Online Copyright Registration

A couple years back I posted a short bit on how to register photo copyright with the U.S. government. That turned out to be the last time I filled out a registration with pen and paper. For all subsequent submissions I’ve used the new ECO system at

Let me disabuse you of any preconception that the online method is easier. You’ll need to clear an hour or two out of your schedule to prepare a submission. The new process involves clicking though an interminable array of confusing steps, filling out an order of magnitude more information than was requested in the paper form, and jockeying awkwardly between upload and payment sites.

Fortunately, photo attorney Carolyn Wright has created a set of directions that are clearer than anything the copyright office provides. I won’t duplicate her efforts by explaining how it works, other than to offer the following pointer: compress your images into a series of .zip files before you begin. How many files you’ll need will depend on the speed of your internet connection, as ECO logs you out after an hour. As with the old system, you can register an unlimited number of images in a single batch and a single fee.

Despite the hassle, I find online registration worthwhile. For one, it’s ten bucks cheaper. And more importantly, the turnaround time is several months faster than paper submission. So if you need your reg numbers quickly, ECO is really your only option.

Anyway, this is been an absolutely thrilling post. So here’s an ant:

this photograph is registered copyright VAu 979-301

15 points to the first person who can identify it.


  1. #1 The Geek In Question
    December 14, 2009

    a little hint? 🙂

  2. #2 Aydin
    December 14, 2009
  3. #3 Michael
    December 14, 2009

    Leptogenys manni Wheeler???

  4. #4 JasonC.
    December 14, 2009

    Since someone already guessed L. manni, I’ll just go with Leptogenys elongata.

  5. #6 James C. Trager
    December 15, 2009

    Well, Mr. Myrmecos was in Florida recently, so L. manni makes some sort of sense, except that in my experience, it is quite reddish and has notable punctate sculpture on the head —

  6. #7 James C. Trager
    December 16, 2009

    Hmm — I’ve seen this picture somewhere before. I’ll let someone else reveal its name, but a hint — it’s African.

  7. #8 Michael
    December 17, 2009

    Ah yes, L. attenuata. I was way off.

  8. #9 myrmecos
    December 17, 2009

    That’s indeed what it is!

  9. #10 Ant
    December 18, 2009

    Shouldn’t be in my forum, Myrmecos? 😛

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