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By Sidra Safri
As we come to the end of another fantastic year, a lot has happened in the world of Small Claims. And what better time to look back and see all the progress we have made!

December 2016: Representative Judy Chu and Representative Lamar Smith introduced a Copyright Small Claims bill. This was done on the last day of the Congressional session to send a message to fellow Representatives that this was something in works. It also gave many Representatives the ability to review what a Copyright Small Claims Process would entail and familiarize themselves with the issue. 

January to March of 2017: With the new administration coming in, Small Claims had to be put on the back burner. However, during this time PPA continued to make rounds on Capitol Hill. PPA set up approximately 15 meetings with key members of the House Judiciary to ensure the importance of Small Claims was ever present, and explain where things were in the process. 

March to August 2017: During these months, the most crucial work was being done. Not only was PPA continuously meeting with members of Congress about Copyright Small Claims, but also working on key provisions that would continue to protect photographers and creative artists alike. During this time is when Representative Judy Chu, Representative Lamar Smith, Representative Jeffries, and Representative Marino, all began working on the possibility of having one Small Claims bill. As a reminder, last Congressional Session Representative Chu and Smith introduced their own version of the bill, and Representative Jeffries and Representative Marino introduced their own versions. When comparing the two bills, they had plenty of similarities, thus paving the way for collaboration upon introduction. 

October 2017: Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2017 (CASE Act) was introduced as H.R. 3495. This bill was introduced by Representative Jefferies and Representative Marino, and immediately co-sponsored by Representative Collins, Representative Chu, Representative Smith, and Representative Lieu. 

November to December 2017: Now that we have a bill, in order to ensure that it can makes its way through the House and on to the Senate, it is imperative to gain as many co-sponsors as possible. During these months, PPA met with 20+ Representatives to highlight the importance of Small Claims, making sure it stayed on their radar. 

We still have a long way to go to make sure that we can get a Copyright Small Claims bill passed, and this will not and cannot happen without you! Stay tuned on what is coming up and join the fight for artists rights and make your voice heard! Send a letter to your Representative at PPA.com/SmallClaims.

By Sidra Safri

Good Morning PPA! 

David Trust and I are back in D.C for another action-packed trip to our nation's capital. Today we are meeting with the Visual Association. As a reminder, this association includes APA, ASMP, DMLA, GAG, NANPA, NPPA, and PPA. During this annual meeting, we all get together to lay out the game plan for Small Claims. This year is more crucial than ever before since we are actively working on getting H.R 3945 passed. 

During this meeting, we will also talk about other problems faced by small creators including trying to figure out when something is considered "published" or "unpublished" and how to effectively use a DMCA claim. 

At this meeting, we will also be joined by Keith Kupferschmid of the Copyright Alliance and possibly a few members of the Copyright Office. We are hoping that during these meetings we will get some great insight on where everything stands and garner more support. 

Finally, we have a great treat in the works for tomorrow! Georgia's own Representative Doug Collins will be on Facebook Live with us tomorrow talking about the CASE act! 

As always do not forget to contact your representative urging them to co-sponsor H.R 3945, this cannot happen without you!

By Sidra Safri

5:02 pm
Day 2 has resulted in some very insightful meetings! The Small Claims panel was a hit, and it did a great job of answering questions that many staffers had. It was also great to have someone from the Copyright Office not only sitting on the panel but also in attendance of the event. We hope this panel will encourage Representatives who are not a familiar with the Small Claims bill to do research and increase the amount of co-sponsors.

After the briefing, we headed over to the Copyright Alliance meeting in Downtown D.C. The Copyright Alliance is an association that consists of various stakeholders in the copyright world. Its members include CBS, NBA, Disney, and more. This meeting is a great opportunity to touch base with the copyright world and see where everyone stands. As always, the Small Claims bill was on the agenda and was discussed at length as to what can be done to ensure the bill passes. We were very happy to see that many facets of the copyright world are dedicated to making Copyright Small Claims a success.

We are heading back to PPA Headquarters in Atlanta, but don't forget to keep sending those letters and calling your representatives! The more often they hear from YOU, the more attention Copyright Small Claims will get! PPA.com/SmallClaims

12:32 pm
Day 2 in DC is off to a great start! We started our morning meeting with Representative Farenthold's office of Texas. This was one of our first meetings with this office and wanted to take the time to share an updated status of the bill. We had some great feedback and were happy to know that the staff consists of people who have worked with the Copyright office. The office was happy that we met with them and brought them up to speed. We are hoping as time goes on we will have this office sign on as a co-sponsor. 

After meeting with Representative Farenthold's office, we stayed in Texas and met with Representative Ratcliffe. Since the staff has recently been changed, we provided a general back ground in why small claims is so important. This office was very open to the struggle that many photographers face and has assured us that they will look into the small claims bill. We will stay in touch with this office to keep them up-to-date. 

After both of these meetings with Texas representatives, we were told that it is absolutely important to continue to send letters and make phone calls. The more contact that is made with the office, the more likely the Representative is to support small claims. 

We are now off to a briefing being held on Capitol Hill about H.R. 3945 and why this is so important. Our allies from the Copyright Alliance Keith Kupferschmid and  Tom Kennedy of ASMP are on the panel. This will be a great opportunity for many staffers to hear about small claims, and hopefully convince them to support this bill. 

We have two more meetings after the briefing. Stayed tuned and remember to send your letters and make your phone calls! PPA.com/SmallClaims.

we_need_your_help.pngWe are very excited to report that members of the House Judiciary Committee are currently working to create legislation which would achieve PPA's top advocacy goal: the creation of a copyright small claims process. 

As a PPA member, help us to advocate for this new legislation on a grassroots level when a bill is introduced. This will take place in the next few weeks! Please join us for an introductory webinar to learn more about how YOU can be involved and help advance copyright for photographers. As PPA mobilizes its efforts on top legislative priorities, YOU CAN HELP! There are 3 sessions to choose from (all the same, just different times):

Prior to the webinar, we encourage you to read more about the issue here. As a professional photographer, you have copyright protection but not an effective means of enforcing your rights. This is because the current system practically excludes the vast majority of creators by not offering an adequate enforcement option for small-business copyright holders. PPA has been advocating for the creation of a copyright small claims process for the past ten years! This issue is vital to every professional photographer throughout America--do not miss out on this opportunity to be part of these positive changes!

Mark your calendar and sign up for one of these 3 webinars: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. See you then!


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