Copyright Office Opens Pilot Program for e-Group Registration

Posted on 3/3/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Recently the U.S. Copyright Office launched a pilot program that enables photographers to use the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) system to complete group registrations of “databases that predominantly consist of photographs" or “published photographs."

Previously, the eCO online registration system could only be used for images that were either unpublished or single or groups of images published in a single unit of publication. If you are not sure if your work qualifies as published or unpublished go here. (For example, are images submitted to a stock agency or posted on the Internet published or non-published?)

This program is designed to (1) determine whether eCO has the capacity to accept registration claims of this nature and (2) make the registration process less time-consuming (especially for those who would otherwise be required to complete a paper application). There is some concern that the office may be overwhelmed with the volume of new registrations and for this reason they have launched a controlled pilot program to work out the kinks.

Using the online system is also advantageous to copyright owners because applications submitted via eCO are processed significantly faster than paper forms.

Those interested in taking part in the e-Group Registration pilot program must first determine their eligibility (prior to completing a registration application) by contacting the Visual Arts Division of the U.S. Copyright Office at 202-707-8202.

For details on submitting a paper registration, go here. The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) also provides a step by step process for online registration of images here.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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