As President-Elect Barack Obama prepares to take office, his transition team is turning to Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and other members of the creator community for advice. The transition team asked to meet last Friday with the Copyright Alliance's seven-member board of directors--among them David Trust, PPA's chief executive officer and a founding member of the Alliance.
"We were pleased with the opportunity to express to the new administration our thoughts and concerns about copyright and intellectual property issues," Trust stated after the meeting. "I doubt the photographic community has ever had an opportunity like this."
President-Elect Obama's team wanted to have a clear understanding of intellectual property issues on the day it receives the keys to the White House. During the meeting, Trust pointed out that a major portion of the economy is under siege and that photographers are an important part of that economic mix. PPA's written materials also pointed out the vast professional photographic network (over 122,000 nationwide) encompassing every Congressional district...and the impact intellectual property and its domestic and international enforcement play in their livelihoods. After all, each of those 122,000 professional photographers create an estimated 20,000 works each year.
"I think I was most impressed with the genuine interest they displayed for our collective message," added Trust. "This was not just a courtesy meeting--they listened intently and took pages of notes. It feels like we are doing real good for photography and all creators."
Building a solid foundation with the incoming administration is key, especially with the creation of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator position at the White House level. That position was created with the passage of the Pro IP Act this year, a bill which PPA and the Copyright Alliance worked hard to pass.
"It takes a lot of work to make sure PPA, and the photographic community as a whole, are heard on Capitol Hill," said Trust. "And now we are getting the chance, along with our friends in the Copyright Alliance, to voice our issues to the next administration. Our Copyright and Government Affairs Department is the only one of its kind in the entire photographic world. We see this kind of advocacy as part of our responsibility as a non-profit defender of photographers' rights."
To learn more about the meeting, please read the statement here: http://www.ppa.com/articles/181/PPA-Meets-with-PresidentElect-Obamas-Transition-Team.php.