Benefits / Resources / Articles
June 16, 2016

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Launches Grassroots Action Team for Copyright Protection

National Association mobilizing thousands of visual artists to support first-ever copyright small claims legislation

ATLANTA, GA (June 10, 2016) -  As the movement to pass legislation creating a small claims process for copyright holders heats up on Capitol Hill, it is becoming apparent that getting the legislation passed will require an unprecedented grassroots effort. This is why Professional Photographers of America is calling all professional photographers and visual artists to join the Copyright Small Claims Grassroots Action Team to advocate for a historic piece of copyright legislation. For more than ten years, PPA has been working on Capitol Hill, explaining the critical need for a small claims enforcement option for small-business copyright owners. With a critical point reached in the effort, PPA has formed a Grassroots Action Team to increase participation.

Why is a copyright small claims option so crucial for photographers and visual artists? The cost and burden of seeking damages in the only existing venue for copyright infringement claims—Federal district courts—is prohibitive and leaves visual 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.

As David Trust, PPA's CEO, explains, "The creation of a small claims process would transform the copyright landscape for every professional photographer across America. The success of this legislation hinges on the number of voices heard on Capitol Hill. We need everyone – 100% of the professional photographic community – to join the grassroots action team, speak up, and help make history!"

PPA expects one or more copyright small claims bills to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives within weeks, if not days. While the bill must go through a lengthy legislative process before becoming law, there are some upcoming key steps PPA has identified to work toward:

-Mobilizing a Grassroots Action Team
-Soliciting co-sponsors for the bill
-Telling Congress to vote 'Yes' on the bill

PPA has created a process to make participation as simple as possible. Interested supporters can sign up to join PPA's Grassroots Action Team at and receive up-to-date news and notifications. PPA will provide talking points and sample language, so individuals can quickly send emails or make phone calls to the right legislators at the right time. Trust explains, "The Grassroots Action Team will, once it's all done, have helped to make a historic change, positively impacting the livelihood of professional photographers for generations to come."

For complete details on the Grassroots Action Plan for copyright small claims, visit

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit 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 success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at