Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1112.7 (B) Databases That Predominantly Consist of Photographs

1112.7 (B) Databases That Predominantly Consist of Photographs

This Section discusses the minimum deposit requirements for a database that consists predominantly of photographs. In some cases, the Visual Arts Division may ask the applicant to submit additional deposit material, particularly when the claim is submitted using the electronic registration system. For specific guidance, applicants should contact the Visual Arts Division at (202) 707-8202.

In all cases, the applicant should prepare and submit a brief statement that describes the database. The specific requirements for this descriptive statement are discussed in Section 1112.7 (C).

If the applicant intends to register the photographs that were added to the database during the period specified in the application, the applicant must submit a copy of each photograph that is included in the claim. See 37 C.F.R. § 202.20 (C) (2)(vii) (D) (8).

The applicant must submit the photographs in a digital form, and each photograph must be submitted in JPEG, GIF, or TIFF formats.

In addition, the applicant must submit a sequentially numbered list containing the title and file name for each photograph in the group. The title and file name for a particular photograph may be the same. If the photographs have been published, the list must provide the month and year of publication for each photograph. The U.S. Copyright Office has developed a template that may be used to create this list, which is discussed in more detail in Section 1114.6 (A).

The list must be submitted in an Excel format (.xls), Portable Document Format (PDF), or other electronic file format approved by the Visual Arts Division. The file name for the list must contain the title of the database. It should also include the case number that has been assigned to the claim by the electronic registration system. This number appears near the top of each screen of the online application. (If the claim is submitted on a paper application, a case number is not required.)


• Online application:

o Title of database: North American Wildlife.

o Case number: 1-62883927239.

o File name for the numbered list:


• Paper application:

o Title of database: South American Landscapes.

o File name for the numbered list:


The applicant may upload the digital files to the electronic registration system, preferably in a .zip file containing all the files, provided that the applicant (I) obtains prior authorization from the Visual Arts Division, and (ii) submits the online application and the deposit copies after consulting with, and under the supervision of, that Division.

Alternatively, the applicant may save the digital files on a physical storage device, such as a flash drive, CD-R, or DVD-R, and may deliver the device to the U.S. Copyright Office along with the required shipping slip generated by the electronic registration system by mail, commercial carrier, courier, or hand delivery to the Public Information Office. For additional guidance on these delivery options, see Chapter 1500, Section 1508.2.

If the applicant intends to register the authorship involved in selecting, coordinating, and/or arranging the photographs that appear in the database, but does not intend to register the individual photographs, the applicant should submit a representative portion of the database using one of the methods described in Section 1112.7 (A).

See generally Group Registration of Photographs, 81 Fed. Reg. 86,643 (Dec. 1, 2016); Deposit Requirements for Registration of Automated Databases That Predominantly Consist of Photographs, 76 Fed. Reg. 5106 (Jan. 28, 2011); Registration of Claims to Copyright, 76 Fed. Reg. 4072 (Jan. 24, 2011).

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