Copyright Compendium

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Chapter 2300
Chapter 2400

909.1 Copyrightable Authorship in Photographs

909.1 Copyrightable Authorship in Photographs


As with all copyrighted works, a photograph must have a sufficient amount of creative expression to be eligible for registration. The creativity in a photograph may include the photographer’s artistic choices in creating the image, such as the selection of the subject matter, the lighting, any positioning of subjects, the selection of camera lens, the placement of the camera, the angle of the image, and the timing of the image.


Example:


• The Office receives ten applications, one from each member of a local photography club. All of the photographs depict the Washington Monument and all of them were taken on the same afternoon. Although some of the photographs are remarkably similar in perspective, the registration specialist will register all of the claims, because each photographer selected the angle and positioning of his or her photograph, among other creative choices.

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