Your Copyright Registration Fee Might Double to $100

Your Copyright Registration Fee Might Double to $100

A proposed change to U.S. Copyright Office registration fees will nearly double the cost to photographers to $100 if it is approved by Congress.

In February 2018, the U.S. Copyright Office made a significant change to copyright registration that affected photographers. Prior to that date, a photographer could submit a group registration of an unlimited number of photos for $55, but now photographers are restricted to 750 images.

But after hiring Booz Allen to complete a cost study analysis, the Copyright Office has proposed increasing the fee to $100 per registration while maintaining the 750 image limit. The fee was last raised in 2014 from $35 to $55.

Photo by Allen Murabayashi

The Copyright Office acknowledges that revenue maximization through increased fees would “would result in a far less robust public record of copyrighted works, and would undermine ‘the objectives of the copyright system,’” nevertheless, it is hoping to recover a larger portion of its costs through the hike.

Photographers are taking a disproportionate increase (81%) compared to the average 38% increase across all service categories, in part, because the Copyright Office has estimated that reviewing a group registration costs $284.

“The Office believes these new fees will achieve greater cost recovery while maintaining a relatively low fee on a per-work basis for photographers. Specifically, the per-photograph cost is currently $0.07 if the applicant registers the maximum number of photographs (i.e., 750). The proposed new fee raises that cost only slightly to $0.12 per photograph if the maximum number of works are registered.”

Photographers are encouraged to leave a comment about the new fee schedule. The comment period ends July 23, 2018.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Tod Grubbs at 2:05 pm

    They are killing us photographers!! with this proposed fee increase and the 90 day from first publication to get registered puts allot of pressure on the photographers trying to protect our work while it is easier than ever for others to steal our work and get away with it.

  2. Rob at 10:16 am

    ‪The @CopyrightOffice Copyrightoffice doesn’t understand it’s users and how we work. This is in light of the new rule for Group Registration Published Photography, #GRPPH. Copyright Office ignored industry feedback.

    Seems the Copyright Office does not understand their user base. I doubt they have built user personas to identify the different ways we work in art, slides, digital and social media?

    Yet, they have doubled or tripled our cost based on a erroneous cost estimate. #legal #attorney‬

  3. Diane at 8:10 am

    Limited amount of photographs to be submitted will also cost the photographer more, since the unlimited status will also be not be in affect any longer. Having more than the required amount of photos to submit and having to pay the increase amount every time, will also cost the photographer all the way around on trying to make a living.
    I am just starting out as a photographer on making it a career from being it a hobby of mine and having these higher costs and limitations to have my work protected, not to mention having a legal right if the photos are stolen. I am about to send my first batch of photos to be copyrighted before everything changes.

  4. Will at 10:52 pm

    Sure it cost a bit more, but compare to the amount of money you spend on hosting a site, domain name, adverts etc, its a cost of doing business. Suck yes for those who may not have the funds easily but if you want your images protected, save up for it.

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