Calling all artists: photgoraphers, painters, musicians, etc. Sign up now, PPA needs thousands of signatures, signing up willNOT put you on a random email list, they will not share your inforamtion. Thy will use it only for this campaign, to ask congress to allow copyright violations to go to skall claims court (currently they are only allowed in Federal court, which means $50,000 min). Please share this with all of your creative friends and colleagues!
Please sign up to be part of this historic grassroots advocacy effort! Together, we can create a positive change for copyright owners across America. By signing up, you will receive news on the latest from Capitol Hill and requests for action when it is the best time to contact your congressmen.
American creators are among our nation's greatest economic contributors. The harsh reality of copyright law in America, however, is that our nation's one-size-fits-all system leaves out most visual artists. The system currently works for low-volume, high-value creators – motion picture creators, recording artists, etc., but it is largely ineffective for small creative businesses like professional photographers.
"A small claims process for copyright enforcement would be the single most important copyright improvement for photographers."
Because most common infringements are valued at a few thousand dollars or less, seeking remedies in Federal Court is not a viable option. Consequently, many creators have copyright protection on paper, but no viable option for enforcing those rights.
A small claims option would correct this decade-long inequity in the law, and would extend protection under the law to hundreds of thousands of small-business creators. Visual artists are entitled to an effective means of enforcing their intellectual property rights. The time has come to correct this injustice.
PPA proposed the creation of a copyright small claims tribunal under the United States Copyright Office, and supports many of the conclusions and recommendation of the Copyright Office's 2013 report on that subject. In order to be effective, this process must be simplified, allowing remote and electronic submissions. There are some constitutional issues at stake, creating the need for this process to be voluntary, but we urge lawmakers to build incentives into small claims legislation to encourage defendants to participate in the process. Check PPA's proposal for copyright small claims here.
The Case for Copyright Small Claims
PPA has reached a critical point in our effort to advocate for the creation of a copyright small claims process. It has been ten years since PPA CEO, David Trust, introduced this idea during a congressional hearing. And during the past ten years, PPA has spread the word on Capitol Hill of just how important this issue is for professional photographers!
Recently, we've received news that a piece of legislation creating a copyright small claims process will be introduced in the House of Representatives. And we have been working very closely with the drafters of this bill. This is very exciting news and a huge step toward accomplishing our top legislative goal! But we still have a very long way to go, and we have reached the point where we need your help! We need 100 percent participation from the professional photographic community to get this legislation passed. Every voice counts! At the right times, PPA will call on you to contact your congressmen.
Keep in mind that a bill must go through a lengthy legislative process before becoming law. If you need a refresher on the legislative process, check out this favorite from Schoolhouse Rock! There are some key steps that we will need your help with:
Soliciting co-sponsors for the bill
Asking your representative to vote yes!
Asking your senators to vote yes!
Depending on how this process unfolds, there may be an additional step or two where we ask you to speak up. But don't worry – PPA has created a process to make your role as simple as possible. Be sure to sign up for theGrassroots Action Team (step 3) to receive up-to-date news and notifications. Under step 4, we will connect you directly with the right member(s) of Congress to contact at the right time. We will even provide you with talking points and sample language, so that you can quickly send an email or make a phone call. Though this will be quick and easy, you will be helping to make a historic change which will positively affect the livelihood of professional photographers for generations to come!
This is our chance! Don't miss out on this opportunity! Get involved, and spread the word! It is your job to make sure every professional photographer and other small-business creator (graphic designers, authors, illustrators, etc.) you know is aware of this effort! Please urge all of them to get involved!