Copyright Information
Excerpted from “Digital Boudoir Photography: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Fabulous Images of Any Woman” by John G. Blair, © Course PTR Publishing

Copyright Submission

By international copyright law, your images are copyrighted when you push the shutter release. From a practical point of view, in the United States you must register your images with the Copyright Office, part of the Library of Congress. Only with registration can you recover punitive damages (up to $100,000 per infringement) and attorney fees. Without registration, lawsuits are usually too expensive and a waste of time. They need to be filed in federal court and the costs can easily run up to $100,000 for your legal fees. Without registration, no attorney will take your copyright case on contingency. With registration, the other side's attorneys know that it is usually in their client's best interest to settle out of court with you. These are the reasons why you absolutely must register your photographs if you are a professional photographer whose work is published either in print or on a website.

It is actually not very difficult or expensive to register work once you get the hang of it. Your work can be small digital images (360 pixels by 240 pixels is a good size), with medium compression, in a jpeg format.You can do this in Photoshop with an action, so you can be doing other things while the computer is working. You can register as many images as you would like on one or multiple CDs for the same 30 dollar fee per submission, as long as the images have not been published. Use the gold archival CD's. The subject seems complicated at first. Setting up a workflow that works for you will take a little bit of time the first time you submit. After that, it takes maybe 30 minutes per submission. If you photograph regularly, submitting on a regular monthly schedule makes the most sense and provides the most protection. You create the small digital images with a Photoshop action, so it runs while you are doing other things. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare a submission whether you have 5 images or 5,000. It could take a bit longer if you have 50,000 images because you will have to burn a few CD's. I did about 15,000 images in one submission, and it took less than an hour. You do not have to provide a hard copy of the images. Some photographers include a list of the file names as an attachment. The images, if unpublished, can be from

more than one year.

First visit the US government's website at Download the proper forms. Most likely you will be able to use Short Form VA. Here's a brief description of this form.

*Section 1 The title of the work, something like: “Unpublished Collection- MM/DD/YYYY (date) Joe Photographer xxxx images (number)”.

*Section 2 Your name, address, phone, and e-mail address.

*Section 3 The year of creation. This is the year the collection was finished. Usually that will be the current year even if you're including photographs from several years ago.

*Section 4 Since these are unpublished images, skip Section 4.

*Section 5 Type of authorship. Check the box for photograph.

*Section 6 Sign the form.

*Section 8 Fill out where you want the certificate shipped.

Enclose a check for 30 dollars and the CD(s) of your images. Use a trackable mailing service, such as FedEx, so that you will have a record of the delivery. Make a copy of everything, including the CDs, and put your copy in a manila envelopewith the date and description on the top edge to make it easy to find if you ever need it. Be sure to use the gold, archival CD's. Now mail the submission copy off. Once the package is received at the Copyright Office, keep your copy of the receipt (available online for Fedex and similar carriers) in your manila envelope and file it away. Set up a new envelope for each submission. In about three to five months, or a bit longer if they get behind, you will receive a certificate from the Copyright Office with the date they received it. File this certificate in your envelope. For more information on copyright, visit Keep in mind that some of this information changes over time.

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Each image on this website is legally protected by U.S. and International Copyright Laws, and may NOT be copied and used for reproduction in ANY manner unless arranged for in writing. All pictures on this website are Copyrighted © John G. Blair, and are for Web browser-viewing only. Usage of any image (including comp usage) must be negotiated. No image on this website may be used for any purpose without express written consent of the Copyright holder, John G. Blair. Unauthorized duplication or usage of these images is prohibited by U.S. and International Copyright Law.