Copyright Rules are Changing!

Be in the know! 

© Kaori Photo 2018
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Release published on

February 7, 2018 Release

The U.S. Copyright Office made the following upgrades to the electronic registration system:

  • - A new online application for seeking a registration for a group of published photographs.
  • - A new online application for seeking a registration for a group of unpublished photographs.

These upgrades are described below.

On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a final rule which amended its regulation governing group registration of published photographs (“GRPPH”) and created a new regulation governing group registration of unpublished photographs (“GRUPH”). 83 Fed. Reg. 2,542 (Jan. 18, 2018).

Beginning February 20th, applicants will be required to submit an online application specifically designed to register a group of published photographs or a group of unpublished photographs. The Office released the new applications ahead of the effective date to give photographers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new forms.

If an applicant attempts to use the Standard Application or a paper application after the final rule goes into effect, the Office will refuse the claim and instruct the applicant to submit a new application using the appropriate online application, along with a new filing fee and a new deposit.

Each registration is limited to 750 photographs by the same author, including a work-made-for-hire author. In the final rule the Office explained that in the case of a work-made-for-hire author the application would contain a space where applicants must provide employee information or the application will not be accepted by the system. This feature, however, was removed from the new applications. Applicants may complete an application for photographs by a work-made-for-hire author without providing the name(s) of the individual employee(s).

The final rule also states that applicants must submit a digital copy of each photo, and the file name for each image should not contain any form of punctuation. The Office was concerned that punctuation in the file name might cause a technical error that could prevent the system from opening the files. Now that the new applications have been tested and released, the Office has confirmed that punctuation should not cause this type of problem.

More information about the new requirements for GRPPH may be found here. More information about the new requirements for GRUPH may be found here. In addition, the Copyright Office will release a new GRPPH tutorial as well as a new GRUPH tutorial. Each tutorial will provide step-by-step instructions for completing the new applications.

Official release can be found here: