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by Sidra Safri

PPA's second day on Capitol Hill has come to an end. This was our first trip up to D.C since the introduction of the small-claims bill, H.R 3945; it couldn't have gone any better. 

During the second half of the day we met with Representative Ted Lieu's office (D-CA). This was our opportunity to thank him for co-signing on to H.R 3945! Representative Lieu's office assured us that they would continue to support small creators and small claims as long as they can. 

Representative Lieu's office highlighted the importance to push for more co-sponsors. We sincerely thank Representative Lieu for supporting photographers and will continue to work with them to rally additional co-sponsors and provide any support we can. 

After Representative Lieu's office, we visited Representative Pramila Jayapal's (D-WA) office. We have met with Representative Jayapal's office a few times before, but felt it was important to visit again. During this opportunity, we updated the office on H.R. 3945, and highlighted once again why a copyright small claims bill is so important. We were happy to hear that her office is actively tracking the bill and is versed in the area of small claims. We hope with additional research and additional meetings we will be able to add Representative Jayapal to the list of co-sponsors. 

This wraps up our second day in D.C we are headed to the airport back to Atlanta. One sure thing that came from this trip... we need to send letters and get small claims on the radars of all representatives! So keep sending your letters and making your calls at PPA.com/smallclaims!


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Greetings from Washington D.C.! 
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We started the day with two great meetings! Our first meeting was with Karen Bass's office(CA-D). It's been some time since we met with her office and wanted to take the time to bring them up to speed and see how much they knew about H.R. 3945. We were extremely happy to touch base and appreciate how supportive Representative Bass is of small businesses. We are optimistic and we hope that Representative Bass will go on to support small claims. 

After Representative Bass, we met with Representative Martha Roby of Alabama (R). We first met with Roby when she was appointed to the IP subcommittee. This committee looks at intellectual-propriety-related bills, such as copyright, and makes the determination on if the bill will go further. Since H.R. 3945 was just introduced, the office is still getting familiar with it and will eventually make a determination on the bill. We hope Representative Roby will join us in supporting small claim and go on to co-sponsor the bill. 

We are off to lunch with the CEO of the Copyright Alliance to talk about small claims and then we've got more great meetings! 

Stay tuned and don't forget to send letters at PPA.com/smallclaims


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by Sidra Safri
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This was a great first day on Capitol Hill, with three very productive meetings!

We started our day in Representative Brad Schneider's office (D-IL).  We have met with his office before, but wanted to take the time to update them about H.R. 3924's (the small-claims bill) introduction and how important it would be for many photographers, not only in his state but also in his district. Representative Schneider was very open to the idea of Small Claims and wanted to take some time to look further into the bill. He's going to stay in contact with us. We hope that Representative Schneider will join us in supporting Small Claims and the fight for artists' rights! 

After meeting with Representative Schneider, we made our way to Representative Ted Poe's office (R-TX). During this meeting, we took the time to bring them up to speed on how H.R 3945 will be a great asset for many small businesses in his district, especially photographers. Representative Poe's office stated that he would love to see some movement in general on legislation that would help small-business owners and will continue to look into H.R 3945.  

After meeting with Representative Poe's office, we made our way to a small-claims ally, Georgia's Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). During this meeting, we took the time to thank Representative Collins for signing on to H.R. 3945 as a co-sponsor and always being on the front line, advocating for small creators and demanding artist's rights! His office also went on to say that it is more important than ever before to make sure we have members contacting their representative and sharing why Small Claims is so important to them! 

PPA is very happy with the meetings today and we look forward to even more productive meetings tomorrow, when we are meeting with Representatives from California, Alabama, and Washington, to not only thank them but also encourage them to sign on as co-sponsors. 

In the meantime, continue to contact your representative! Send letters, make phone calls, and share with everyone you know! Visit ppa.com/smallclaims and demand artists' rights!

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by Sidra Safri

After the long-awaited introduction of H.R 3945 (the Small-Claims Bill!), PPA is ready to hit the ground running and get it passed through the House! Now we're heading back to Washington D.C. for another round of meetings about the fight for artists' rights.

During our trip to D.C this week we are going to take the opportunity to thank some of our co-sponsors for supporting the Small-Claims bill and express how much it means to photographers. We will also take this opportunity to touch base on what else we can do to help ensure H.R 3945 gets passed through the House as smoothly as possible with continued bi-partisan support.
 
We're going to be meeting with other potential co-sponsors as well, talking to them about Small Claims and the impact it has on photographers who are also small-business owners. Remember, we need as many co-sponsors as we can get. The more co-sponsors a bill has, the more likely it is to pass the House. 

Don't forget to keep contacting your Representative through letters and phone calls by visiting PPA.com/smallclaims and demanding they join the fight for artists' rights!


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by Sidra Safri 

For a long time now you have been hearing PPA push for Copyright Modernization and Small Claims copyright protections for photographers. The good news is that a lot of progress has been made in both areas, but still have a ways to go to ensure their success as legislation. A few weeks ago in our blog you saw a flyer that explained why Small Claims makes sense. 

This week we wanted to take the opportunity and show you why it is necessary to push for Modernization of the Copyright Office.  When we say modernization, PPA means the ability to upgrade the registration system, make the registration process smoother, and also allow for a stronger infrastructure that can support a large increase in copyright registration. Take a look below for some interesting information about the current registration system. Be sure to share this graphic with your friends and stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy so everyone can support copyright modernization! 

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Once in a while, GOOD news comes along that we just have to share with you. You may have been following the case of Andrea Polito, the Texas wedding photographer who was defamed and criticized by her clients, causing her to lose her studio and fold her business. Well, The Washington Post has a great article up that gives a more satisfying conclusion to her story. Check it out!

This is just one more example of how the "little guy" (i.e. small-business photographers like YOU) can win in the long run when they stand up for themselves. Cases like this happen all the time (we know, PPA's Indemnification Trust attempts to help with dissatisfied clients) and we're glad to see the court recognize how important client-reviews are to businesses like these and how important photographers are to the community. 

Keep yourself glued to PPA.com/Advocacy to continue learning about the different ways PPA is helping to change laws (like copyright!) to better protect you, our 30,000 photographers...and all visual artists. 


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For months now we have been hearing about the electronic travel ban for certain flights arriving from Europe and the Middle East, but were not quite sure how it would affect photographers. While this ban is still being worked on, the TSA has released a new policy.  

On July 26th the TSA announced new screening procedures for any electronic items in your carry-on bigger than a cell phone. These items, such as camera bodies, tablets, light sources, lenses, etc., must now be taken out of your carry-on bag and placed in a bin, similar to what we have been doing with our laptops for years. 

This new security policy has already been implemented in 10 airports:

  • Boise Airport
  • Colorado Springs Airport
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Logan International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
  • Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
  • McCarran International Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
All other airports will begin adopting this new policy in the weeks and months to come. With this in mind, it is advised to arrive at the airport a little early to accommodate the possible increase in wait times at TSA Security Check.

PPA will continue to keep an eye on this policy and others as they are introduced, and notify you when additional airports are added to this list. 

by Mayo Lawal

You've probably heard about PPA's campaign and trips to Capitol Hill to advocate for the reform of the current U.S. Copyright Law. From time to time, we also come up with really creative ways that you can support the cause, and even encourage others to join in. 

One great way to be a part of this initiative is to share this flyer (below), which explains the copyright issues, and how they affect professional photographers all over the country. This may help your clients and friends understand the problem better and become more motivated to demand change. 

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To learn more about what PPA is doing to change copyright law by pushing for a Copyright Small Claims system, you can visit PPA's advocacy page

And if you'd like to see progress made with copyright protection, please join the Grassroots Action Team, the group of photographers who are joining in solidarity for copyright change, to show your support and know how and when to make your voice heard in Congress! Help make a difference and add your name today: PPA.com/Grassroots!



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by Sidra Safri
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1:00pm

PPA's first two meetings today have us off to a great start! 

We started the morning with Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). We were happy to hear that they are hoping for introduction of a small-claims bill very soon and they have been keeping in close touch with key players.

Representative Collins went on say that even though there is so much going on right now, he is devoted to moving small claims forward and ensuring small creators are protected. He also acknowledged that small claims and copyright modernization go hand-in-hand and we must continue to push both. We ended the meeting taking the opportunity to thank his office for everything he has done.

After Rep. Collins we went to meet with representative Hakeem Jefferies' office (D-NY). Jefferies' office has been in close contact with various members of the visual-arts community and is making sure the small-claims bill is what creators want. Once they are able to introduce a bill, Jefferies and Rep. Marino want to work closely with Joe Keeley (House Judiciary Committee's chief counsel of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property) and make sure small claims continues to be something both parties can agree upon. 

Another key aspect discussed in this meeting was making sure that however the small-claims process goes forward, in no way should it become cumbersome to the people it's meant to help. We ended this meeting thank Jefferies' office for bringing small claims to the forefront and helping making sure creators' rights are on everyone's minds. 

Right now we are heading to lunch and will take the opportunity it to regroup for our next meetings. After lunch we will be meeting with Joe Keeley from Chairman Goodlatte's office and representative Jim Jordan. 

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9:30am
PPA is back in D.C. for day two of our trip, meeting with representatives to advocate for copyright modernization and small-claims protection for photographers. Yesterday ended with our meeting with Representative Lieu (D-CA). We visited Representative Lieu's office earlier this year and he showed great interest in small claims since many of his constituents are affected by copyright Infringement. We wanted to follow up with him and thank him for his support and push for small claims. Since Representative Lieu works closely with Representative Chu's office, he fully understands why it's important for small claims and modernization to go hand in hand. This meeting was a great way to end the day, especially since we know we have such fantastic support! 

Today we are changing things up and are going to be joined by other visual-artists organizations that are also pushing for small claims! These organizations include GAG, ASMP, APA, NANPA, and NPPA. With our partner organizations we will be meeting with Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH). All four offices have heavily engaged in work on small claims and we wanted to take the time to propose additional provisions and see what we can do to make a small-claims bill as successful as possible while protecting creative artists. 

Stay tuned for more updates!

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by Sidra Safri
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4:00pm
We started the morning by meeting with the office of Representative Labrador (R-ID) and it was a great way to get started! We were happy to hear this his office has been following the news on small claims and really thinks it will be a great step for small business and individual property rights. During this time, we also took the opportunity to explain why small claims and copyright modernization have to happen together and how interdependent they are. Rep. Labrador recognizes this importance and hopes we can continue to push the two issues together.

After meeting with Representative Labrador we went to see Representative Marino's office (R-PA). As a reminder, Representative Marino co-sponsored the other small-claims bill last year. We wanted to meet with his office to take the opportunity to thank him for how often he has worked with Representative Chu, encouraging bi-partisan support. We again took this opportunity to explain why small claims and copyright modernization need to happen together and Rep. Marino's office fully supported this. Representative Marino's office agreed that small-claims protection is important to ensuring that America continues to be the leader for creative artists for decades to come.

Our first two meetings went really well. We are heading to Representative Lieu's office (D-CA). Stay tuned for more updates to come!


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9:00am

PPA is back in D.C once again and we have three exciting meetings planned for today! 

We'll start the day off visiting the office of Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID). This is will be our second time meeting with Rep. Labrador this year. We thought it was important to visit his office again since he has a strong interest in copyright and small business... the ultimate combination! We will take this time to update his office on where small claims stands, and continue to talk to him about how important small claims is.

After meeting with Representative Labrador we are heading to Representative Tom Marino's office (R-PA). Representative Marino has an extensive history with copyright and IP issues, and has done a fantastic job in the past of working with members of both parties. PPA knows he has an interest in small claims, since Representative Marino co-sponsored the other small claims bill. Having everyone on the same page will help ensure the success of small claims.

Our last meeting for the day is with Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA). Representative Lieu has a strong interest in copyright issues and is well versed in the area since his constituents are constantly affected by copyright infringement in California. This is the second time we will be meeting with Representative Lieu's office. We believe it's important to keep him updated on small claims, and wanted to take the time to thank him for his support. 

We have some great meetings lined up today, and are excited to be advocating for your (copy)rights!!

Stay tuned for more throughout the day.


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