How to Copyright a Photo CD

by Thomas King
Online legal document preparation and filing services can help you register your photo CD.

Online legal document preparation and filing services can help you register your photo CD.

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Photographs are copyrighted the moment they are fixed in a tangible form. In other words, the moment they are developed or saved on a memory card. However, you are unable to bring a copyright infringement claim unless the photographs have also be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Published and unpublished photographs can be put onto a photo CD and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Step 1

Go to the U.S. Copyright Office website. Click "eCO Login" and "Continue to eCO."

Step 2

Type your User ID and Password or click the link for new users and fill out your registration information. When you finish, you are redirected to the Electronic Copyright Office website.

Step 3

Click "Register a New Claim" and "Start Registration."

Step 4

Select "Work of the Visual Arts" from the "Type of Work" drop-down menu and click "Continue."

Step 5

Click "New" and select "Title of work being registered" from the "Title Type" drop-down menu. Type the title of the entire collection in the "Title of this work" box and click "Save."

Step 6

Click "New" again and select "Contents Title" from the "Title Type" drop-down menu. Type the name of each photograph separated by a semicolon into the "Title of this Work" box and click "Save" and "Continue."

Step 7

Select "Yes" or "No" from the "Has this work been published?" drop-down menu and click "Continue." Note that "published" means the photograph has been publicly sold or distributed to a group of people for purposes of further distribution or public display. If some photographs on the CD have been published and others have not, you will need to fill out a separate form for the published photographs and a separate form for the unpublished photographs.

Step 8

Fill out the rest of the form. The form asks basic questions such as the photographer's name and address. Note that you will be asked to provide a method of payment to cover the filing fees.

Step 9

Provide a deposit. A deposit simply refers to a copy of your work. At the end of the registration form, you are given the option to choose "Upload Deposit" and upload your photo CD or to choose "Send by Mail" and print the shipping label and mail your photo CD. Once the form has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive a certificate of registration in the mail.