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by James Yates

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Your PPA Advocacy team will be in Washington D.C. next week to join the Creative Rights Caucus for a "lunch and learn" event to be held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 12pm. 

"The Art of Photography: Behind the Lens" will be a chance for House members to gather and learn about the importance of modernizing and strengthening copyright protection for small business creators. Creative Rights Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Judy Chu and Doug Collins, will present panelists giving their stories of how they established themselves, their current challenges with infringement and the lack of remedy for photographers who are infringed upon, highlighting the need for a small claims process within the current U.S. copyright system. 

The panel will be moderated by PPA CEO, David Trust, and will include: 

Anne Geddes - renowned photographer known for capturing the purity and innocence of children, Anne became successful in 1992 when she first published a greeting card collection in New Zealand, eventually leading to calendars which would be sold internationally. She specializes in capturing the beauty, purity, and vulnerability of children, while emphasizing that each child must be "protected, nurtured, and loved". She is responsible for the photographs of children dressed up as various flora and fauna that are seen worldwide. Anne has dealt with international copyright infringement on various levels, therefore understanding how important a small claims process is to photographers. 

Michael Grecco - internationally renowned celebrity portrait and commercial photographer, Michael is a multiple-award-winning industry leader best known for his iconic celebrity portraits and visionary magazine covers, editorials, and advertising spreads for NBC/Universal, GA, Pfizer, HBO, Kodak, ABC, IBM, Yahoo!, ESPN, and more. His distinguished work is regularly featured in prestigious galleries such as Louis Stern, G.Ray Hawkins, Stephen Cohen and Fahey Klein. Michael understands the impact an image can have on society and believes it is important to give credit where credit is due, which can be insured through a small claims process.

Denis Reggie - hailed by Town & Country as "The Great Wedding Photographer of Our Day", Denis got his start as a student at Tulane University, where he took photographs for the yearbook and local newspaper. From there he made his jump to wedding photography, when he realized how posed and unnatural many wedding photos tended to look. As his popularity grew, he had the opportunity to photograph various Kennedy Family weddings, among other Hollywood stars. Denis understands the hard work and skill it takes to capture the true beauty in a photograph, and believes that all photographers, big and small, should be given their credit. Without receiving his rightful credit, Denis would not be where he is today, and therefore is an avid advocate for small claims.

At the end of the event, the professional panelists will help House members discover how to take the "perfect selfie" It's expected to be a fun, yet informative and important, meeting on the Hill.

This event has been planned in accordance to House and Senate Gift Rules by the Creative Rights Caucus in partnership with American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers of America (NPPA), Photographic Licensing Universal System (PLUS) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

To learn more about PPA's efforts to fight for better copyrights, head to PPA.com/Advocacy and don't forget to join PPA.com/Grassroots to add your name to the list of supporters. 

By Autumn Rice
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Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers out there and you now have a chance to see her in person. Her life experiences have helped her craft speeches that deliver business-expanding, life-changing, interactive advice to inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth. Her book, Stop Saying You're Fine, is a best seller that has been translated into four different languages, and her TEDx Talk "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over" has over 10 million views across 37 countries. Mel Robbins is a CNN host, commentator and legal analyst, criminal defense attorney, and now she can add Imaging USA Keynote Speaker to her host of talents. 

That's right folks; Mel Robbins is coming to Imaging USA! She will give a keynote presentation on the morning of Sunday, January 8th and follow it up with a book signing directly after in the lobby of the Lira Cockrell Theatre at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. in San Antonio, Texas.

So what are you waiting for? Imaging USA is the only place to be in January 2017! Go to ImagingUSA.org/Register to take advantage of the Early Bird Rates ($50 off!) before time runs out December 8th! 

See what all the fuss is about: Mel's Ted Talk 
by Sidra Safri
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3pm
Today has been an action packed day! Many Congressional offices are just as concerned as we are with the removal of Maria Pallante from her post as Register of Copyrights and want to make sure Intellectual Property issues continue to be championed. Sharing similar sentiments was the office of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Senator Hatch has been a huge advocate for intellectual property issues, including small claims protection. 
 
When they heard about the removal of Maria Pallante, Hatch's office was just shocked as PPA. They stated that this abrupt removal gives Congress all the more reason to look into Small Claims and the separation of the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress. However, since the next few months will be busy with the transition of a new administration, Copyright Small Claims is going to be a slow process...but one that is needed! 
 
After talking with Senator Hatch's office for about 45 minutes, we hope that they will continue to champion the rights of small creators and go on to endorse small claims when the time comes. 
 
After meeting with Senator's Hatch's office, we had the opportunity have a joint meeting with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Both offices understand the need for a small claims option, but know that this is going to be an uphill battle. With the many changes that are occurring (including preparing for a new administration), it is important to focus on our long term goals. During this meeting we also talked about how important it is to have a grassroots effort to make sure that the voice of the people is heard.  As PPA's CEO David Trust stated during this meeting, "It is now important, more than ever, to make sure that Congress does the right thing, and protects small businesses and creative artists." 
 
This was a great start to our outreach in the Senate, and we hope to continue to visit with key members of both the House and Senate. Luckily, there were not any major changes in the leadership within the Intellectual Property world since the last election, clearing the way for our efforts to ensure that small claims legislation becomes a success!
 
And, as always, don't forget to sign up for the Grassroots Action Team and make sure your voice is heard!


11:30
Your PPA team is back in D.C., attending meetings with key members of congress who hold small business, small claims and intellectual property issues in high regard.

Today, we're with the Senate and our first meeting was with Senator Risch's office. Senator Risch (R-ID) holds IP issues very close to his heart and wants to make sure small businesses succeed. The senator's office shared with us that many photographers are on his staff and his constituents are active creative artists who understand how important a small claims copyright process can be. Even though our meeting with Senator Risch's office was fairly quick, we are hoping that he will join us in fixing the injustice facing small business photographers and creative artists. 


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by Sidra Safri

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4:30 pm

Our first meeting for the day was with Representative Judy Chu's office. We discussed details of the Small Claims bill and got a good idea of some of the working language that is now going into the bill. We know the introduction of the Small Claims bill is taking longer than we originally thought, but making sure it is able to best serve creative artists is key. We want to thank Representative Chu's office for all their hard work and for being an advocate for the Creative Artists.

Next, we had the opportunity to meet with acting Register of the Copyright Office and Director of Copyright, Karyn Claggett. This meeting was important, as it allowed PPA to see how the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office currently feel about Small Claims. Both offices want to take a very hands-off approach and want to continue to help Congress in an advisory position. Basically, they will follow Congress' guidance. This is good news for PPA and provides a positive outlook for small claims!

Karyn Claggett also let us know that Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, has ties to the creative community. Her parents have a musical background and other family members are very active in the creative-rights world.

Both meetings were very productive, especially the meeting with the Copyright office. These meetings reassured PPA that small claims is heading in the direction we have been pushing for. DON'T FORGET! The most important thing you, as a PPA member and/or someone who cares about the rights or artists, can do is to sign your name to our ever-growing list of supporters and share, share, share with everyone you know. 


More to come tomorrow

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8:30 am 
Good Morning! We are up bright and early, heading to D.C. for PPA's first advocacy trip since the termination/resignation/removal of Maria Pallente as Register of Copyrights. Small Claims is just as important to you and your fellow photographers as it was before and we want to make sure D.C. knows this. We will start the day with a strategic meeting with our resident lobbyist, Cindi Merifield, who will fill us in on any new developments on Capitol Hill since our last visit.

Today we are meeting with Representatives Chu and Collins' offices to talk about the status of the Small Claims bill, and also for a general check-in. PPA wants to make sure we always visit both Representatives Chu and Collins since they have been a huge asset to the success of small claims. While we are in D.C we are also going to visit Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. During this meeting we want to emphasize the importance of modernization to the Copyright Office and how important the Small Claims bill is to PPA's members, small businesses and artists in general. 

We will keep you updated throughout the day with new developments. Off to D.C we go!

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by Sidra Safri 
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In the past four months, all everybody seems to be talking about are Drones. Between trying to figure out the new FAA regulations, deciding what type of drone to get, studying for the FAA certification test, and making sure you are properly insured; it can make anybody's head spin. If only there was someone who has been through the process that you could talk to! Well, guess what? There is! PPA is providing its members with two great opportunities to get all your drone questions answered. 

PPA member Eddie Tapp is hosting an "Ask Me Anything" session on November 14th and 15th, exclusively on theLoop, PPA's members-only online networking platform. An "Ask Me Anything" is like an online press conference where YOU get to ask the questions. For those two days, members can log in to theLoop and post a question for Eddie to answer. Check back frequently, as Eddie will be answering your questions throughout the 48-hour period. Eddie has always been on the cutting edge of drone photography, and has become an expert in the area. Just take a look at his recent article in Professional Photographer magazine to get a feel for how knowledgeable he is on the subject of drones. During the Ask Me Anything on November 14th and 15th, Eddie will be available for you to: 

Ask away! He will answer all your questions (that he can)
get the inside scoop on what to study for the FAA test 
go over what to look for when buying a drone, and 
get some tips and tricks on how to master flying your drone to get the best shots. 

Just remember to Save the Date(s) of November 14th & 15th, log onto theLoop, and search for the AMA thread/conversation and ask away! 

Once you have all your drone-photography-related questions answered by Eddie, make sure you save time to tune in and switch over to the Drone Insurance webinar to be hosted by Lockton Affinity on November 15th at 2:00 pm. 

Lockton and PPA are long time partners, but what's new is that the team is now providing some of the most comprehensive and affordable drone photography insurance coverage out there and only available to PPA members. During the November 15th presentation, a Lockton representative will go over all the details of the policy, what it covers, and how to make sure you and your investment are always protected.
 
This upcoming information-packed live online presentation is free and open to the public, but it does require signing up. To secure your spot today, simply go to the Drone Photography Insurance Options webinar sign-up page!

If you're preparing to start adding drone photography into your business or just want more information because your interest is piqued...check out these two great opportunities next week and take "drone-ership" of your photography business! 

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by James Yates

The following is a press release PPA has sent out addressing the dismissal of Maria Pallante as Register of Copyrights and what it means for PPA's goals of a small claims copyright option.

Major Changes to the U.S. Copyright Office May Delay Updating Copyright Law

Professional Photographers of America Vows to Continue Moving Forward with Legislation Changes

Atlanta, GA (October 28, 2016)

The U.S. Copyright Office, positioned within the Library of Congress, suffered a potential setback to its goals for modernization and reform this week as its Register of Copyrights and long-time advocate, Maria Pallante, was removed from her job on October 21st, 2016. The newly appointed Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, has appointed Karyn Temple Claggett, currently Associate Register of Copyrights, as the acting Register while the search for a new Register of Copyrights is underway. Before her removal, Pallante had been an ally in PPA's effort to secure a small claims process for copyright infringements.
    
The news comes as a shock to content creators (photographers, authors, songwriters, graphic designers, etc.) who make up the U.S. copyright-protected community, and to members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees who are tasked with conducting the comprehensive review of current copyright law. Pallante was an advocate for the introduction of a small claims copyright option, which would allow better copyright enforcement for all content creators. She was also pushing for the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office, moving it out from under the jurisdiction of the Library of Congress.  A stand-alone U.S. Copyright Office would closely pattern the model used for the Patent and Trademark Office. 

"We were all certainly surprised by what appeared to be a very aggressive move on the part of the Librarian of Congress," said PPA CEO David Trust. "We already have a meeting set with Dr. Hayden where we will discuss our concerns, and try to get a better understanding about how this change might affect the movement to create a small claims process. We look forward to developing a productive relationship with Dr. Hayden and the next Register of Copyrights."

For more than ten years, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has been working on Capitol Hill, explaining the critical need for a small claims enforcement option for mom-and-pop creators. "That won't change," says Trust. "Photographers and other visual artists have always been treated inequitably under the current copyright system. Passing a small claims bill will continue to be our number one priority on The Hill. And we are going to need the help of every member - every visual artist."
 
Last summer, PPA started a Copyright Grassroots Action Team to provide a structure to mobilize its 30,000 photographer members and the creative community at large. Currently 7,500 members strong, this group of professional photographers and visual artists is growing, as all understand the need for broader copyright defense options in the U.S.

Why is a copyright small claims option so crucial for content creators such as photographers and visual artists? The cost and burden of seeking damages in the only existing venue for copyright infringement claims--federal district court--is prohibitive and leaves most artists no way to enforce their rights. A small claims process within the U.S. Copyright Office would finally provide a fair, cost-effective and streamlined venue where artists could seek remedies for unauthorized uses of their work.

The inability for photographers, and other low-value, high-volume content creators, to pursue a case against an infringer of their work is an injustice that demands to be fixed. For example, unless a case will yield a potential judgment of $100,000 or more ($30,000 at the bare minimum) it is usually a non-starter for intellectual property lawyers. Under the current framework, there is very little recourse for an artist who has their stolen work valued at a few thousand dollars or less. A small claims option within the Copyright Office would remedy that and it is a non-controversial and bi-partisan issue everyone can agree on.

For updates on the latest news as it unfolds, and to add your support to the growing number of small claims-supporters, head to PPA.com/Advocacy

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA's roots date back to 1869. It assists nearly 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued and sustainable success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com/BeMore.

By James Yates
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Do you want your voice to be heard on the current state of the photographic industry? Want new products that matter to YOU and your photographic needs? Then take the InfoTrends 2016 Professional Photography and Video Survey!

Some of you may remember participating in this survey last year. For those that didn't, InfoTrends conducts this annual industry review with imaging professionals (photographers and videographers alike) to better understand their use of technology, equipment requirements, and new business services. Manufacturers then use the results to design new or better products, and help fulfill the needs of photographers and videographers. 

This survey also provides a panoramic view of the behaviors and demographics of professional photographers! 

And did we mention you could also win up to $500 just for participating? Your time is valuable, and because the survey takes a good 15 minutes to go through, everyone will be entered to win $500. There will also be 100 randomly awarded $25 Amazon.com gift certificates to thank the participants!  

Help the industry and... maybe even get some cash in the process!

Respond quickly, as this invitation will be available only until a predetermined number of responses have been received. What are you waiting for? Take the survey now

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October is the month of PRINT, and we're celebrating by bringing you some great content. If you weren't sure how to present print art to your clients, then we have a few items that will help you...and your sales.

Head to our new Resources page on the Print.The Movement website, and you'll find a few things: 

Elegant, customizable brochures to showcase your print art. Simply add your photos and studio information. They also include a section to add your price list, so the brochure can do the selling for you! They're super easy to use, and a great way to help you be more profitable.

Outreach content with information that you can repurpose and use as needed. Adjust the message for your clients and use it in your studio. You can also use it as sample copy to customize and send to your local publications along with your photography.

PRINT.The Movement logos. Use them on any of your branding materials to let clients know that you are a print artist. These logos will help set you apart from the shoot-and-stash competition. 

All of these items are meant to spark a dialogue with your clients about why print is so important. Let's build a movement, and let's get people printing again!

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By Autumn Rice

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Recently, current PPA President Lori Craft made her first-ever trip to the Texas School of Professional Photography, and joined host Bill Ramsey on The PhotoTellers Podcast for an enlightening conversation. 

Aside from discussion about maintaining a 40-year portrait photography business in an ever-changing economic climate, Lori talks in depth about what PPA means to photographers, and why it's important for professional photographers to join the organization. Lori also discusses the importance of PPA advocacy issues associated with copyright laws and drone regulations.

Listen to Bill Ramsey's interview on The PhotoTellers Podcast here, and share it with your fellow photographers!

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Recently, two respected photography institutions around the country closed their doors permanently. Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, CA and the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turner Falls, MA issued notice that they were shutting down operations. The closing of these schools may be disheartening or even shocking, but it's not a statement on photography as an education or a career.

More and more people are looking for professional photographers, yet they are looking to fulfill different needs and in different ways. Whether it is family portraits, high school seniors, weddings, or even commercial, the need for photographers that know what they're doing remains. With the invention of the camera phone, more and more people are finding the thrill in taking photographs. Some could say it's making people appreciate the art even more. But how do they go from camera phone junkies to professional artists? They don't! And what makes professional photographers more valuable than ever is their education. PPA knows the value of being prepared, professionally and artistically, and the success so many photographers experience now is a marriage of the two: business and artistry.

Never before have photographs and photographic products sold in such great numbers and photographs retailed for such large sums of money. That's why PPA focuses so much on helping its members achieve excellence through integral knowledge of photography and honing in on business as much as on photographic skills. "I joined PPA because I was hungry to learn from the top pros. I wanted success and there was no other way to develop and achieve my goals than through education, marketing, sales, and overall business operations know-how," says Master of Photography and Certified Professional, Gregory Finney. Whether it's online training, educational videos, studio seminars, or hands-on classes, PPA strives to give its members the tools they need to be more savvy, be more prepared, and on the right track to be more profitable.

To learn more about PPA or how to take your photography business to the next level, visit PPA.com.

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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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