To further strengthen the importance of copyright protections, APA National President Theresa Raffetto, APA National CEO Stephen Best, and APA National VP and Advocacy Chairman Micheal Grecco attended important advocacy meetings in Washington DC July 28th and July 29th. Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) from the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, addressed the Copyright Alliance membership meeting the first day. Ms. Espinel agreed that infringement of all IP, including visual art, is a major concern of the Obama administration. All branches of the government must work together to ensure copyright protections are strong and enforced to combat the problems facing counterfeiting and piracy of IP around the world. “Hearing her speak was a perfect follow-up to the filing submitted by APA to the IPEC,” says President Raffetto.

Earlier on July 28th, APA held a meeting with the U.S. Copyright Office that included General Council David Carson and the Chief of Visual Arts and Recordation Division John Ashley, along with other U.S. Copyright Office staff. The topic of orphan works was a critical discussion point and one that APA insists needs to be clarified and written to reflect true definitions of what is an orphan work when a bill is reintroduced. APA believes the previous bills on orphan work back in 2008 were terribly weak in defining orphan works and would have allowed a “rights grab” of images. With the near completion of the PLUS Registry, APA expressed its belief that the PLUS Registry should be the “official” registry that would allow a search before declaring an image an orphan work.

On Thursday, July 29, the APA representatives met with counsel from both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Included in those meetings were Counsel to Representative Lamar Smith, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Counsel to Senator Diane Feinstein, Senate Judiciary Committee, and Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

APA was honored and pleased to meet with so many influential people on this important trip. Announcing that the rights of our members, and other photographers and visual artisits, need to be enforced and strengthened was the overall theme of the meetings. As always, APA continues to be a strong ADVOCATE for your rights.

Stephen Best, APA National CEO

One Common Voice
APA is committed to preserving and enhancing the profession. Over the years, APA has been a strong advocate on behalf of our membership and the entire photographic community. We work towards resolving issues and problems in our industry. APA has worked with local and state governments on issues such as taxes and employment concerns. Efforts have also been made to support changes in Copyright statutes and regulations. In the area of contracts and purchase orders, APA has worked to advance fair and equitable terms. Our efforts have benefited the entire photographic community.

Our members are our strength
APA exists to serve our membership. But APA is also well served by its members. When issues arise, it is our dedicated members who step forward to lead the industry. In an effort to strengthen our voice, APA has a discussion list named APAnet to exchange information and solutions to problems. We invite all photographers in the advertising photography community (non-members are also welcome) to join us. Numbers Count!

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