November 16, 2015PDN: New ImageRights Plugin Brings Copyright Registration to Lightroom

November 16, 2015 - Greg Scoblete

In the October issue, we showed you how photographer Michael Grecco incorporates copyright registration into his workflow.

Now, a new plugin for Lightroom promises to streamline the process a bit by bringing copyright registration into Adobe’s popular image management tool.

The plugin is courtesy of ImageRights, a service that scours the Internet on behalf of photographers searching for signs of unauthorized image use. Using the software, Lightroom users can upload images into an ImageRights Discovery account (the Internet scouring service) and simultaneously submit images for registration with the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO). After you've selected your images and uploaded them to your Discovery account, the plugin will open a web page for you where you'll need to key in additional copyright details and submit the work.

The ImageRights plug-in will also update the metadata of your images in Lightroom with their current registration status. Once the certificate of registration is issued by the USCO, the plug-in updates the images with the copyright registration number and registration date. ImageRights also inscribes a URL into the metadata that links to a webpage that displays the image along with its copyright registration information. The plugin also allows you to filter your image collections by USCO registration status.

The plug-in is free to download and install but to register a copyright, you’ll pay either $69 or $89 per filing (a price that includes the $35/$55 eCO filing fee that the U.S. Copyright Office hits you up for). The pricing also includes the use of ImageRights' Discovery service, which searches the web for unauthorized use of your images. The free tier lets you include 1,000 images in the ImageRights Discovery tool. If Discovery finds an image and damages are paid, ImageRights keeps 50 percent of the net recovery plus the photographer must pay a $50 service fee for the recovery case.

You can also subscribe to an ImageRights Pro plan for $495 which bumps up your recovery take home to 55 percent of the net recovery, waives the $50 service fee and entitles you to three free USCO registration filings. In this tier, 100,000 images can be added to the ImageRights Discovery service.

Finally, a Premier tier lets photographers keep up to 60 percent of the net recovery, has no service fee and provides five free USCO registration filings. It also includes 250,000 images in the ImageRights Discovery service.

There's a clear merit to registering your work with the USCO, whether you choose to use the plugin or not. “My collections for infringement far surpass revenues I was getting ten years ago for my syndication and creative stock, when that market was a viable market,” Michael Grecco told us.

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