The Visual Artists Associations Meet With Lawmakers, July 2017
APA National Executive Director, Juliette Wolf-Robin, joined the coalition of visual artists associations in DC on July 20th, 2017 for meetings with staffers and representatives to show support for copyright small claims legislation.
Association leaders and attorneys from American Photographic Artists(APA), Professional Photographers of America (PPA,) American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), and Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), all were present to speak with one voice and show unity.
Last year the Copyright Office sent out several Notice of Inquiries on the challenges facing copyright owners. The visual associations responded to these inquiries, met with lawmakers, attended public hearings, and made recommendations. The purpose for our recent meetings was to review key language around the proposed Copyright bill in order to better protect copyright owners. We are also pushing for a process that would simplify the registration of copyright. Even though you do not need to register your work to have copyright protection, it is required in order sue for copyright infringement and be eligible for statutory damages. (Reminder to register your work https://www.copyright.gov/)
In December, Chairman Goodlatte and Representative Conyers released a joint statement on Reform of the US Copyright Office with support for a copyright small claims tribunal and IT upgrades. https://judiciary.house.gov/press-release/goodlatte-conyers-release-first-policy-proposal-copyright-review/
It is our hope that the Copyright Office will receive proper funding in order to improve their online registration system, make significant changes to simplify the copyright registration requirements, and put in place better protections for copyright owners.