1114.6 (G) Earliest / Latest Publication Date
When registering a group of published photographs, the applicant must provide the date of publication for the earliest and most recent photos in the group. This information should be provided on the Title screen in the fields marked “Earliest Publication Date in Group” and “Latest Publication Date in Group.”
NOTE: These fields only appear in the application for published photographs. They do not appear in the application for unpublished photographs.
The “earliest publication date” is the earliest date that the photos were published during the year specified in the application. The “latest publication date” is the most recent date that the photos were published during the year specified in the application. For example, if the photos were published in 2018 on March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the applicant should enter “03/01/2018” and “03/03/2018” in the spaces provided.
Example: Photos Published through the Authorized Distribution of One or More Copies of the Work
• Lois Lang is a commercial photographer. On February 26, 2018 she took 600 photos for her client’s upcoming advertising campaign. On February 27th Lois sent an electronic proof sheet to her client, and stated that the images could not be used without her permission.
On February 28th the client selected 30 photos for potential use in their advertising campaign. After retouching the images, Lois sent the client 5 digital prints on March 1st, 10 digital prints on March 2nd, and 15 digital prints on March 3rd. In each case, Lois gave her client a license to use these 30 photos for one year.
On April 1st the client posted one of the photos on its website. On April 2nd the client used another photo in its social media feed. On April 3rd the client used another photo in a billboard advertisement. (The rest of the photos were never used.)
These 30 photos were published when Lois sent a copy of each work to her client on March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd along with a license to use these images. The fact that the client used three of the photos on April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (but did not use any of the others) is irrelevant to the publication status of the works.
Lois may register these 30 photos using the group registration option for published photographs. When completing the application, Lois should enter “03/01/2018” in the field marked “earliest publication date” and “03/03/2018” in the field marked “latest publication date.”
NOTE: The rest of the photos on the electronic proof sheet have not been published yet. Although Lois sent her client a copy of these works, the client did not have permission to use those images. Thus, if Lois decided to register these photos, she should use the group registration option for unpublished photographs.
In all cases, the publication dates should be provided in “MM/DD/YYYY” format, and as discussed in Section 1114.1, the photos must be published in the same calendar year. If the applicant provides a different year in the “earliest” and “latest” fields, the claim will not be accepted by the electronic registration system.
If the exact date of publication is unknown, the applicant may provide a qualifying statement in the Note to Copyright Office field, such as “approximately,” “on or about,” “on or before,” “not later than,” or the like. The registration specialist will add this statement to the registration record with an annotation, such as: “Regarding publication: Application states ‘earliest publication on or about April 13, 2017; latest publication not later than June 14, 2017.'”