On my last import, I realized that my copyright information wasn't being applied automatically. I don't know how long Lightroom has been doing this, but I need to go back and apply the missing copyright. Since there are varying years and a few different copyright owners on my past photos, I don't want to just blanket-apply a copyright to all photos, I just need to find the ones that are missing the copyright.

I've tried using the "Library Filter" feature on both the Text and Metadata tags, but 1) these are very oriented to data that is already there and not oriented to missing data (text filter), or, 2) don't include the copyright field explicitly (metadata filter).

I basically want a filter on "Copyright" that groups them into the various values of the field with one of them being "Unknown" or similar.

How Do I find Photos that are Missing Copyright Metadata?


1 Answer 1


In Lightroom 5 a photo can have three copyright states:

enter image description here

I assume that, when you say my copyright information wasn't being applied automatically, the copyright status was not being set to Copyrighted.

You can create a Smart Collection that searches for all photos with a copyright state that is not copyrighted:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent! Just a bit of extra info for anyone looking, but the "Copyright Status" is found under "Other Metadata." \$\endgroup\$
    – mawcsco
    Mar 28, 2015 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ this isn't a complete answer, because copyright status is manually set, and it can be set but "Copyright" can still be empty, so you're going to need to check for that field being empty, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – chuqui
    Mar 29, 2015 at 1:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ as soon as I posted that, I remembered taht's a field Adobe's search/collection setup doesn't support (why? stupid... it should have 100% coverage of data) -- so you need to use a plug-in to set that up. This one will do it: johnrellis.com/lightroom/anyfilter.htm \$\endgroup\$
    – chuqui
    Mar 29, 2015 at 1:23

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