Do you register your photos with the US. Copyright Office? Most photographers don’t, which is a shame, because if your work is ever used without your permission, your chances of compensation are reduced—or unlikely—for unregistered work. One of the main reasons photographers and artists don’t register their images is because it’s a lot of work and takes a lot of time.
NANPA has been involved with a visual artists’ coalition for approximately 20 years, and two of their ongoing goals have been streamlining the copyright registration process and in recent years, developing a process for small claims filing for copyright violations.
Because of our participation in this coalition, NANPA is able to add our voice to a much larger group that can make a bigger difference for all photographers. Other organizations in the alliance are American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
In the early years, Francine Butler represented NANPA at teleconference meetings and attended annual meetings with the group in New York. Former NANPA President, Richard Halperin, worked with the coalition from 2005 until his passing in 2015. Since then, Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald have continued to represent NANPA. Jane (and Sean when he’s not traveling) participate in weekly calls that typically last 2 hours; Jane attends in-person meetings, and she and Sean met with the group on Capitol Hill last year. This behind-the-scenes work is all-volunteer, and NANPA appreciates Jane’s and Sean’s time and expertise in representing nature photographers at this table.
This month, a new bipartisan House bill introduced the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017 (CASE Act.) Thanks to the dedication of Richard and Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald, NANPA played a role in bringing this important bill to this level.
NANPA will continue to advocate for photographers’ rights, including simplifying the copyright registration process. So when asked if you register your images, you’ll say, “Yes, I have.”
NANPA Executive Director