In a culture of Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and the countless memes that float across my newsfeed everyday, copyright infringement is a battle for many photographers. Each time you click the shutter, you as the photographer own the copyright to that image (unless a contract you signed states otherwise). But, if someone infringes on your copyright, registering for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is an important step if you want to ensure that you are fully protected and can benefit the full amount of damages should a lawsuit arise. Registering a copyright also protects your clients in the event your photo is infringed upon.
The process is fairly simple. A few years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office started accepting electronic registrations which allows for faster processing times, lower fees, uploading, and online payments with a few clicks of a button. In this quick video, David Wells walks us through how to register your work with the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office. It’s easy and photographers should make a habit of regularly registering their work and as Wells suggests, building it into your workflow.