When discussing copyright and all the issues surrounding it, I think it is important to mention that I'm not a copyright lawyer or expert and only know what I've read or heard from those that are. I also see many message boards and comment sections that discuss copyright, however, I would avoid putting too much stock in those and instead just visit a site such as thecopyrightzone.com by Edward Greenberg and Jack Reznicki to get the facts.
This tutorial is in two parts. First, I go through my work flow of preparing the photos for upload and in the second part, I take you through the process of actually uploading the photographs to the U.S. Copyright Office.
Some things to keep in mind:
As the photographer you automatically own the copyright to the photograph unless you sign it away in writing. The one exception is if you are a full-time employee, then the employer owns the copyright as a "work made for hire."
Registration is required if you intend to file a lawsuit. If you registered you work before the infringement, or within three months of publication, then you can sue for statutory damages plus attorney fees.
Using © is no longer required, however you may still use it to clearly identify yourself as the copyright holder. How do I make that fancy © symbol? Option G on a Mac, Alt + 0169 on Windows and © in HTML.
While I don't copyright every photograph I take, I do when I intend to make the photographs commercially available or if I believe others may do the same without my permission.
Most of my photographs, even ones that I have previously copyrighted, are available through a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerives license. This allows others to download my photos and share them as long I'm given credit, but cannot alter them or use them commercially.
Editorial Photographers web site.
Visit www.copyright.gov for a step-by-step tutorial