CASE Act Passes!

Thanks to everyone who made their voices heard this week by contacting their Members of Congress and urging them to vote for the C.A.S.E. Act, H.R. 2426.  The good news is that the bill passed the House by a vote of 410 to 6, with 151 co-sponsors.  The not-so-good news is that we’re not done yet. While a similar bill, S. 1723 has passed committee, it still has to pass the full Senate, where a vote is not yet on the schedule.

The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019, in a nutshell, establishes a copyright small claims court.  Currently, content creators, like photographers, must file copyright violation claims in U.S. District Court, where high fees can exceed damages and make it difficult for small businesses to seek copyright enforcement. 

NANPA has played an active role in the Copyright Alliance, a coalition of creatives advocating for creators’ rights and the CASE Act. For all the details on the Act, how it would work and the issues it addresses, see NANPA’s CASE Act: Copyright Small Claims page.

Thanks for your advocacy to protect photographers’ rights and keep an eye out for information about how you can help get the CASE Act through the Senate.

How Big a Problem Is Copyright Infringement?

A German company looks at the problem of image theft and copyright violation in a new report.

A German company looks at the problem of image theft and copyright violation in a new report.

It comes as no surprise to photographers that large numbers of images are “stolen” each day on the Internet.  Photos are copied and pasted by ordinary folks who don’t know any better.  And images are taken and used by people and businesses that know or ought to know that they are violating someone’s copyright.  But just how big a problem is this?

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Copyright Controversy

Perhaps you’ve heard about the controversy swirling around The Vessel, a massive “sculpture” in the heart of Hudson Yards, a huge real estate development in Manhattan? It’s been described as an M. C. Escher drawing come to life and instantly became a favorite Instagram background for visitors to New York.  You can learn more about it in the video above.

When you snag a ticket for admission to The Vessel, as in so many things in life these days, you agree to various terms and conditions. Nobody reads them, right? Well, someone did and found that, by buying a ticket, you were agreeing to terms that essentially gave ownership of your photo to the real estate development. The original terms stated that you were giving the company “the irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, display, reproduce, perform, modify, transmit, publish and distribute such photographs, audio recordings or video footage for any purpose whatsoever in any and all media (in either case, now known or developed later).”

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Your Support is Needed

Why NANPA is supporting a copyright small claims tribunal and why you should too

by Jane Halperin, NANPA Advocacy Committee

Let’s face it, the current U.S. copyright system does not work for the majority of photographers who  operate as individuals or small business owners for a variety of reasons, including the complexity of registration. But perhaps the most significant reason is due to the inability of photographers whose work product is not low volume/ high value to enforce their ownership rights against infringers.

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From the Executive Director- Susan Day

Susan Day- NANPA Executive Director

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. Continue reading

Viral Images and Photographer Licensing

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, NANPA Past President

A  Manatee Image Goes Viral

An interesting article in PetaPixel raises a whole host of troublesome issues for the modern photographer. https://petapixel.com/2017/09/13/shot-hurricane-irma-photo-went-viral-wasnt-paid-dime/ Michael Sechler, a self-professed “photography enthusiast”, shot a very fine image of a manatee beached out of the water by the tidal surge from Hurricane Irma.

He posted it to Facebook, the image went viral, and then the real fun started. Fox News called. The Associated Press called. Everyone wanted to use the image in news stories, but they all wanted it for free.

Color me shocked. Continue reading

Survey on Next Register of Copyrights

By Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald

Columns and U.S. Flag at U.S. Supreme Court, Washington D.C. USA.

Columns and U.S. Flag, Washington D.C. USA.

As most of you already know, the United States Copyright Office, which is a part of the Library of Congress, is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the U. S. and, as a service unit of the Library of Congress, provides copyright policy advice to Congress. Continue reading

Possible Copyright Registration Changes – Take a Quick Survey, Please!

By Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald

We have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good. As part of the Creative Rights Caucus, NANPA is working with fellow visual arts groups to modernize and streamline the copyright registration process and the Copyright Office has been very receptive to doing the same, within the constraints of their current legal mandates, system constraints and budget. Continue reading

NANPA Goes to Washington: Copyright Small Claims Update

By Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald

NANPA is part of, a group of visual arts associations that have been working for years to modernize the copyright system for photographers and develop a small claims process that makes it easier and affordable to enforce copyright infringements. Jane Halperin, Chair of the NANPA Advocacy  Committee, and Sean Fitzgerald attend weekly teleconference meetings with the Visual Association members and their legal counsel to discuss and work on plans to push these plans forward. Last month, we all met in Washington DC to meet with various Congresspersons, their staff, and others on Capitol Hill.

Creative Rights Caucus presentation to Congress on copyright for small creators, with slide showing NANPA logo, Washington D.C. USA.

Creative Rights Caucus presentation to Congress on copyright for small creators, with slide showing NANPA logo, Washington D.C. USA.

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