A Closer Look at PPA’s Big Day on Capitol Hill

5/02/2019

Yesterday was quite an exciting one in Washington D.C.! While a few other hearings may have eaten up all the press and attention, PPA and our visual arts groups were in town to celebrate the introduction of the CASE Act in both the House and Senate!

What's a day in the life of a PPA Advocacy team member like? Here's a play-by-play of a very busy Wednesday, from our new Government Affairs Manager, Victoria Person. 

 

11:30 am -1:00 pm 

  • A press conference with Representative Doug Collins and Representative Hakeem Jeffries introducing the CASE Act was supposed to take place at noon at the House Triangle. Several PPA members were in attendance as well as representation from the Copyright Alliance, and other creative organizations representing photographers, visual artists, musicians, and songwriters.
  • A few minutes before the press conference was supposed to start, we were informed that it needed to be canceled as it was occurring simultaneously with Attorney General William Barr’s testimony in front of Congress. It was a very busy morning on the Hill!
  • Although everyone was a little disappointed that there would not be a press conference, we did receive some great news! The CASE Act was officially introduced into the House of Representatives – HR 2426!
  • In order to update our respective organizations, the Copyright Alliance did an update on Facebook Live with representatives from other organizations
  • PPA also did a Facebook Live with our CEO David Trust, our lobbyist Cindi Merifield, and three of our members who came to DC from Maryland dressed in their "I'm a small creator and I support the CASE Act" t-shirts. 

2:00

  • We had a meeting with one of Representative Collins’ Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Sally Rose Larson, to touch base with her on what our next steps should be now that the bill has officially been introduced
    • In addition to PPA (and Cindi), there were representatives from the Copyright Alliance, ASMP, NPPA, and the Graphic Artists Guild. 
  • What is really exciting about the CASE Act, especially right now, is that it is a bipartisan issue that is bringing both sides of the aisle together, which is really encouraging given the current state of our politics
  • It is also very promising that the lead sponsors and cosponsors on this bill so far have done work with copyright-law issues, which sends a good message to others who have not yet signed on. Seeing Congresspeople with experience in this area support the bill would signal to those who are unfamiliar with copyright law and how it impacts creatives that the CASE Act must be important!
  • We also discussed the possibility of a briefing in a few months, potentially in conjunction with the Copyright Alliance. 

*Shortly before our meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, more good news! The bill was introduced into the Senate!

3:30

  • We (PPA, ASMP, NPPA, and Graphic Artists Guild) met with Frank Cullen, Thomas Sullivan, and Charles Danehey all from the US Chamber of Commerce. They discussed their interest in the CASE Act and also our next steps and how creatives often feel separated from advocacy efforts and the government. 
  • A common misconception about the Chamber of Commerce is that they only support large businesses, when in fact they provide a lot of support to small business owners; about 95-99% (depending on the source of information) of businesses in the US are considered small businesses!
  • Alicia Calzada from NPPA made a very interesting point in the meeting by saying that often, a lot of photographers do not see themselves as small businesses and because they fail to do that, it impacts the decisions they make.
  • They talked to us about strategy and mobilizing local chambers/chapters for grassroots efforts. 

 

Late evening

  • We have a Senate bill number, S. 1273!

 

Today was quite an eventful day and although everything did not go as planned, we did accomplish the main goal of getting the CASE Act introduced into the House AND the Senate! We also had some promising meetings of support and it looks like exciting things are ahead! Head over to PPA.com/SmallClaims and show your support now!