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PPA Today: Copyright: November 2015 Archives

Copyright: November 2015 Archives

By Lindsey Forson

Improvements to our nation's copyright system just might be on the horizon. The House Judiciary Committee just wrapped up a series of hearings known as the Copyright Review. In an effort to reach more stakeholders, this Committee held a nationwide listening tour.

PPA CEO David Trust participated in one of these roundtable discussions during yesterday's Copyright Review tour stop in Los Angeles, California. Trust focused on the most pressing legislative issue for PPA photographers - the creation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement. He explained to the dozen Congress members in attendance that the current copyright system falls short for many creators (especially photographers!), because there are not effective enforcement mechanisms available. 

As the Copyright Review unfolds, Chairman Goodlatte and the Committee have expressed interest in acting on a few key issues, including the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office and copyright small claims. This is great news as these are included in PPA's top priorities! We hope to see these issues turn into proposed legislation during the next two years. 

Aside from the roundtable discussion, Trust had several meaningful conversations during his time in Los Angeles. He touched base with Linda Shim, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Judy Chu, who worked closely with PPA in coordinating last week's congressional briefing. Congresswoman Chu is a big supporter of copyright and is one of the top proponents of the U.S. Copyright Office modernization. Chu actually co-sponsored a discussion draft of a U.S. Copyright Office Modernization Bill and will likely sponsor an updated version of this legislative proposal. While in L.A., Trust also connected with Congressman Cohen, another member of the House Judiciary Committee.

PPA is hard at work advocating for the copyright improvements vital to professional photographers. And the Committee who oversees copyright issues is listening! Be sure to stay tuned for more PPA's advocacy updates or to learn how YOU can help when legislation moves to the floor - This will help you and fellow photographers 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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If you've been keeping up with PPA's advocacy coverage, you know that right now is an extremely important time for copyright on Capitol Hill. The House Judiciary Committee recently wrapped up a series of 20 hearings, known as the Copyright Review, during which they heard testimony from 100 witnesses. Following the last hearing, Chairman Goodlatte - chairman of the Committee - announced that they would extend the Copyright Review through a listening tour. 

The Copyright Review Listening Tour involves members of the Committee traveling the country to hear directly from content creators and other key copyright stakeholders. The first stop on the tour was held in Nashville, Tennessee where the conversation centered on the music industry. This week there are two more listening sessions to be held in California, today in the Silicon Valley, and tomorrow in Los Angeles - both of these stops aim to capture a broader view of the copyright industries, involving representatives from the motion picture industry, the visual arts, publishers, libraries, image licensing organizations, professional photographers, tech companies and more.

PPA CEO David Trust received a personal invitation from Chairman Goodlatte to sit on the panel in Los Angeles as the voice of the photographic industry. There will be a dozen members of Congress present at the panel discussion and PPA's CEO will petition them for repairs to the copyright system in America so that it works for all creators. Trust will continue to voice PPA's message - that current copyright in America disenfranchises the vast majority of creators by not offering adequate enforcement mechanisms for copyright infringements, and that now is the time to fix this inequity. He will also reinforce PPA's three main legislative priorities: 1) the implementation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement, 2) modifications to the copyright registration system, and 3) modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office. 

Stay tuned for an update following this Copyright Review listening session!

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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Today during out visit to D.C., we continued to focus on the same three priorities:

  • including creation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement, 
  • improving/modifying the copyright registration process, and 
  • modernizing the U.S. copyright office.
 
We started the morning with an introductory meeting with Reginald Babin, Legislative Director from the Office of Congressman Cedric Richmond. Congressman Richmond is on the Judiciary Committee and before being elected, was the Louisiana State Representative for District 101 from 2000 to 2011, where he served as the Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and a member of the Ways and Means, House Executive, and Legislative Audit Advisory committees. Richmond also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on the Judiciary. During the meeting, we introduced Babin to PPA and presented our three priorities. He was very receptive to our message.

Our next stop was a meeting with Chris Randal, Legislative Counsel for Congresswoman Karen Bass. Prior to serving in Congress, Congresswoman Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role. Bass serves on the House Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations) and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Get the full details of the Creative Rights Caucus here. Here are some behind the scenes images taken through out the day!

Preparing for our presentation with Lindsey Forson, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator!

PPA CEO, David Trust and Director of Member Value & Experience, Kristen Hartmen review notes.

The Creative Rights Caucus is packed and in full swing!

PPA photographer Jamie Hayes multitasks between capturing new headshots and talking about the issues.

Copyright movers and shakers mingle.

PPA photographer Jamie Hayes in action.

Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman Doug Collins speaking to the Creative Rights Caucus

PPA CEO David Trust and Denis Reggie chat before the event.


Behind the scenes of the Creative Rights Caucus


PPA photographers Mary Fisk-Taylor & Jamie Hayes prepare the headshot station.

... or when the U.S. Copyright System Received Grades of Ds and Fs

By Lindsey Forson

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To get a quick background on why we were in Washington, DC for this event, get the background info in this blog post.

The briefing was a huge success! Over 100 people were in attendance, most of who are on the staffs of key members of Congress. Our panel of five distinguished visual artists, Denis Reggie, John Schmelzer, Lisa Shaftel, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Michael Grecco, spoke passionately about how copyright is at the core of their livelihoods and why copyright protection matters.

The primary message of the panel discussion was that although the copyright system in the United States may work for some creators such as the high value, low-volume creators like motion picture creators, it does not work at all for small business creators like visual artists in general and photographers in particular. When asked to grade the copyright system in America for how well it works for each of their specialties, the panelists gave either a D or an F! Some of the issues pointed out were loss of control of images on the Internet, a copyright registration system that does not work for the visual arts industries, and the fact that the only option for legal enforcement is in federal court which is simply not a feasible option for the vast majority of creators. Here is the handout that was given at the event that outlined our priorities. 

PPA CEO David Trust moderated the panel discussion. He asked our speakers to offer solutions to these issues. One solution presented by several panelists was a small claims process for copyright enforcement. 

"If we don't implement a small claims process for copyright enforcement, even if a perfect registration system is created, it will be irrelevant for small business creators for whom it's not feasible to sue in federal court," said Mary Fisk-Taylor who is co-owner of Hayes & Fisk Photography and a Member of the Board of Directors for PPA.

All of the panelists agreed that it is crucial to make improvements to the copyright registration process and to modernize the U.S. copyright office.

The audience was intrigued by the discussion and asked important questions to make sure that they had full understanding of the issues. Public misconception of copyright even extends to Capitol Hill. One question asked was, "What exactly is copyright? What does your copyright do for you?" This gave our panel the opportunity to educate the audience on the most fundamental aspect of this topic - what is copyright - which is truly not understood at all by too many.

By Lindsey Forson

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We know you do everything you can to protect your copyright! From educating your clients on the law to including a copyright notice on your published work, you are diligent about protecting your rights because you know it is your livelihood. Unfortunately, there are still barriers to copyright enforcement for professional photographers including big public misconceptions, a general lack of legal enforcement and legal options, and a complicated copyright registration process. We also know that if you could meet with law-makers personally to discuss these issues, you would! Because running a successful photography studio keeps you busy enough, PPA works hard to be the voice of professional photographers in Washington, D.C., protecting, defending and advancing copyright matters for all visual artists.

And this week, we're at it again! Your PPA Copyright and Government Affairs team is in our nation's capital speaking out for the rights of professional photographers. During this trip PPA  is hosting a briefing to the Creative Rights Caucus of the United States House of Representatives, in collaboration with several other visual arts associations. Key members of Congress related to copyright law and their staffs will be present at the event. They will hear about the copyright challenges that affect the visual arts industries directly from a panel of visual artists.

After the event, your PPA team will sit down directly these law-makers for a deeper discussion of legislative priorities relating to professional photographers. We continue to petition for a small claims process for copyright enforcement as the most vital improvement to our nation's copyright system for small business creators including photographers. We will also discuss the legislative changes that are much needed to both improve the copyright registration process, and to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office. Thankfully, all of these issues continue to be met with great optimism by members of Congress and we hope that this briefing and follow-up conversations will provide a unique perspective on the importance and urgency of these issues.

Check back in on our blog to see the most recent updates, as we'll be reporting back several times this week!

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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About this Archive

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

Copyright: October 2015 is the previous archive.

Copyright: December 2015 is the next archive.

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