ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

USCO Has Issued a Technical Amendment to Rules for Registration of Photographs

The Copyright Office (USCO) has recently announced a small change to the way that registration of published and unpublished photographs are submitted. Now, you are able to use hyphens, underscores, and other punctuation in the filenames of submitted images. This small change will help photographers more efficiently access the system, and successfully copyright their works. See below the details of the recent changes.

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a technical amendment to the rules governing “Registration of Groups of Published Photographs” and “Registration of Unpublished Photographs.” The amendment removes the following sentence from rules 202.4(i)(9)  and 202.4(h)(9): “The file name for a particular photograph may consist of letters, numbers, and spaces, but the file name should not contain any other form of punctuation.”

As a result of this technical amendment, applicants may include underscores, hyphens, or other punctuation in the file names for deposit copies submitted with a group registration application. The amendments became effective on March 15, 2019.

All other requirements for seeking a group registration remain in effect. For information about these requirements, and guidance for how to complete the online application, prepare the mandatory title list, and upload digital photos, please see the following resources on our website:

Published Photographs

Unpublished Photographs



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