The U.S. Copyright Office is requesting written comments on how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act. The Office is specifically interested in the current marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations regarding the real or potential obstacles that these authors and, as applicable, their licensees or other representatives face when navigating the digital landscape.
Photographers, graphic artists, and illustrators have expressed a growing list of concerns in recent years when speaking to both the Copyright Office and Members of Congress. The Office is thus seeking to build upon its longstanding policy interest in these types of visual works, including the Office’s studies in a number of areas such as small claims, the making available right, resale royalties, registration, recordation, and the interoperability of records. As always, the Office is interested in the perspectives of copyright owners as well as users of these creative works. The Office notes that this is a general inquiry that will likely lead to additional specific inquiries.