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PPA Today: PPA News Archives

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If you're looking for a way to give back to your peers and do something positive for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, PPA and PPA Charities have established the Disaster Relief Fund grant program. 

It's unimaginable to lose everything to flooding. Over 800 PPA members have been directly affected by these storms, some not even knowing yet what shape their studios are in or how much of their equipment was destroyed.

Please give to help photographers in Texas, Florida and elsewhere rebuild their studios, businesses and lives. Every bit helps, and PPA is matching your donations (up to $100,000) to ensure the funds stretch even further.

If you are a PPA member who has been disrupted by the storms, you can apply now!

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the storm. Together we will do everything we can to make recovery easier.


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Once in a while, GOOD news comes along that we just have to share with you. You may have been following the case of Andrea Polito, the Texas wedding photographer who was defamed and criticized by her clients, causing her to lose her studio and fold her business. Well, The Washington Post has a great article up that gives a more satisfying conclusion to her story. Check it out!

This is just one more example of how the "little guy" (i.e. small-business photographers like YOU) can win in the long run when they stand up for themselves. Cases like this happen all the time (we know, PPA's Indemnification Trust attempts to help with dissatisfied clients) and we're glad to see the court recognize how important client-reviews are to businesses like these and how important photographers are to the community. 

Keep yourself glued to PPA.com/Advocacy to continue learning about the different ways PPA is helping to change laws (like copyright!) to better protect you, our 30,000 photographers...and all visual artists. 


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The International Photographic Competition (IPC) judging is in full-swing and EVERYONE is welcome to watch! Catch the IPC Judging at Stream.theIPC.org and IPC Live on Facebook.com/OurPPA.

The IPC Live broadcast begins TODAY! Hosted by renowned Florida wedding photographer and co-host of The Photobomb Podcast, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPPfrom, IPC Live will feature interviews with the judges, review of critiques, and live Q&A sessions. Check out this video to see more about what to expect on IPC Live this year:



IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray Perry 

Monday, July 31, 11:00 am & 2:00 pm ET
Tuesday, Aug.1, 11:00 am & 2:00 pm ET
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 11:00 am ET

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For months now we have been hearing about the electronic travel ban for certain flights arriving from Europe and the Middle East, but were not quite sure how it would affect photographers. While this ban is still being worked on, the TSA has released a new policy.  

On July 26th the TSA announced new screening procedures for any electronic items in your carry-on bigger than a cell phone. These items, such as camera bodies, tablets, light sources, lenses, etc., must now be taken out of your carry-on bag and placed in a bin, similar to what we have been doing with our laptops for years. 

This new security policy has already been implemented in 10 airports:

  • Boise Airport
  • Colorado Springs Airport
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Logan International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
  • Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
  • McCarran International Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
All other airports will begin adopting this new policy in the weeks and months to come. With this in mind, it is advised to arrive at the airport a little early to accommodate the possible increase in wait times at TSA Security Check.

PPA will continue to keep an eye on this policy and others as they are introduced, and notify you when additional airports are added to this list. 

by Sidra Safri
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1:00pm

PPA's first two meetings today have us off to a great start! 

We started the morning with Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). We were happy to hear that they are hoping for introduction of a small-claims bill very soon and they have been keeping in close touch with key players.

Representative Collins went on say that even though there is so much going on right now, he is devoted to moving small claims forward and ensuring small creators are protected. He also acknowledged that small claims and copyright modernization go hand-in-hand and we must continue to push both. We ended the meeting taking the opportunity to thank his office for everything he has done.

After Rep. Collins we went to meet with representative Hakeem Jefferies' office (D-NY). Jefferies' office has been in close contact with various members of the visual-arts community and is making sure the small-claims bill is what creators want. Once they are able to introduce a bill, Jefferies and Rep. Marino want to work closely with Joe Keeley (House Judiciary Committee's chief counsel of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property) and make sure small claims continues to be something both parties can agree upon. 

Another key aspect discussed in this meeting was making sure that however the small-claims process goes forward, in no way should it become cumbersome to the people it's meant to help. We ended this meeting thank Jefferies' office for bringing small claims to the forefront and helping making sure creators' rights are on everyone's minds. 

Right now we are heading to lunch and will take the opportunity it to regroup for our next meetings. After lunch we will be meeting with Joe Keeley from Chairman Goodlatte's office and representative Jim Jordan. 

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9:30am
PPA is back in D.C. for day two of our trip, meeting with representatives to advocate for copyright modernization and small-claims protection for photographers. Yesterday ended with our meeting with Representative Lieu (D-CA). We visited Representative Lieu's office earlier this year and he showed great interest in small claims since many of his constituents are affected by copyright Infringement. We wanted to follow up with him and thank him for his support and push for small claims. Since Representative Lieu works closely with Representative Chu's office, he fully understands why it's important for small claims and modernization to go hand in hand. This meeting was a great way to end the day, especially since we know we have such fantastic support! 

Today we are changing things up and are going to be joined by other visual-artists organizations that are also pushing for small claims! These organizations include GAG, ASMP, APA, NANPA, and NPPA. With our partner organizations we will be meeting with Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH). All four offices have heavily engaged in work on small claims and we wanted to take the time to propose additional provisions and see what we can do to make a small-claims bill as successful as possible while protecting creative artists. 

Stay tuned for more updates!

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by Sidra Safri
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4:00pm
We started the morning by meeting with the office of Representative Labrador (R-ID) and it was a great way to get started! We were happy to hear this his office has been following the news on small claims and really thinks it will be a great step for small business and individual property rights. During this time, we also took the opportunity to explain why small claims and copyright modernization have to happen together and how interdependent they are. Rep. Labrador recognizes this importance and hopes we can continue to push the two issues together.

After meeting with Representative Labrador we went to see Representative Marino's office (R-PA). As a reminder, Representative Marino co-sponsored the other small-claims bill last year. We wanted to meet with his office to take the opportunity to thank him for how often he has worked with Representative Chu, encouraging bi-partisan support. We again took this opportunity to explain why small claims and copyright modernization need to happen together and Rep. Marino's office fully supported this. Representative Marino's office agreed that small-claims protection is important to ensuring that America continues to be the leader for creative artists for decades to come.

Our first two meetings went really well. We are heading to Representative Lieu's office (D-CA). Stay tuned for more updates to come!


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9:00am

PPA is back in D.C once again and we have three exciting meetings planned for today! 

We'll start the day off visiting the office of Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID). This is will be our second time meeting with Rep. Labrador this year. We thought it was important to visit his office again since he has a strong interest in copyright and small business... the ultimate combination! We will take this time to update his office on where small claims stands, and continue to talk to him about how important small claims is.

After meeting with Representative Labrador we are heading to Representative Tom Marino's office (R-PA). Representative Marino has an extensive history with copyright and IP issues, and has done a fantastic job in the past of working with members of both parties. PPA knows he has an interest in small claims, since Representative Marino co-sponsored the other small claims bill. Having everyone on the same page will help ensure the success of small claims.

Our last meeting for the day is with Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA). Representative Lieu has a strong interest in copyright issues and is well versed in the area since his constituents are constantly affected by copyright infringement in California. This is the second time we will be meeting with Representative Lieu's office. We believe it's important to keep him updated on small claims, and wanted to take the time to thank him for his support. 

We have some great meetings lined up today, and are excited to be advocating for your (copy)rights!!

Stay tuned for more throughout the day.


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Sometimes in order to get to your final destination, there are a few things that need to be done along the way. This is one of those things. PPA has been concentrating on Copyright Small Claims lately, but there's a bill in the House of Representatives that needs our attention now!

H.R 1695 allows the position of Register of Copyrights to become a presidential appointee. This ensures that someone with ample knowledge of the copyright world leads the office in an unbiased manner, as it begins to undergo the modernization process. This change will also guarantee the office is able to serve all creative artists the way it was designed to. Making sure the office takes a step in the right direction will not be possible without YOU! 

Please take 30 seconds and click here to send a letter to your representative or click here to give them a call! PPA has done the scripting and writing for you, so no worries. It's time to pass this legislation!

UPDATE: 
Since we have put out this call to action, certain districts across the country have called saying they are unable to send a letter or make a call to their representatives. This is because their district currently does not have a representative and we are waiting for the results of their special elections. The following is a list of states/districts that are going to be affected by this, and the dates of the elections:

Special Elections (House)

  • Kansas 4th District- just had elections on April 11th and will take some time to set up office and contact information. 
  • Entire State of Montana- Only has one representative and their election is on May 25th
  • California 34th District- Just had election April 4th and will take some time to set up office and contact information
  • Georgia 6th- Election is April 18th 
  • South Carolina 5th- Election is May 2nd
  • Pennsylvania 10th- Election is TBD


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by Sidra Safri


3/29/17
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12:20 p.m.

H.B 1695 has passed the House Judiciary Committee today! It pass with 27 yeas and 1 nay. Remember, this bill is proposing to make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. 

PPA fully supports this since we were shocked by the abrupt termination of Maria Pallante. This is a great first step towards insuring that the Copyright Office is on the right path to modernization and continues to include small creators.

The bill will be presented to the House for a full vote soon.


11:23 a.m.

We are currently sitting in a house judiciary hearing (pictured, with portraits of Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking member John Conyers) about making the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. This part of the process is called a markup. During this "markup" all Representatives (those who support, are against, sponsored or any other stance) can submit their input and recommend changes. This ensures that the bill is properly debated and can pass when it is presented to the full house.

Stayed tuned for more updates and a preview of Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA)'s comments about the bill!


9:45 a.m.

This is day two for PPA on Capitol Hill and things are going great! 

Yesterday evening, we met with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). This was our first time meeting with him and it was important to get his office up to speed about small claims and why it's so important to photographers. Rep Labrador's office showed a lot of interest in the bill since they are strong supporters of small businesses. They have asked us to keep them updated about the bill and we hope they will sign on when time comes.

After talking about small claims, we briefly talked about the Register of Copyright position becoming a presidential appointee. We found out that Representative Labrador is a co-sponsor of that bill. Upon hearing this, we wanted to take the time to thank him and his efforts to protect the copyright office.

After meeting with Representative Labrador, we ended the day meeting with Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)'s office. This was another first time meeting, but an important one, since she was recently asked to join the Judiciary Committee by Speaker Paul Ryan. This meeting went well, as we explained the intricacies of the small claims bill. Once again, we hope when times comes she will support small claims!

For the rest of today...we are doing things a little differently. We had a full day of meetings lined up. However, as we all know, things can change at the drop of a hat on Capitol Hill. Instead we are attending the bill markup of turning the Register of Copyrights into a presidential appointee. This will allow us to hear first-hand what changes are being made to the bill and also allows us to meet with Representatives and staffers.

Stay tuned for more updates!

And check out this morning's Facebook Live update (the screen alignment is fixed after the first 30 seconds or so!) with CEO David Trust and Government Affairs Coordinator Sidra Safri. 


3/28/17 
5:15 p.m.
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It's been another fantastic day on Capitol Hill for PPA and Small Claims!

Things started off at lunch with Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Representative Blackburn gave great insight into how important copyright and IP issues are to many members of congress and how she fully understands where PPA is coming from. Being from Nashville, she knows the importance of protecting creative artists and will certainly look into Small Claims when the time comes.

During this lunch Rep. Blackburn also shared how upset she was when Maria Pallante was dismissed from the copyright office and is interested-- like much of congress-- to see how the bill suggests to turn the position into a presidential appointment. 

After lunch with Blackburn we met with Representative Mike Bishop (R-MI). This meeting was the first time PPA has met with this office. During this meeting it was clear that Representative Bishop's office understands that copyright law currently is flawed and knows that something needs to be done. His office is interested in seeing the small claims bill and we hope that his office will support small claims and go on to become a co-sponsor.

Once we left Representative Bishop's office we went to go visit Representative Lieu (D-CA)'s office. Representative Lieu has worked closely with Representative Chu on various items through the Judiciary committee and we hope he will sign on as well. During this time we also had the opportunity to talk about modernizing the copyright office as well as the introduction of the recent bill to make the registrar a presidential appointment.

We have two more meetings today and we hope that they go as well as all of our earlier ones did. Stay tuned! 


9:00 a.m.

Good morning everyone!

PPA is off to Washington D.C. again to continue laying the groundwork for small claims. We have a jam packed day ahead.

The main purpose of this trip is to continue bringing attention to the Freedom for American Small Creators Act (the small claims bill) and highlight why this is so important to creative artists, especially photographers. Since the bill has not been reintroduced yet (but it will be soon!), PPA hopes many of the representatives we talk to will be willing to co-sponsor the bill when time comes.

Stay tuned for more updates after our meetings with your representatives.

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by Sidra Safri 

Drone_Alert_StateBill9.pngOn February 8th, the West Virginia Senate introduced a "Drone Bill" that effectively makes it difficult for photographers to continue to use drones for aerial photography. 

Senate Bill 9 contains two harmful provisions. As it currently stands, the legislation states:

  1. If you are operating a drone within 100 feet of a structure, you must have prior consent of all owners or occupants of any pictured structures. 
  2. In order to intentionally take a photograph of another person, you must have prior permission. This also applies to large group photographs taken at weddings, fairs, etc. 

Both provisions make it extremely difficult for commercial/real estate, wedding and event photographers, making it not only impossible, but impractical, to get consent from all owners or people pictured. 

Further, these provisions are so overreaching and do not consider the actual unintended effects on consumers. Photographers will not be able to fulfill consumer expectations due to the limitations placed on them from this arbitrary law.

This bill has already passed the Senate and is currently be reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee, with it possibly going to a vote in the next few days.

West Virginia PPA members and those who care about visual artists and small business rights need to take action now! 

Reach out to your representative here and tell them that Senate Bill 9 is unfair to Drone Photographers! We've already done all the work for you. Reach out to your representative here and tell them Senate Bill 9 is unfair to photographers!*** West Virginia ONLY, please!

Everyone else, take note: This could be the first step in several states attempting to adopt similar legislation. PPA and your Grassroots Action Team will keep you informed so we can all stand together and fight this impediment to your small business. 

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by Sidra Safri
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For a long time, wanting to take photos on train tracks has been extremely popular. What better way to celebrate a milestone and show that you are "heading somewhere in life" while getting some phenomenal shots? As great as this sounds, PPA has news for you: TAKING IMAGES ON TRAIN TRACKS IS TRESPASSING, THEREFORE IT'S ILLEGAL! 

Recently, this has become such a big deal that Union Pacific (second largest railroad company in the U.S) will seek removal of any photos that violate this policy

This may sound unnecessary, but safety is a huge concern around train tracks. While taking pictures on tracks, it is extremely easy to get stuck, not see or hear the train coming, or simply step in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Many people have heard about the recent story out of Navasota, Texas about a young athlete, mother-to-be, and aspiring model. Her death could have been easily prevented. And recently, the TODAY show demonstrated how these massive machines are able to "sneak up" on people before they can get away to safety.

As photographers, it is our duty to inform our clients about what can or cannot be done. If a client is adamant about taking photos on train tracks, many states have train museums or "false" tracks that allow you to do so. 

Keep in mind: SAFETY should always be the number one priority!

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

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