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 is 1 comment 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.

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