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Yesterday, PPA's board of directors visited with key staffers and senators on Capitol Hill to voice their concerns on copyright protection. You can view yesterday's post on their visit to get caught up. 

Maria Matthews, manager of PPA's copyright and government affairs department is back with an update on what went down!

 

We talked, they listened!

On behalf of PPA members and professional photographers everywhere, an excited PPA board of directors spent their Tuesday in our nation's capita. They met with chief counsels, judiciary aides and senators and told their story. They explained the impact copyright theft can have on their business and families--as well as the potential economic impact for their state--and light bulbs went on.

The board asked staffers and senators to deliver this message to the senate: Copyright affects more than just big industry; it impacts mom-and-pop businesses in every corner of their state. Many of the offices we met with agreed that strong copyright laws are essential to ensuring a thriving creative community. They also admitted that most of their efforts on the intellectual property front as of late have been focused on patent and not copyright reform--something they will be looking to remedy!

This visit was great progress for the copyright debate. Next up: Keep lobbying to get the talk moving toward action on the senate!

The board had a great time in D.C. and shared their visit all over social media. Check out their posts below.

(Click the images to view the original posts.)

 

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PPA will continue to provide updates on the ongoing copyright movement. Things are getting really exciting!

You are invited to submit artwork for a juried digital art show that will take place May 17, 2012, during the five-year anniversary celebration of the Copyright Alliance. PPA is one of the founding members of the Copyright Alliance (our CEO David Trust is a past board member, too).

Called "Connecting Creators: Showcasing the Artists Among Us," the event itself will take place at Microsoft's D.C. office on May 17, 4:30pm - 8:00pm. Submitting your image means you have a chance to win the Best of Show or Honorable Mention awards and be celebrated at the event! In fact, the Best in Show winner gets a chance to tell their story to members of the copyright community on Capitol Hill during a panel discussion from 4:30pm - 5:30pm.

Interested? Don't forget to submit by April 6 at 5:00pm Eastern! Download the complete details and submission form here.

Several years ago, most didn't think twice about burning a copy of a CD or downloading songs off peer-to-peer file sharing sites. Then, the artists and music industry spoke out. More importantly, they increased public education about breaking copyright laws. Now, even DVDs tend to have a "commercial" before the movie that refers to such actions as stealing.

That kind of combined education sends a loud message...and that's the kind of education that can help protect your images from client copyright infringement. This week's article touches on how to begin such copyright education yourself (to both clients and photo retailers). Next week, you'll learn about PPA's shiny new Retail Compliance Network (RECON Program) and how you can be a part of that education.

PPA is always searching for the best way to help you protect your copyrights. Infringements won't disappear instantly, but each educational step can help strengthen your rights and your clients' awareness of them.

Cheers,
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. Stay tuned for next week's Vital Signs article (May 14). You'll learn more about the revamped Retail Compliance Network--our RECON program--where you can help investigate photo retailers to improve their compliance with copyright laws.

You may recall last month's online uprising when Facebook announced their new Terms of Service policy. In an earlier post, we told you about a letter PPA sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's Founder & CEO, in which we applauded Zuckerberg's creation of a "Facebook Bill of Rights & Responsibilities", and offered our expertise and assistance in developing the social media site's newest policy.

Facebook was receptive to PPA's involvement and requested our feedback on the latest version of their proposed "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities." We submitted our comments and suggestions to Facebook last week, and now we're watching and waiting to see what develops.

Based on what we've seen so far, you'll be pleased to know that Facebook has made strides to accommodate photographers, and all copyright owners, who actively maintain Facebook accounts. We'll keep you posted on any new developments as our conversation with Facebook continues.

On March 19, PPA's Chief Executive Officer, David Trust, represented the photography industry on a panel at a Congressional Briefing that included representatives from the music, movie and software industries. The discussion centered on the importance of U.S. Copyright law to the photography industry, the importance of copyright industries to the U.S. economy, and how photographers interact with fellow creators.


The briefing was hosted by the Copyright Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization composed of individual creators and leading copyright industry organizations.  A founding member of the Copyright Alliance, PPA was delighted to participate in this event which was well attended by staff members from each chamber's Judiciary Committee, and other Congressional committees, subcommittee's and caucuses that govern intellectual property related issues.

What happens to image licenses when those images are posted to a third-party site?

Facebook found itself in hot water in early February after stating it would continue to hold a usage license on artistic works posted to its pages after the owner of those works deleted them from the site or closed his account. A public outcry elicited a quick about-face from the company. The following day, Facebook issued a statement clearly articulating that its license to use posted images expires when users delete them from the site or close their account.

Dear PPA Member

Technology has made the ability to view and sell images much easier. Unfortunately, it also allows the general public to take images without permission (and in some cases, without payment) and display them online.

Our full-time Copyright & Government Affairs staff does an outstanding job advising members on how to handle such cases of online copyright infringement.

While every situation is unique (from senior clients scanning their favorite portrait to show their friends on Facebook to former commercial clients re-using images after their licensing agreement has ended), there are steps that all photographers can take when images are used without permission--and they're here in this week's article, Defending Yourself Online: Protect Your Images. If you're unfamiliar with what a DMCA takedown notice is--and how powerful it can be--this article is a must read!

PPA strives to help protect, educate, and provide you with the tools and resources to stay successful. We focus on giving you what you need, so you can focus on what's important: your business.

Cheers,
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. If you're interested in a topic we haven't covered in our weekly Vital Signs newsletter (and think that it might interest other PPA members), please send me an e-mail at caprigliano@ppa.com .
Intellectual property owners can rest a bit easier knowing that the President signed The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or the PRO-IP Act. With Orphan Works legislation looming, PPA is pleased to see that a bill tightening intellectual property enforcement was swiftly signed into law. PPA has worked vigorously through its involvement in the Copyright Alliance for the bill's passage.

"PPA has been a strong supporter of the PRO-IP Act," stated PPA CEO David Trust. "The passage of this important bill is a victory for photographers and all copyright holders."


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