Group Copyright Registration of Unpublished Photographs to be Limited to 750

Despite the best efforts of APA and other trade associations of visual artists, including both the Coalition of Visual Artists and the Copyright Alliance, the Copyright Office has ignored much of the public comment of photographers in releasing their new rules that take effect February 20, 2018.

Unfortunately, group registrations of published or unpublished photos will be limited to 750 photographs in each claim beginning on Feb 20.  This is an unfortunate change from previous rules that did limit registrations for published photos to 750/group, but registrations of unpublished photos could be unlimited in number.  Published and UNpublished continue to be required to be registered separately from each other, which is unchanged from the past.

Fortunately, there are several positive changes to the new rules including the ability to register images from a single author (not a single photographer, as before) in a single group resgistration which will benefit large studio shooters or perhaps wedding/event photographers who employ multiple photographers, often in a WFH capacity.  Also, the new rules clarify that every image in a group registration receives the same protection and has the same remedies as would be available if every image was separately registered – thereby providing the copyright owner with the ability to seek multiple awards of statutory damages, as opposed to the single award provided compilations (collective works, databases, etc).  This has resolved a loophole that infringers have used in the past to limit, even eliminate, their exposure to damages.

Complete information can be found on the Advocacy page of the APA National website here.  In the meantime, plan to register as many of your unpublished images as possible in a single group resgistration prior to 2/20/18.

Call to Action - Support HR3945

Call to action is now - support the creative community 

Please ask your representative to cosponsor the CASE Act  - #H.R.3935
It’s easy. Add your name here and a letter will go out on your behalf:

Or Here:
Ask your family, friends, and peers to do the same.
This bill will help provide individual creators – such as photographers, illustrators, writers, and musicians – the ability to bring cases without the expense and complexity of Federal Court.
Push it out on social media using hashtags:


The Copyright Alliance Small Claims Working Group has declared January 17th,  #SmallClaimsDay

Sample Tweets:

#Creators experience #copyright infringement every day. If you are one of these creators or a friend of the creative community, #UniteForCopyright on January 17 #SmallClaimsDay, and ask your representative to cosponsor #HR3945
Support the #creative community by asking your representative to cosponsor #HR3945 on January 17, #SmallClaimsDay! Write or call them to ask for their support!

Tag us on Twitter: @apanational  


Read more:

H.R. 1695 Passes the House, Companion Bill Introduced in Senate

Our friends at The Copyright Alliance report that:

On April 26, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1695, The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, by a decisive, bipartisan vote of 378-48.  The bill would make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and begin the long, hard processs of modernizing the US Copyright Office by helping to provide it with an independent budget.

On May 3, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 1010, a Senate companion to H.R. 1695.

Follow the links on the CA's website here to stay informed about Register of Copyrights news, including statements and other information regarding H.R. 1695 and S. 1010.

The APA National Business Manual

Our Business Manual is a guide to successful photography business principles. The APA Business Manual is an essential asset for professional photographers and assistants. It’s one of the many valuable resources provided by American Photographic Artists to the photographic community. The Business Manual is available to APA members and non-members alike. If you are not yet an APA member, we encourage you to join, but you can access the Business Manual any time here, or by going to the Advocacy section on the website.
Go here to download the entire APA National Business Manual, or any of the following sections:

Estimating and Licensing

    The Licensing Business Model
    Licensing vs. "Buyout"
    Writing a License
    The Art of the Estimate
    Estimating Checklist
    Billing Terminology and Structure
    Work Made for Hire

Forms and Lists

    Estimate/Invoice form
    Job Change Order
    Terms & Conditions
    Delivery Memo
    Location Checklist

Model Releases

    Model & Property Release Forms Overview
    Testing/Self Promotion Model Release
    Model Release and Consent Agreement


    Professional Assistant Manual
    Effective Strategies to Get Professional Assisting Work
    Assisting Guidelines
    Photography Assistant Invoice


    Copyright Registration: Vital to Your Success
    Photographer's Copyright Tutorial

Working with Artist Representatives

    Rep Checklist

Tips for Protecting Your Work

While social media sites provide a vast network of marketing opportunities with little or no outlay of cash from users, as you'll see from our Social Media White Paper they are not without costs of a different kind. Consequently, APA recommends that if you choose to post images to social media sites, you do so with full awareness of the potential consequences:

  1. Terms of Service (ToS) and User Agreements are binding legal documents that apply to you whether you read and fully understand them, or not. 
  2. Most of these documents dictate ways in which the services can use, share, even sell your images without any further permission from you. 
  3. Images you post may escape your control and may not ever be completely removable from the internet, even in cases where you may be legally liable. 
  4. Even if your images never leave the site, you may forfeit future licensing opportunities because clients may want exclusivity that you cannot guarantee. 
  5. You may be liable for others' use, or misuse, of your own images that you post. 

If you choose to post images to social media sites: 

  1. Consider limiting your postings to a small, finite group of images you're willing to devote to a marketing or business plan. 
  2. Consider watermarking your images to limit their commercial viability and to prevent your images from becoming separated, or "orphaned" from you, their creator. 
  3. Consider linking to your images from your blog or website, rather than posting new files. 
  4. Check your insurance policy to be sure you're covered for the potential liabilities you assume when posting to social media. 

Know your rights. Take a few minutes to read the ToS for wherever you choose to post your work, then decide. And if you don't understand or you're unsure, don't rely on readings on the internet. Consult your own attorney for legal advice.

Call to Action: Tell Congress to vote “Yes” on H.R. 1695

April 3, 2017

Creators, Please act now. Tell Congress to Vote “Yes” on H.R. 1695 

Last week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) introduced the H.R. 1695, The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act

The bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee in a nearly unanimous 27 to 1 vote! 
It will now go to the full House of Represenatives for a vote. 

The bill would elevate the Register of Copyrights (previously held by Maria Pallante) to a position appointed by the President with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. We believe this will provide a more transparent and accountable selection process. The Copyright Office has been operating without a permanent Register since last October. It is urgent that this issue is addressed so efforts to modernize the Copyright Office can move forward.

It is vital that Congress hears from creators about the importance of this issue. APA and organizations representing creators from across the spectrum of the creative community have already voiced their support. 

Take Action here through our partners at the Copyright Alliance

The vote is due to happen this week or next.  

Here are the members of Congress (members of the Judiciary Committee) who voted for this bill and have shown their support for the creative communities: 

Rep. Karen Bass, D, CA-37 
Rep. Steve Cohen, D, TN-09
Rep. John Conyers Jr., D, MI-13
Rep. Ted Deutch, D, FL-22
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D, TX-18
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D, WA-07
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D, NY-08 
Rep. Ted Lieu, D, CA-33
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D, NY-10
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D, MD-08
Rep. Brad Schneider, D, IL-10
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D, CA-15
Rep. Andy Biggs, R, AZ-05
Rep. Ken Buck, R, CO-04
Rep. Doug Collins, R, GA-09
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R, FL-06
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R, TX-27
Rep. Trent Franks, R, AZ-08
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R, TX-01
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R, VA-06
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R, SC-04
Rep. Darrell Issa, R, CA-49
Rep. Mike Johnson, R, LA-04
Rep. Jim Jordan, R, OH-04
Rep. Raul Labrador, R, ID-01
Rep. Ted Poe, R, TX-02
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R, TX-04
For more information contact Michael Grecco

Protect your property. Remember to Copyright your Images! 

Join Today



Fri 17th Nov, 2017

Photographing on Public Lands,...

Ever wondered if you need a permit to photograph in a National Park or National Forest?...


Chapter Benefits

APA SF Chapter Member Benefits

More great reasons to be an APA Member