Intellectual Property


NANPA is a staunch advocate for photographers’ ownership of their rights to the images that they create.


NANPA’s Advocacy Committee works to represent and protect the rights of nature photographers on a wide range of copyright and intellectual property issues.  NANPA is also part of a group of visual artist associations (the “Associations”) that work together to improve laws to protect the rights of photographers and other visual artists on a wide range of intellectual property and copyright issues. The Associations include: American Photographic Artists (APA), the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

Copyright Small Claims Tribunal

The Associations recently released to Congress a position paper relating to the creation of a  small claims tribunal within (and with the blessing of) the Copyright Office. This tribunal, if created, would greatly enhance the ability of individual photographers to protect and enforce their copyright claims through a much simplified and less expensive process.  The Associations have released a joint Press Release and White Paper discussing these proposals. NANPA will continue to advocate on behalf of nature photographers as this effort moves forward.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act

NANPA is also working with the Associations group to advise the Copyright Office on how to improve several copyright provisions in the law, including Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Section 512, the “Notice and Take Down” provisions.  We have also developed sample “Take Down” notice for members to use if their images have been copied without permission.  Login to the member’s area if you need one of those documents to file a DMCA complaint.

Google Books and Fair Use

NANPA was a plaintiff in the class action case that a group of photographers, visual artists and affiliated associations filed against Google arising out of the Google Books project. NANPA is participating in submitting a position paper to a Congressional Subcommittee regarding the recent judicial expansion of the “fair use” exception to copyright infringement; NANPA believes that his expansion is not warranted by either the language or the spirit of the Copyright Act.

Image Management

NANPA supports efforts of the PLUS Coalition facilitate the communication and management of image rights.


NANPA has conducts frequent programs to teach photographers and others about the importance of copyright registration and the nuts and bolts of registration, along with good image management practices.