by Lindsey Forson
PPA's Government Affairs team is back in D.C. this week and this first day on the Hill was very exciting. We found out some great information and made significant progress on small claims.
First up was a meeting with Congresswoman Chu's Chief of Staff, Linda Shim. Congresswoman Chu (CA) has certainly emerged as one of our strongest advocates on the Hill. Her office is pushing for copyright small claims legislation harder than anyone else we have met with. They are beginning to seek out other offices on the Judiciary Committees on both sides of the aisle to partner with in the goal of advancing a small claims bill. PPA is helping with this process and we are very grateful to the Congresswoman and her staff for their support of small-business creators. We look forward to continuing our close work with this office on this shared goal.
Next we met with Amy Bos of the Office of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI). Congressman Sensenbrenner, of the House Judiciary Committee, is a great copyright supporter and has expressed significant interest in copyright small claims in previous meetings. We met with Amy to discuss the small claims white paper
that PPA recently released in conjunction with other associations. The Congressman's reaction to our small claims proposal was very positive and he is also interested in advocating for the advancement of the copyright legislation within the House Judiciary Committee. We are looking forward to meeting with the Congressman again during our next trip to discuss how we can work together more on this in the coming months.
Lastly, we had a very informative discussion with five members of the FAA's UAS integration team. We are pleased to report that the new rule for business-related drone use will most likely be released by June. They confirmed that they are prepared for a late spring/early summer release and that the rule will take effect 30 days after it's released. These regulations will apply to drones weighing under 55 lbs. PPA expects that these new regulations will be similar to the proposal released by the FAA last year. This would allow for the use of drones by professional photographers if three requirements are met:
1. The user has obtained a small UAS airman certificate which will be earned by passing a computerized knowledge test.
2. The user has registered all drones. The FAA's online drone registration system should be expanded to include registration of drones that will be used for business-related purposes by the end of this month.
3. The user follows all of the rules - There will be restrictions on maximum height, maximum speed, airspace etc. Based on the proposal, we expect the restrictions to be very reasonable.
We are seeing exciting progress in D.C. and are happy to be a part of bettering professional photographers' copyrights and due process!
There you have it, PPA's further adventures in D.C.! And the cherry blossoms aren't too bad to look at either. Stay tuned to this blog and PPA.com/Advocacy
for more Capitol Hill-related updates as PPA continues to lobby for your Creator's Rights!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!