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The U.S. Copyright Office has floated draft regulations that would make it easier for photographers to register published photos in a group, the agency announced May 5 [65 Fed. Reg. 26162]. The proposal follows nearly five years of discussions between the office and the photography community on how to streamline the system for group registration. Photographers have claimed that current procedures — which require separate registrations where related works or parts of a work are published separately — are too expensive and time-consuming. An earlier — and controversial — rulemaking proposal would have permitted individual photographers and photography businesses to make group registrations of both published and unpublished photos by depositing identifying materials consisting of written descriptions of the pictures in a particular grouping rather than by depositing copies of the actual photo images. The Copyright Office now proposes a scheme in which photographers would be permitted to register multiple photographs created by one photographer which are published on different dates but in the same calendar year. The proposal would also allow group registration of unpublished photographs in much the same way. The agency is seeking comment on several points. These include: � How the date of publication of each photograph can be shown on the deposit copies and how each date can be connected to the relevant photograph; � Whether claimants should be required to number group photographs consecutively and to show the number of each photo on or affixed to the individual image of the photo that is deposited; � Whether the office should accept deposits in formats other than in digital form on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM; in single images; on contact sheets; on slides with single images or up to 36 images; or multiple images on video tape; and � Whether, as an alternative to requiring a claimant to provide each photo’s date of publication, the Copyright Office should consider offering an alternative of providing a range of dates over a three-month period. Written comments are due on or before June 19, 2000. An original and 15 copies should be mailed to David O. Carson, General Counsel, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, D.C., 20024, or hand-delivered to Office of the Copyright General Counsel, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-403, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C., 20559. For more information, contact David Carson or Patricia L. Sinn at (202) 707-8380.

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