Photographers share copyright infringement woes with lawmakers

12.8.2016 News

Does current copyright legislation always protect small creators like you? No. That’s why PPA is working so hard to have the professional photographer’s voice heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill.Yesterday PPA CEO David Trust moderated a Creative Rights Caucus lunch-and-learn event, “The Art of Photography: Behind the Lens,” which gave panelists and renowned professional photographers Anne Geddes, Michael Grecco, and Denis Reggie the opportunity to tell lawmakers their stories—how... Continue Reading >

Why small claims is essential for copyright reform

November 2016 issue News

When Krish Mandal shared one of his favorite photos online with other PPA members, he was hoping for praise, and praise he received. But he also learned a bitter truth: Some commenters noted they’d seen the image before … in the marketing materials from the lab that had printed it for Mandal. There was a heated exchange of emails and letters between Mandal and the lab owner, who initially declared that Mandal should be flattered his image was selected for the marketing package. Mandal... Continue Reading >

Ask the experts: holiday card dilemma

9.23.2016 Business

Q. A photographer friend of mine told me that last year two of his clients used his images to make their own family Christmas cards. They didn’t get a quote from him for printing cards and didn’t even ask his permission to use the photos. How can I prevent my clients from doing the same thing?A. While it’s difficult (if not impossible) to protect yourself completely, here are three ways you can reduce the chances of that happening to you:1. Contract language: One feasible copyright... Continue Reading >

Copyright law that works for you

August 2016 issue News

Changes will protect photographers© PPAPPA's Lindsey Forson and David Trust are frequent visitors to Capitol Hill as the orgnization advocates for more effective copyright protection for photogrpahers;.After years working at the leading edge of copyright reform, PPA sees that U.S. copyright law is on the verge of change for the better. Legislation is being put forth in Washington, D.C., that will protect working photographers like never before. PPA is represented on Capitol Hill as it... Continue Reading >

Breakthrough in copyright reform

August 2016 issue News

Small claims process gains tractionIn June, PPA received news that U.S. lawmakers were finally drafting copyright legislation to design a small claims process for battling infringement—something the association has been pushing on Capitol Hill for a decade.©PPACurrently, the only way to punish an infringer is to take them to federal court. Federal court copyright cases are extremely expensive—$345,000 on average—and an attorney generally isn’t interested in taking such a case... Continue Reading >

Want to stick it to copyright infringers? Here’s how

6.10.2016 Business

What? You thought copyright law protects you?Not so much. Copyright law is great for the big creators—the motion pictures companies, rock stars—but it does precious little for high-volume creators like professional photographers, for whom each piece of work has a relatively low monetary value. Here’s why: In order to battle an infringer, you have to take your case to federal court. Federal court is expensive—like $345,000 expensive for the average copyright case cost. In fact, you'd... Continue Reading >

Redressing copyright wrongs

May 2016 issue Business

PPA continues to fight for copyright reform, this time via a white paper that outlines a plan for a small claims process to redress infringements.Under current copyright law, it’s nearly impossible for the average photographer to go after an infringer since the battle must take place in federal court and damages must exceed $30,000. On average, infringements for professional photographers are valued at about $3,000. Although that’s a meaningful sum to many working photographers, it... Continue Reading >

Ask the experts: Image usage rights

May 2016 issue Business

Q. If I attend a motorsport event and make a great image of a driver, I have the copyright to that image. But those cars are all licensed/registered, right? So can I sell the image, or am I required to get a release from the driver or NASCAR? The same question would probably apply to professional sports players and teams, too. Any advice?A. Yes, with very few exceptions, you’re the copyright owner of the images you create. However, although owning copyright gives you the right to control... Continue Reading >

10 tips: Protect your copyright

April 2016 issue Business

Know the factsCopyright infringement can cost your studio thousands of dollars. And fighting infringers is no cinch. Unless you’re expecting to reap at least $30,000 in damages, most attorneys won’t take on the case, since it’s decided in federal court. This is one reason PPA continues its fight for a small claims process that would give photographers and others a way to recoup damages without, literally, making a federal case out of it.The best thing you can do to guard to your work... Continue Reading >

Reinventing copyright

January 2016 issue Business

PPA educates lawmakersIn November, PPA led a coalition of visual artist organizations to host a copyright briefing for lawmakers in Washington, D.C. “Visual Artists in America: the Untold Story of Copyright” was presented to the Creative Rights Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to protecting the rights of content creators. More than 100 policymakers and congressional staffers attended.The briefing was conducted by a panel of working visual artists—a portrait photographer, a wedding... Continue Reading >