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PPA Today: Copyright: September 2015 Archives

Copyright: September 2015 Archives

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By Lindsey Forson

Professional photographers in the U.S. often have a difficult time enforcing their copyright due to a one-size-fits-all copyright system in our country - a system which in reality is a much better fit for low-volume, very high-value creators such as motion picture studios and recording artists than it is for visual artists. PPA is actively advocating for a system that works for all of our nation's creators. This is just what we did during our latest trip to Capitol Hill. And hopefully our efforts will resonate with more and more legislators here and abroad.

Here are the priorities that PPA has set with regards to improving our copyright system (in no particular order): 

  1. Modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office so that it can keep up with the demands of its "customers" in this fast-paced, digital era and so that it has the authority, accountability, and administrative capacity to implement key changes; 
  2. Modifying the registration system to make the process more user-friendly and less burdensome for high volume creators including eliminating the requirement to sort images as published v. unpublished and amending the deposit requirement; and 
  3. Creating a small claims process for seeking damages for copyright infringements.

The implementation of a small claims process has been established as PPA's top legislative priority based on the concerns of our members, and we will continue to lead the charge on the Hill until this becomes a reality. The addition of a small claims option to the currently available enforcement mechanisms - which limit legal enforcement options to expensive Federal Court cases - is absolutely necessary to ensure photographers actually have viable means for recovering damages when infringements of their work occur. For a detailed descriptions of the issues PPA advocates for during meetings on Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Copyright Office, see PPA's response to the Copyright Office's recent Notice of Inquiry to the Visual Arts community.

During this week's trip, CEO David Trust and the PPA team met with key members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss these important points. Our issues were met overall with a very positive response. In most of these meetings, it was noted that opposition to our sought after improvements is likely to be very limited. Though it will take time to create the necessary legislation, we hope to see action on these issues within the next 18 months. 

See our latest advocacy stories  for more information on these meetings. Stay tuned to PPA's advocacy page  throughout the coming months. As any copyright legislation moves from Committee to the House floor, we will be calling on you to reach out to your representative. Keep up with PPA's Advocacy efforts and Be More Protected!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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PPA CEO, David Trust and Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson are in Washington, DC this week working with law makers on a variety of photography related topics to help advocate for photographers rights to Be More Protected. 

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Our first meeting was with Joe Keeley and Jason Everett the chief counsel to the Judiciary Committee. We discussed the same priorities PPA pushes forth in order to protect professional photographers' rights when it comes to copyright, including modifications to the copyright registration process which would improve image protection for professional photographers. We stressed the importance of the small claims process for photographers' copyright protection and addressed questions from the counsel regarding what would need to be included in small claims legislation in order to make the process as effective and efficient as possible for photographers. We had an in depth conversation about barriers to registration for photographers, once again noting the issues of published v. unpublished and the difficulties surrounding the deposit requirement. We look forward to on-going conversations with these key members of the Committee staff as any of these issues are brought forward. 

Next, we met with Tim Tarply of Congressman Poe's office. Congressman Poe is a strong supporter of copyright in general and understands the important nature of a proper framework for photographers. We were able to outline our priorities, among the copyright issues that need to be addressed. 

Last stop for today was with Lauren Soltani of Congressman Del Bene's office. This was our first meeting with this particular staffer so it was a great opportunity to introduce her and the Office to PPA. We provided her with a description of copyright issues from the perspective of the copyright industry and presented our priorities. 

As always, remember that you can contact your Copyright & Government Affairs department at PPA (800-786-6277) with your advocacy questions and input! PPA works hard to help professional photographers Be More Protected.

For more updates from Capitol Hill, visit our previous post here

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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PPA CEO, David Trust and Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson are in Washington, DC this week working with law makers on a variety of photography related topics to help advocate for photographers rights to Be More Protected. 

We met with counsel to Ranking Member Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee in our first meeting this morning. We discussed the specifics of PPA's priorities related to copyright improvements. We had a great discussion regarding modifications to the copyright registration process which would improve image protection for professional photographers. We proposed an elimination of the requirement to sort creations as published v. unpublished and a relaxation of the deposit requirement, proposals which were met with a favorable and optimistic response. We also discussed specifics surrounding a copyright small claims process which is currently PPA's top priority. In this meeting, Jason Everett and other counsel for the committee provided great insight into what opportunities and barriers may arise regarding actual legislative action. 

Next, we met with Curtis Philip of the office of Congressman Lamar Smith who serves on the Judiciary Committee. We discussed these priorities with him as well as the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office highlighting administrative improvements that must occur in order for legislative changes to start happening. 

We wrapped up the afternoon meetings in the Office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters with a member of her staff - Casey Fitzpatrick. We provided insight into the photographic industry highlighting the intellectual property concerns of professional photographers. We had a discussion surrounding how a small claims process would greatly improve the enforcement mechanisms of creators in protecting their copyright. And we even discussed specific ideas for the structure of this process. 

We look forward to meeting tomorrow morning with Joe Keeley, Chief Counsel for copyright issues for Chairman Goodlatte (Chairman of the Judiciary). This is our official copyright review meeting as a major stakeholder in the industry. We will meet with additional committee members in the afternoon. Stay tuned for more updates later this week. 

As always, you can contact your Copyright & Government Affairs department at PPA (800-786-6277) with your advocacy questions and input! PPA works hard to help professional photographers Be More Protected.

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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By John Owens

DTrust.pngPPA's CEO David Trust was a guest on The PhotoTellers podcast with host Bill Ramsey to discuss The State of Professional Photography in America.

Before you get all doom and gloom, give it a listen! Bill and David discuss where things are now as well as what photographers can expect from the recent movement toward new copyright law in Congress. They also dive deep into the business of photography and how PPA helps the industry. 

Take a look at some of the topics covered below:

  • What is the future of professional photography in America? Are things as bad as people are saying?
  • Is copyright really in jeopardy? What's going on in Congress & the possibility of changing copyright law?
  • What are the biggest issues facing professional photographers?
  • What is the biggest business mistake photographers make?
  • The availability of "malpractice" insurance for a photographer.
  • The lifespan of a low-priced photographer entering the market today.
  • How to speak to potential clients so that they'll be willing to share some of their "pot of money" with you.
  • How to move from a "photographer hired to do a job" to "MY family photographer!"

It's a discussion that serves the interest of any photographer. It's perfect for background noise while you're in the throes of editing! Or set aside a half hour and give it your full attention.

You can listen to the podcast here, and if you have some extra time, there's another one with PPA president Michael Timmons linked on the page!

John_3197_1.JPGJohn 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 burger.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Copyright category from September 2015.

Copyright: May 2015 is the previous archive.

Copyright: October 2015 is the next archive.

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

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