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By Lindsey Forsonimage1DC.JPG

Yesterday we met with a few key copyright representatives, who are part of PPA's on-going efforts to make a difference in Copyright regulations: Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and her chief of staff Linda Shim (pictured on right), Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and his IP counsel, Elaine Gin, Curtis Philp in the Office of Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Joe Keeley and Jason Everett, the Chief majority and minority IP counsels to the Judiciary committee. Here is a short recap:

As always, the meeting with Congresswoman Chu was excellent, as she and her office continue to work hard on copyright small claims legislation. We are very thankful to this office for their continued strong partnership with PPA and the visual arts community.

We also had a very good meeting with Congressman Jeffries. His office is also working on small claims legislation! We are very appreciative of the Congressman's efforts and continued advocacy for improved Intellectual Property (IP) protection.

Our meeting with Curtis Philp was also very encouraging. Congressman Smith was one of the earliest supporters of the idea of copyright small claims. We know that his office will continue to be supportive of IP protection issues and we will remain in contact with them moving forward in order to further advance copyright protection for photographers.

Our meetings with Joe Keeley and Jason Everett were extremely informative. They shared with us ideas for setting up small claims legislation for success and even suggested some specific stakeholders we should meet with to garner support for the issue (which of course we will!). We discussed the entire copyright review process with them and what to expect as it moves into the legislative stages.

We are very excited to finally be able to report that copyright small claims legislation is in its beginning stages. The process will not be short, and certainly will not be without complications. Since it is an election year, we do not expect the process to be completed in 2016, but we do expect to see legislation introduced to committee as early as next month.

PPA will continue to lead this initiative and be the prominent voice as this process unfolds to ensure that we have a bill that is as strong and favorable as possible for the photographic industry and that this bill has wide support among stakeholders and lawmakers. We will soon mobilize grassroots efforts to advocate for small claims legislation.

Stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy to be sure your voice is heard when the time comes (soon)!

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Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

By Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Memorial Day is just around the corner and, once again, PPA is on Capitol Hill advocating for stronger copyright protection for professional photographers! Our priority issue - the creation of a small claims process for copyright infringement claims - continues to gain support throughout Congress. Multiple offices within the U.S. House of Representatives are eager to take initiative on this issue, and some are even beginning to work toward the creation of legislation which would achieve this goal. We expect to see small claims legislation introduced before the end of year, and most likely, much sooner than that!

PPA will discuss specific details of potential small claims legislation this week during meetings with established supporters of copyright small claims. It is extremely important for us to work with Congress at the outset to create a small claims program that will operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. Through other meetings, we will continue to introduce the idea of copyright small claims and lobby for support for the issue. Our hope is that when a bill is formally introduced, this concept will already have vast support on both sides of the aisle in both the House and the Senate. We are well on our way toward accomplishing this!

In addition to advocating for the creation of copyright small claims, PPA will continue to lobby for improvements to the copyright registration process and the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy for more updates from the Hill!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
by Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Your PPA team is on Capitol Hill this week, advocating for stronger copyright protections to benefit artists like YOU! After yesterday's celebration of Intellectual Property Day, we continued with more meetings with senators in a position to help with our mission to empower small business photographers.  

This morning PPA's CEO, Membership Director, and Government Affairs Manager met with David Rybicki, Counsel for Senator Perdue (R-GA). Since the State of Georgia is home to PPA headquarters, we had an added connection with this office. We introduced PPA's priorities and discussed our small claims proposal in depth. David seemed intrigued by the proposal and is eager to consult with Senator Perdue on it. Senator Perdue has a business background and is strong on IP protection issues, so we suspect that this will be a great office to continue working with.

Next, we met with Garrett Levin with the office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Senator Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also has many artistic pursuits himself (including photography!) and is a very strong copyright advocate. This office will be an integral part of any success of small claims legislation on the senate side. Garrett, who had studied our proposal prior to the meeting and was prepared with very specific questions for us, provided great insight into how we might best set up potential legislation for success. He has worked on these issues for a long time and the knowledge he shared was very helpful. We also discussed registration issues in depth. Garrett is very interested in creating solutions to the problems surrounding the deposit requirement that is a part of the copyright registration process. We will be meeting with his office again in the very near future.

These meetings are a big deal as they really help to advance photographers' copyright enforcement and copyright protection in general. PPA puts the time and effort year-round into pushing these issues because they impact the livelihood of our profession. This is why it is so encouraging to see these pieces of the puzzle come together, pushing us steps closer to our goal.

Stay up-to-date here on PPA's blog and on PPA.com/Advocacy for everything you need to know about PPA's work on Capitol Hill. It will help you be more protected and be more prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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by Lindsey Forson
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4/26/16, 5pm:
Today was packed with meetings that shed more light on the work being done to strengthen copyright protection in the U.S. First, the Government Affairs team had a pair of introductory meetings on the issue of copyright small claims. We met with Skiffington Holderness from the office of Senator James Risch (R-ID) to introduce the idea of copyright small claims. Senator Risch is on the small business committee and we would love to see them hold a hearing on the issue. Skiffington was very receptive to our cause and said he would love to dig into it deeper and meet with us again to discuss. We look forward to that and hope to work with this office to shed light on the need for small claims.

We also met with Matt Sangren, the Chief IP Counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to discuss all of our priority issues. Senator Hatch is a long time copyright advocate, and we are very appreciative of that. We hope to work with this office on copyright small claims and other issues important to small-business creators. We provided Matt with our small claims white paper. He is excited to look further into the issue and work with us. IMG_3260.JPG

The back half of our day included an excellent meeting with Jonathan Nabavi, Counsel to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He was very interested in the idea of small claims and asked a lot of questions about how to make the potential small claims process work best for small creators. We also discussed our concerns with the "one-size-fits-all" copyright registration process that makes it very burdensome for professional photographers who produce the highest volume of creations among the copyright holder community. These issues include the requirement to sort images according to publication status and date and to deposit each individual photograph. Senator Grassley will be a very important component to achieving our goal since he is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We are excited to see what will come of getting his office engaged on the issue.

Your PPA team is now headed to the World Intellectual Property Day reception! We'll be mixing and mingling on Capitol Hill with the other IP stakeholders and supportive members of Congress.

We have more great meetings lined up for tomorrow! Stay glued to PPA Today or PPA.com/Advocacy for all the updates!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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by Lindsey Forsoncapitol.jpg

Today is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, and PPA's Government Affairs team is spending it fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill! Celebrated internationally on April 26, World IP Day marks the date in 1970 when the World Intellectual Property Organization Convention became active. It's observed today as a way of promoting a general understanding of intellectual property and its importance. This year, PPA will be in attendance at several World IP Day events in DC to network with other copyright stakeholders and discuss shared goals.

These events are just one small part of PPA's April advocacy visit to Capitol Hill. We also have several very important lobbying meetings to promote potential copyright small claims legislation and other key priorities. Our appointments include meetings with the offices of the Chairman Senator Hatch and the Ranking Member Senator Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Recently, PPA's copyright advocacy efforts have been mostly focused on the U.S. House of Representatives. This is due to the fact that the House Judiciary Committee has performed a comprehensive review of copyright law over the past couple of years. As our top priority issue gains increased support on the House side, PPA is now connecting with key offices in the Senate Judiciary Committee to introduce and promote the idea of copyright small claims. No matter who ultimately introduces a small claims bill, the legislation will have the best opportunity for success if it already has wide support throughout Congress when introduced.

You can rest assured that along with promoting small claims legislation, PPA is speaking up on all of the copyright issues affecting professional photographers. Recently, we submitted comments to the US Copyright Office concerning issues with both the copyright registration process and the DMCA notice and takedown process. We will continue to discuss these topics and others with key law-makers and agency heads.

Be more educated and get your Copyright Resources now at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy this week for updates from Capitol Hill!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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By Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

As part of April's increased copyright awareness efforts, PPA's government affairs team created two new copyright webinars. The webinars are available through PPAedu and were created to help you increase your copyright knowledge and protection efforts.

Copyright Basics: What Every Professional Photographer Needs to Know provides a brief overview of photographic copyright. Though this is not an incredibly exciting topic, copyright is something that you, as a professional photographer, should have at least basic understanding of. By tuning in, you will learn the basics of federal copyright law and how it affects your business. The webinar also provides an overview of how to protect your copyright and how to recognize and deal with copyright infringements. Finally, you will learn how to access and take advantage of PPA's copyright resources. You may have tuned into this webinar in the past, but now there's an updated version on PPAedu.

Ten Tips for Protecting Your Copyright presents the nuts and bolts of image protection. As a professional photographer, you want to protect your photographs from copyright infringements but may not be sure of what steps you can take. From educating your clients to registering your work, this webinar gives you the tools you need to make sure your photos are as safe as possible.

These webinars do not present legal advice but are full of useful educational information. Don't miss out - take advantage of this opportunity to fine-tune your copyright knowledge! Check out PPA's helpful Copyright Tool and Kit at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay up-to-date with all of PPA's Copyright advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy.


Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
by Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Copyright protection is vital to professional photographers. It is what preserves the value of your creations and, without it, a photography business could be very difficult to maintain. Many people think of copyright as something that only really affects rich and famous, Hollywood creators. But we know better!

We know that, more than anything else, copyright is a small business issue.  PPA works year-round to spread this message and to fight for vital improvements to America's copyright system. In honor of April's World Copyright Day, we have gone the extra mile this month - but we need your help!

What is PPA doing?

As always, we are advocating on Capitol Hill for copyright improvements that are essential to professional photographers. At the center of our advocacy is the creation of a copyright small claims option for infringement claims.  We are also sending the message to the public that copyright protects small businesses across the country, and therefore, respecting copyright law is essential to our economy. PPA circulates copyright-related press releases to the media and welcomes copyright-related inquiries from consumers and photo retailers. Through this process, we provide resources which educate the public on copyright law and connect consumers with copyright owners of images they wish to have reproduced.

What's new?

Just this month, PPA launched our new Copyright Infringement Help Tool - an interactive resource available to PPA members 24/7 to help you deal with the unauthorized uses of your work. We released a Copyright FAQ section on the website which gives you simple answers to your most common copyright questions. Also launched this month is a new website, CopyrightDefense.com, which provides resources to policy-makers and other interested parties related to top advocacy priorities for the visual arts community. On this website you will find a video entitled, "Who is the Copyright Holder Next Door?" The video provides compelling insight into copyright as a small business issue.





How can you help?

The most important thing you can do is protect your own copyright. Begin with your PPA Copyright Kit to reinforce your copyright knowledge. Be sure to educate your clients about copyright and how it relates to the products they purchase. Keep up with PPA's advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy, and be sure your voice is heard when the time is right. In honor of World Copyright Day, take it a step or two further! Have a conversation about how copyright protects your business with at least one friend, family member, or person you come in contact with. Share PPA's new video with your social media networks with your own copyright story or personal message.

Copyright protection is important today and every day. PPA's voice is 29,000 strong - so let's work together to create awareness!  And don't forget to take advantage of your PPA copyright resources which can all be accessed at PPA.com/Copyright.


Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
By James YatesThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

By now you know PPA is always fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill, lobbying and advocating for improvements to copyright registration and the modernization of the copyright office (including a small claims option).

We're pretty proud of the "big-picture" ways that we're working to improve your business's sustainability and profits, but there's a smaller, peer-to-peer way that PPA has helped, behind the scenes, for years: assessing whether or not members' works have been infringed.

In the old days (up until this month), if a PPA member felt their work may have been lifted without their permission, they would call and speak directly to our Government Affairs Coordinator. The GAC would walk each caller through the appropriate steps of determining if the use of a work was a violation of copyright law and what the next steps to take were.

Now, in honor of World Copyright Day being right around the corner (April 23rd), PPA is unveiling our newest member tool: the Copyright Infringement Assistance tool! This fast and easy tool does, online and in minutes, what the GAC used to do over the phone. Call it the "scaling up" of helping our members. With the new tool, if you think you've been infringed upon, you only have to answer 2-3 questions and the tool will generate specific help for you, including DCMA takedown notices, certified letters to the infringing parties or letting you know when it's time to contact an attorney.

If you feel your work has been infringed upon, but you don't know what to do about it, PPA can help with our Copyright Infringement Assistance tool. It's designed to point you in the right direction, with steps you can take to stop the infringement! It's quick and painless...because having your art stolen is painful enough! Come see how it all works, and also get your hands on our Copyright Kit and see Anne Geddes speak on the subject, at PPA.com/Copyright.

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by James Yates

Every once in a while, we get a little star-struck here at PPA headquarters. For instance, when someone as famous as Anne Geddes stops by, and proves to be amazingly down-to-earth and kind, we can't help but feel super-proud to be doing what we do. Anne has teamed up with PPA to help spread the word about Copyright Law in the U.S. and how vital it is that you protect your images.

Anne sat with us to film a Red Chair video and we're over-the-moon about her excitement and passion for our Copyright Defense projects. In this video, you'll see that Anne knows how important it is for a 29,000+-member strong association like PPA to "have your back". She recounts how difficult it was to protect your work as an artist in the 1980s and early-90s before PPA began lobbying and fighting for stronger copyright protections for photographers. Now, Anne is making sure photographers know the importance of having their work copyrighted and having PPA's resources at their side if any theft occurs.



April 23rd is World Copyright Awareness Day and PPA is celebrating all month long. In addition to the release of this new celebrity interview, you can find a brand-new Copyright Tool on our website to help guide you, step-by-step, through the process of determining and stopping an infringement. Members can also pick up our Copyright Kit* for all the forms and info you need to Be More Protected. Stay up-to-date at PPA.com/Advocacy to read about all the exciting progress our Government Affairs team is making on Capitol Hill to expand and strengthen copyright protection for small businesses like YOU.

Check out the video and come by PPA.com/Copyright to Be More Protected!

*A "lite" version of the Kit is available to non-members so you can share it with your friends. Because copyright protection is important for ALL photographers, not just our members (but we're sure that after seeing all the work we're doing to keep them protected, they will want to sign up at PPA.com/Join)!

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by Lindsey Forson

PPA's rounded out its time in Washington, D.C. with a full day of meetings yesterday:imageloc.JPG
 
•    First, we met with Tiffany Angulo in the office of Congressman Jim Jordan.
•    Then the team headed over to the Library of Congress for a meeting with Karyn Temple Claggett, the Director of Policy for the U.S. Copyright Office, and several of her colleagues.
•    Next we headed to the Copyright Alliance for a meeting with other stakeholders throughout the copyright-reliant industries.

The meeting with Congressman Jordan's Office was somewhat of an introduction. PPA had not recently met with this Office, therefore we gave an overview of PPA's role in the photographic community and our work on copyright defense, and presented to them copyright small claims as our top issue. Congressman Jordan, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, is also known as a very influential member among the current House majority. With this in mind, we requested his strong support of copyright small claims legislation once it's introduced.

PPA joined forces with seven other visual arts associations at the U.S. Copyright Office tocopyrightoffice.jpg present copyright small claims as a group and as the number one priority issue for the visual arts industries. As the Office is already very supportive of our Small Claims issue, we discussed specific details of how the U.S. Copyright Office can most effectively administer the process. This discussion also centered on issues affecting visual artists with the copyright registration process. The planning of the overhaul of their I.T. systems is already underway, and with that the timing may be right to address some registration issues. Both the representatives from the U.S. Copyright Office and the visual artist representatives agree that the requirement to sort works of the visual arts according to publication status is problematic. These changes will need to be addressed through legislation, but we may see more success if we advocate for these issues in tandem with the U.S. Copyright Office.

PPA's last meeting yesterday was with the Copyright Alliance, where copyright issues affecting all of the industries were broadly discussed. The conversation included copyright office modernization, small claims, current court cases affecting copyright law, and coordinated advocacy efforts on these three issues.

If you missed the rundown on the earlier part of our trip, check out the previous copyright visits recap posts from earlier this week. PPA will be back on the Hill in April to continue this important work and in the meantime, we'll continue to be in touch with key offices in D.C., as to keep our copyright small claims proposal top of mind. PPA's number one goal is to see small claims legislation, and as the support for our cause extends across the aisle, we are lobbying for its introduction in committee to happen this year with bipartisan sponsorship. Stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy for more information.

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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