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.
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.