, but was never paid. He sued that person again, and won, and was never paid and sued them again. After winning three times, not seeing a penny, and spending thousands in legal fees, he gave up.

I have commented to the copyright department about this (when they asked for public input a few months ago) and stated how the copyright laws are basically unenforceable for the average person because most people can't afford the legal fees.

Your photographs are automatically protected under the copyright laws, it's just that having them registered with the copyright office give you more protection, and lets you seek larger monetary compensation.

Just something to keep in mind.

Have Fun,
Fine Art Prints and Stock Photography of Arizona www.JeffColburn.com See my ebooks in the NatureScapes Store 25 Places To Sell Your Photographs And Photography Skills and The Vanishing Old West - Jerome

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