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by Sidra Safri

Hi PPA!
We just wrapped up our third day in D.C. We had so many meetings schedule to ensure that we hit all members of the judiciary that we had to split the group up to make all of them! Many of the meetings were in offices of Members of Congress that we have met with in the past. However, we make sure to circle back to these offices to not only take the opportunity to update them on the changes or status of the CASE act but also to continue to encourage them to sign on and have them realize how many people CASE will effect. 

We started our day in Ted Poe's office (TX-R). During this meeting, we gave them an update on the small claims bill and wanted to take moment to go over who all has co-sponsored the bill. This is important since if a congressional member aligns with another congressional member they are likely to talk and convince each other to co-sponsor.  

After meeting with Representative Poe's office we went on to meet with Representative Gohmert of Texas. This was one of the first times we have met with this office. This meeting was a chance to summarize what the CASE act would do but also how the Copyright Office would benefit from the passage of this bill. Representative Gohmert's office was very responsive to the bill, and has said that they will reach out to us with additional questions. 

After meeting with Representatives from Texas, we moved on to meet with Chairman Goodlatte and his Chief of Staff Joe Keeley. The Chair has great hopes for this bill and wants to move the bill forward. He told us that now is the time to engage grassroots support and encourage more Representatives to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors, the more likely the bill will move and have an easier time getting through. 

Once we left Chairman Goodlatte's office we met with Representative Issa of California. During this meeting, we updated them on changes made to the CASE Act and were told that the Representative is keenly considering this bill, and may possibly co-sponsor. We will follow up with this office to see what else we can do to make sure this happens. 

The next two offices we met with were Representative Cicilline (D-RI) and Representative Raskin (D-MD). This was our first-time meeting with both offices. During this meeting, we caught them up on Small Claims and laid the foundation of the CASE Act. Since these were our first-time meetings with these offices we know we must circle back at the beginning of next year and make sure we keep them updated and encourage them to co-sponsor. 

As you can tell we had a jam-packed day on the Hill. We are heading to the airport now getting ready to head back to Atlanta. As a reminder... keep sending those letters!

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by Sidra Safri

4:00pm 
We just finished Day 2 on Capitol Hill and must say that it was another great day! 

As many of you saw, we started the day with Doug Collins. Representative Collins was kind enough to join David on Facebook Live and talk about why Small Claims is so important. As many of you remember, Representative Doug Collins is already a co-sponsor of the CASE act and is doing everything in his power to ensure that this bill gets passed. 

After talking with Representative Collins, we then moved on to meet with Representative Chabot's office (Ohio-D). We had the opportunity to meet with this office in the past and thought it would be a good time to circle back and go into more details why small claims is necessary. Like at our previous meetings, Representative Chabot's office was receptive to the idea of small claims and understands why there is a need for such a process. We also helped answer any questions the office may have had, and we hope that Rep. Chabot will join in as a co-sponsor. 

Once we left Representative Chabot's office we met with Representative Jordan's office of Ohio (R). This was one of our first meetings with this office. During this meeting, we took the time to lay the foundation for small claims and why it so necessary now more than ever before. During this meeting, we were fortunate enough to have members of the Visual Associations join us and share their insight and stories on why small claims is so important.
   
Moving on from Representative Jordan's office we met with Representative Frank's Office (R-AZ). This was our first-time meeting with this office as well. Initially we were supposed to meet with the Representative himself. However, due to the last-minute changes and the need to be on the House floor, we met with a staffer instead. We provided a good summary of the CASE act and explained where the bill currently stands. Since this was our first time meeting with this office we wanted to provide them with all the necessary information and give them time to think about whether small claims would be something they could support. 

After Representative Frank's office, we met with Representative Deutch (R-FL). This is an office we have met with a few times, but wanted to take some time off and meet with the Representative himself. Since the Representative was in the middle of votes, the meeting was short but one that was extremely productive. Representative Deutch is a huge advocate for small creators and understands the fight against copyright infringement. We hope with the information we have provided and his interest in protecting Copyright, that he will sign on and co-sponsor the CASE Act. 

Finally, we ended our day with Representative Cohen (TN-R).  This meeting was fairly short as well since we met with this office last month and wanted to take a quick minute to provide the office with any updates we could. We are hoping that constantly being updated will encourage Representative Cohen to sign on as a co-sponsor. 

Like I said, we are done for the day but we will be right back at it on tomorrow. In the meantime, don't forget to send your rep a call or later at PPA.Com/smallclaims.


10:00 am Good Morning PPA! 

We are off to the races this morning! We are going to start the day with Georgia's Representative Doug Collins. Rep Collins has agreed to do a Facebook live with us to talk about the CASE act and why it is so important. He will also outline what you need to do to make sure the act gets passed!

After that, we are going to rush off to meet with Rep. Chabot of Ohio (R). We have met with him before but wanted to take a quick moment to touch base with him again and show him how many small creators will be positively impacted by this bill. During this meeting, we will also have members of the Visual Association joining us. Remember there is power in numbers!

Once we leave Chabot's office we are going to another Ohio office. This time it will be Rep.  Jordan  (R). We are going to bring Rep. Jordan's office up to speed on what has been happening with the CASE act and answer any questions that he may have. We are hoping that Rep. Jordan will understand why the CASE act is so important and eventually sign on as a co-sponsor.

After Rep Jordan's office, we will be moving on to Rep. Franks' office of Arizona (R). We have met with this office in the past but want to circle back and see if they had any questions and give them a few updates.

After meeting with Rep. Jordan our next stop will be Rep Deutch's office of Florida (R). This is an office we have met with multiple times! We are hoping that we can bring them up to speed as well and convince them to sign on as co-sponsors.

Last but not least we end the day with Rep. Cohen of TN (D). We are hoping Rep. Cohen understands the needs of small creators since Memphis and Nashville are in his state. We have not met with this office recently, but thought it would be a good time to do so!

I am running to Collins' office now, but as always do not forget to send your letters! We need Congress to hear from us on why the CASE act is so important!



By Sidra Safri
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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!


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The copyright system in the United States, while not perfect, has worked well for many creators in the higher-income industries. The harsh reality is, however, that copyright in America does not work at all for small-business creators. The vast majority of creators have very little protection under the law because, without a massive income or corporate support, they have no real option for enforcement - and what good are rights when you can't actually enforce them?

Andrew is the perfect example of the small-business creator. He provides for his family by operating a small photography business through which he provides families in his community a product that will be cherished for generations to come. Andrew photographed an event for a local restaurateur and licensed images to the restaurant for specific marketing purposes. 

The restaurant's PR firm distributed one of Andrew's images to a culinary magazine. The magazine then used the photo as the cover image of a monthly issue without Andrew's permission and without mention of either Andrew or his client. Andrew contacted the publisher and sent an invoice for an appropriate licensing fee. He was ignored. Andrew then had a cease and desist letter sent to the publisher on his behalf from his photographic association. Still, he received no response. 

Andrew is now facing an impossible decision. He can hire an attorney and pursue this further, or choose to let it go altogether. Due to principle, Andrew does not want to let it go, but at this point, he's afraid he would actually have to sue the infringer to get any response or payment. Andrew estimates the value of this infringement at $2,500 which he feels is far too low to justify a lawsuit in federal court. 

"It's a shame they will probably just get away with this," Andrew said. "Not facing any consequences just reinforces the behavior." Andrew believes the lack of copyright enforcement options available to small creators like him is the reason businesses and publications choose to infringe rather than secure proper licensing. 

"Some sort of a small claims process is the only way creators like me will ever be able to get paid for infringing uses of their work," Andrew said.

That small-claims process is on its way! With the introduction of HR 3942, small-business creators have a chance to finally have their cases heard. Stay up-to-date on the fight for artists' rights at PPA.com/Copyright and JOIN THE FIGHT at PPA.com/SmallClaims!

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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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