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PPA Today: PPA Member Alert Archives

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Call a Doctor Plus, the latest membership benefit from PPA, can save photographers both time and money when they're not feeling well or have health questions. For a modest monthly fee, PPA members can simply pick up the phone or log on to a website to get answers, assistance, and even prescriptions.

Call a Doctor Plus is a health and wellness telemedicine program that provides patients with effective, immediate access to medical goods and services. There are no copays, deductibles or per-call charges. Photographers who are members of PPA get service for an exclusive low monthly subscription.

Call a Doctor Plus provides 24/7 access to U.S. certified physicians who can diagnose and prescribe over the phone or through an online chat. Prescriptions are sent directly to the patient's local pharmacy, and records are sent to their primary physician. The benefit covers up to five dependents at no extra cost.

One member who's already used the service gives it a thumbs-up. "I requested a consultation online and was called by a doctor within 5-10 minutes," she said. "After providing a brief description of my symptoms, I was diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory infection. The doctor sent a prescription to my local pharmacy, and I had the medicine in hand less than an hour after I called."

Read more about the service at



Have you been burned by a bad review of your services online? Surely it stings when it happens, and you want to do what you can to remedy them. But there is a two-step scam going around right now, first threatening photographers with cyber bullying through bad mouthing online reviews, and then (step 2) offering to help you with your online reputation and solve the newly posted bad reviews... when the scammers are actually the ones posting them!

The situation is spreading rapidly so be on the lookout. In a nutshell, don't panic--delete, flag and report the scammers. Baltimore photographer Kat Forder posted a perfect explanation on her blog (which was also picked up by Peta Pixel), along with some great suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself. Her suggestions on how to protect yourself are below, but the full read is highly recommended!


    • Don't respond to the emails!
    • Set up a Google Alert for your business name
    • Watch your business on a few different review sites and attempt to respond to the false reviews with a link to this post to educate potential readers, or by submitting "proof" to the review website
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission: via its toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or the FTC online complaint form
    • Contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Fraud Complaint Center
    • Non-emergency number for your local police department to make them aware of the fraud (larger cities will have a cyber-crimes task force or department)

Again, Kat's full blog is worth a read to get a firm handle on the situation. Spread the word to your fellow photographers and make sure you don't fall victim to a scam like this! PPA's pushing the information out everywhere possible, including through paid alerts... but help us spread the word by sharing this #ScamAlert against #CyberBullying and #BadReviews. Thank you!


John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burgers.

As a professional in the photographic industry, you've probably heard about Adobe's switch over to the Creative Cloud. Unfortunately, due to these changes, Adobe has decided to discontinue all discounts. But we're not going to leave you hanging! Here are a few suggested options to keep your business costs low: 

If you currently use a version of Adobe Creative Suite (CS3 or later) and want to make the switch to Creative Cloud, you stand to save quite a bit of money! Get the latest software and save 40% with the offer below.

$29.99 Creative Could Complete Membership

If you are an existing Adobe customer, you may join Creative Cloud for US $29.99 per month for your first year of Creative Cloud complete membership, a 40% savings. This discount is currently available until December 3. Learn more at

Don't need access to the entire Creative Cloud collection, but want access to Photoshop? There's a solution for you too! 

Photoshop Photography Program

Existing Photoshop customers may join a special Creative Cloud plan designed exclusively for Photoshop customers who are focused on photography. It includes access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite. And it's US $9.99/month when customers sign up for a one-year plan. This is not an introductory price, but customers must join by December 31, 2013. To qualify, customers must own Photoshop CS3 or later (Standard or Extended version).

If you need more information on the switch, read Adobe's FAQ here and get all the latest with Adobe's Creative Cloud Team Blog. And if you're ready to make the switch, sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud here.

Don't forget to check out all of the Year-Round Discounts PPA is proud to continue to offer. As always, we'll be the first to let you know if there's something new!


Are you ready to compete in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC)? Don't wait too much longer because the entry deadline is April 27!

Entering IPC is easy--just click here for rules, entry forms and tutorials:

A few things to remember:

  • The entry deadline is April 27, and the entry fee is $95. The late entry fee for submissions between April 28 and May 10 will be $155.
  • Both digital images and prints are accepted. Get more details in this week's Vital Signs email.
  • Be sure to choose your Grand Imaging Awards (GIA) entry category when you register. Last year's GIA winners were recognized at the Grand Imaging Awards celebration at Imaging USA and earned trophies and cash prizes!
  • Earn Exhibition Merits for your winning images and start your path to earning a PPA degree. If your image received a Seal of Approval at your District Competition, you must enter it into the IPC to earn your PPA merit.

Enter and continue your journey toward image excellence. Rules, entry forms and tutorials can all be found here:

Congratulations to all of you for taking the time to get involved and help pass H.R. 4! Making your voices heard in the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives helped ensure the bill reached the outcome we desired: passage.

The vote was 314-112 with only six members not voting on this important measure. To see how your representative voted, go here:

Our work to ensure the repeal becomes law doesn't stop here--it continues in the U.S. Senate. We are delighted to report that this bill has already been placed on their calendar for a vote. Once PPA learns the timing of how the Senate will consider H.R. 4, we will let you know what steps you can take to achieve another victory on this key piece of legislation. If you're ready to contact your senator now, visit the Contact Congress page.

Again, thank you for your hard work...and congratulations on making a difference in the outcome of this vote!

UPDATE: As you can see, this legislation is moving rapidly! In fact, the U.S. House just voted at 3:00pm to take up debate on H.R. 4 and added some substitute text (H.R. 705), so we wanted to pass it along. They are moments away from a decision, so weigh in and get your voice heard now!

Please use the links below to review the bills and the newly proposed substitute text (H.R. 705):

Write, e-mail or call your member of Congress today, and tell them to vote "yes" on H.R. 4, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act.

The passage of H.R. 4 will overturn section 9006 of the new health care law that mandates small-business owners to file a 1099 form for every business-to-business transaction over $600 a year. Reversing this reporting requirement will relieve a huge paperwork burden for small-business photographers!

Remember, this new reporting requirement has nothing to do with improving health care. It simply forces photographers, like you, to spend more time on regulatory compliance rather than running a business. (To read more about the importance of eliminating this tax provision click here.)

The U.S. House is voting on Thursday, March 3, so send your message soon! Visit the Contact Congress page to act now.

Get the 1099 Reporting Requirement Repealed

Don't forget: professional photographers have another chance to fight the existing 1099 reporting requirement. We need you to make your voices heard by contacting your congressperson today to bring H.R. 5141 - the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act out of committee.

Rep. Dan Lundgren's (R-3rd -CA) bill, H.R. 5141, fully repeals Section 9006 of the new health care law that mandates small-business owners to file a 1099 form for every business-to-business transaction over $600 a year. This new reporting requirement will wreak havoc on small businesses (like photography studios) by drastically increasing their paperwork burden.

This new reporting requirement has nothing to do with improving health is just another way to raise government revenue on the backs of small-business owners, while forcing them to spend more time on regulatory compliance than on running their businesses.

On Tuesday, September 14th, the Senate voted not to include a repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement in their version of H.R. 5297 - Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. With the Senate's passage of the bill, the House now has an opportunity to make sure a repeal provision is included!

We need 218 members of Congress to sign on to the discharge petition. Contact your congressperson today and urge him/her to sign the petition, so Congress can vote to stop this new paperwork tidal wave. Visit the Contact Congress page now to call, write or e-mail.

In addition to representing members on copyright issues, PPA is a strong advocate on small business issues, primarily relating to health care. Through the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, PPA advocates health care solutions that meet the needs of small business owners, employees, the self-employed and their families. In previous congressional sessions, PPA has supported various health reform bills, in particular those that would provide trade associations the ability to create insurance pools on behalf of its members

Sample Facebook & Google Ads
Facebook Sample Ad
Google Ad Sample

PPA members asked for it, and we're doing it! PPA is launching a consumer-focused campaign called "See the Difference," targeted to wedding couples, seniors and families to reinforce the value of professional photography. Online advertising and social media will drive prospects to specialized landing pages. The wedding-focused landing page can be viewed at (Landing pages featuring senior photography and family/children portraiture will follow.)

These special landing pages will highlight articles, image galleries, videos, tutorials and search capabilities linked to our exclusive PPA Find-a-Photographer database. We are also researching the use of vertical websites and targeted e-mail marketing. Of course, we'll be pushing the campaign through PPA social media channels, and we hope that PPA members will help us get the word out through blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

What can you do? (Or don't do?)
Do Update Your Find-A-Photographer Profile
As we're directing consumers to Find-a-Photographer, make sure your profile is up to date with your logo, headshot and your most stunning sample images! (Please note: Aspiring PPA members are not listed in the Find-a-Photographer database.)

Here's an idea of the traffic we're hoping to drive to Find-a-Photographer: During our test campaign in June (10 days long), we generated 1,615 clicks and 2,499,474 impressions! Over 200 of those visitors conducted searches on the Find-a-Photographer database and about 20% were reading the articles about selecting a professional.

Don't Click It!
You may see our ads on Google, Facebook and other online sites. Please don't click on the ads (we know it's tempting, but...), as we will incur costs for those clicks and it will make our tracking data inaccurate. (Ad copy is based on high-performing keywords.)

On Tuesday we passed along information about a legal ruling last week in New York, the case Muench Photography Inc. v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (09-CV-2669).

We know the decision handed down in this case is of great concern to you. Rest assured that our attorneys are actively monitoring the case, and we'll keep you informed of any updates as the appeals process unfolds. We have also been in touch with Corbis and gathered details about the steps they plan on taking. Below is an update on this case and its effect on bulk copyright registration.

Do you have images with Corbis?
Did you sign the Corbis Copyright Assignment Affirmation Declaration?
If so, you may have invalid copyright registrations.

The Advertising Photographers of America (APA) passed along the following important information that might just apply to you:

Last week, Judge Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, issued a summary judgment in the case Muench Photography Inc. v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (09-CV-2669). In the case, Muench Photography Inc. (MPI) claimed that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (HMH) and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (Donnelley) "engaged in the unauthorized and impermissible use" of MPI images. The defendants, HMH and Donnelley, moved to dismiss the complaint arguing that the photographs at issue were not properly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The defendant's motion was granted in part and denied in part.

Summary of the Case
MPI licenses photographs for Marc and David Muench. Between March 2001 and December 2006, MPI--through its agent Corbis--sold limited licenses to HMH. MPI claims HMH exceeded the number of licenses granted, causing unauthorized reproductions of the images. This constituted copyright infringement in the eyes of MPI. By printing the textbooks wherein the images were used, MPI claims Donnelley is also guilty of violating MPI's copyright.

At question is the process of copyright registration for the majority of these images. MPI had a copyright registration agreement with Corbis granting legal title in selected images digitized by Corbis and included in the Corbis digital collection "solely for the purpose of copyright registration." After registration, Corbis agreed to "promptly reassign legal title to Marc and David Muench with respect to (their) registered original film images."

The Corbis procedure of acquiring from photographers the signed Copyright Assignment Affirmation Declaration documents that allowed them to make compilation registrations rested upon the questionable and legally unsubstantiated foundation of a single letter from the Copyright Office's Associate Register for Registration & Recordation, Nanette Petruzzelli. The Petruzzelli letter stated that the Copyright Office considers the procedure instituted by Corbis to be valid whereby Corbis is the author of the compilation by an acceptable transfer statement of the photographers and interpreted the claim to extend to the individual photographers. The letter also stated that the Copyright Office preferred, but did not require, the registration application to contain the names of all of the photographers on continuation sheets. The process was compared to the process to register magazines and other serial works, which do not require the listing of individual contributor names.

The unsupported written statements made by Petruzzelli seemed to legitimatize the questionable procedure of Corbis. If fact, it ineffectually "registered" an unknown large number of images that has resulted in a significant increase in vulnerability for photographers that have used this system through Corbis.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the PPA Member Alert category.

PPA Council is the previous category.

PPA Member Benefits is the next category.

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