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PPA Today: Copyright: September 2007 Archives

Copyright: September 2007 Archives

Copyright Alert


Flying under the banner of First Amendment protection and claiming economic necessity, critics of current copyright protections are attempting:

  • to expand Fair Use into Free Use.
  • to restrict the rights of creative professionals .

This past week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) both released alarming information intended to cloud the facts about copyright protection.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and its allied associations in the Alliance of Visual Artists (AVA), together representing 22,000 hard-working professional photographers, think it is important to cut through those clouds and call theft, theft and stealing, stealing.

Professional photographers are possibly the largest group of copyright owners and, with an average income of $35,000 to $45,000 per year, they are particularly vulnerable to the illegal copying of their creations. A client illegally using a photo in advertising or reproducing their family wall portrait elsewhere can have a devastating impact on a photographer’s bottom line. It could even impact their mortgage payment for that month!

Any suggestion that reproducing copyright-protected works is “legal and okay” can erode a photographer’s already thin margin.

The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) has placed on its web-site, a valuable resource to any creator or user of photography - a PowerPoint presentation that provides a thorough review of copyright law in the United States and how it applies to the use of imagery in advertising, the news media and fine art. The presentation includes real-world cases with images and detailed explanations of how the parties viewed the claimed infringements and how the courts assessed them.

The slides examine what copyright protects and for how long, and illustrate topics such as fair use, what is an infringement and what is not, and explains how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to remove infringing works from the Internet. Nancy Wolff, PACA's legal counsel and an expert on copyright law, created the presentation using laymen's language that it can be clearly understood and used by non-lawyers. Wolff included detailed slide notes to make it easy for anyone to present to a design class, an ad agency or any other interested organization.

PACA encourages educational institutions, ad-agencies, and any organization or individual involved with the use or creation of images to download the presentation. It can be found on PACA's web-site at

About PACA
The Picture Archive Council of America is the trade organization in North America that represents the vital interests of stock archives and others who license images for commercial reproduction. Founded in 1951, our membership includes over 100 companies in North America and over 50 International Affiliate Members. PACA's Mission Statement is "to foster and protect the interests of the picture archive community through advocacy, education and communication." Accordingly, we work to develop useful business standards and promote ethical business practices; actively advocate copyright protection; collect and disseminate timely information; and take an active role in the picture community by building relationships with organizations from related industries.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Copyright category from September 2007.

Copyright: June 2007 is the previous archive.

Copyright: October 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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