Published vs. unpublished works in the online age

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ProPhotoForums.com Forum Index :: Paper work, paper work, paper work!
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
dheian
Forum Newbie


Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Published vs. unpublished works in the online age Reply with quote

Even though we're a non-US photographer, it's been suggested to us that we register our works with the US copyright office in order to open the door to the larger statutory damages allowed for registered works.

There's the option of registering published works or unpublished works in a collection but in the world of online publishing, I wonder where that distinction lies or if I can publish immediately after sending out the forms, etc.

For example, we shoot the Toronto International Film Festival for our entertainment website each year. Thousands of unpublished photos turn into a gallery of several hundred published photos. However, we might in turn use one of the unused photos to later illustrate a person's bio so the most economical way to do this would be registering the unpublished collection.

Is it best for me to file a registration of a CD/DVD full of the complete set of unpublished photos so all possible outcomes are covered?

Is it okay if the photos are published minutes after I complete the form?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
James Cook
Forum Regular


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Saugatuck

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd do best to consult an attorney versus the free advice you get here.

That said, I can tell you that through the Berne Convention, non-US photographers actually have easier and better protection than those of us in the US who only have the US laws to cover us.
_________________
James Cook

Creator of:
METAmachine
FindAPhotographer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dheian
Forum Newbie


Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I have consulted a US copyright attorney and it was they who recommended the US Copyright registration for all photos going forward.

Even with the Berne treaty, without a US registration the most we can be awarded in the US is business losses and not the more punitive statutory damages.

But anyway, my question was more about paperwork timing in the speed of the online world, when photos from an event can be published minutes/hours after (or even during) an event.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
James Cook
Forum Regular


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Saugatuck

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By US Copyright law you have three months from first publication to get them registered. So for the electronic world, it's just as good as it has been for the news magazines and newspapers.

You do need to file published and unpublished separately though so it's definitely advantageous when you can register before any publication takes place. Obviously that's tough if they're "published" during the event.
_________________
James Cook

Creator of:
METAmachine
FindAPhotographer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dheian
Forum Newbie


Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You do need to file published and unpublished separately though so it's definitely advantageous when you can register before any publication takes place. Obviously that's tough if they're "published" during the event.


And that hits the nail on the head especially as a business cost issue. I can easily register the published stuff from a red carpet as a collection within the three months of me putting the gallery online but when I decide to use one of the shots that didn't make the gallery cut to illustrate a person's filmography, bang, it needs to be registered and paid for too.

It gets to be a timing issue. Is the very act of filling in the form and uploading the contact sheet PDF sufficient or are those unpublished photos not registered and protected completely until I get some form of documentation back from the Copyright Office?

From a business point of view, the 3 month window means I can budget 4 payments a year to the CO to cover the photos as we publish them. It's the worries about the thousands of unpublished photos sitting on the hard drives. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
James Cook
Forum Regular


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Saugatuck

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to make a quarterly filing of all published images and be covered on those, no matter when they were taken.

That leaves only the unpublished unregistered, so a periodic filing of unpublished images should cover al the bases for you.
_________________
James Cook

Creator of:
METAmachine
FindAPhotographer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ProPhotoForums.com Forum Index :: Paper work, paper work, paper work! All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Charcoal2 Theme © Zarron Media