Board Member Report from Greg Smith
LIST OF COMMITTEES, TASK FORCES, ETC, ON WHICH I SERVE:
- Advocacy Committee board liaison, particularly
- copyright issues
- business issues
- cooperation with other organizations
- Business Practices Committee: Former chairman, current board liason; we have had an initial meeting of a reconfigured committee, still seeking key goals.
- Listed as member of Programs Committee, although no meetings or other contact.
ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF OF NPPA DURING PAST YEAR
- Orphan Works and Copyright:
- Constant monitoring has shown some back and forth on issues but no substantive changes. However, with a new regime in the Copyright Office that supports several reforms, and a restructuring of the House Judiciary Committee, we expect new rules and legislative proposals. I’m scheduled to travel to New York with Mickey Osterreicher two days after our annual board meeting to confab with representatives of other visual creators’ organizations.
- Artists Bill of Rights:
- I have continued periodically to communicate with the folks in the UK who created and manage artistsbillofrights.org. They welcome NPPA’s endorsement of their standards for fair photography competitions and remain open to any adjustments we might need to them make in order to accommodate our specific requirements. The Programs Committee has been charged with reviewing, possibly standardizing, all terms and conditions for NPPA-sponsored contests. I hope to hear soon from Tony Overman, the committee chair, about where progress on this stands. One hold up had been the re-composition of our BOP committee. With that group now apparently firing on all cylinders, I suspect we’ll be able to move forward with displaying the Bill of Rights logo and helping to educate others about fair standards for contest terms.
- Members’ Questions:
- As in previous years, I have responded when the national office, social media and email lists have sent several members and other photojournalists to me with questions concerning costs, pricing theories, licensing and copyright. I’ve done my best to refer them to good ideas and resources.
- Student Outreach:
- I had one or two requests this year to present my basic business practices seminar to college students. I was able to speak at UNC just before last year’s January meeting. My schedule and a lack of funding precluded another college visit or two. But I remain eager to share when and where I can, even as I look for a way to teach more regularly. I’m currently helping to mentor a student from the Art Institute in Charleston, S.C.
- Continued Input Toward Effort to Create NPPA-endorsed Contracts:
- Alicia Wagner Calzada, as I understand it, has a draft set of terms and conditions for NPPA to recommend. I’ve long championed such a document and provided her with some feedback on an early draft this past fall. I look forward to our finalizing this and finding a creative way to integrate it with our new website.
- UPDIG (.org):
- I have long represented NPPA with the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines coordinating group. Last year, we did manage to approve a basic constitution aimed at reorganizing this effort, but we never managed to elect officers or move forward. Nevertheless, I was encouraged when we came together in November to endorse a new Metadata Manifesto produced by the IPTC and advertising groups. This document will also bear NPPA’s direct endorsement.
- While still useful and widely referenced, most UPDIG information is incorporated in ASMP’s dpBestflow. Our hope is to preserve UPDIG as a less-parochial source for best practices that support image workflow, exchange and archiving. It’s possible this will work for ASMP, too. We’ll see. It may be something we can discuss during the gathering in New York (see above) later this month.
I received travel funding for our January board meeting and for part of my trip to New York in October for PhotoPlus, where I met with a variety of organizational and photo industry leaders, as well as with NPPA volunteers from the New York area. NPPA will also pay my train fare from D.C. for the New York trip noted above.
As I’ve stated many times, I believe our most important roles remain establishing, communicating and defending standards – for visual reporting excellence, for ethics and for the economics of photojournalism. We need to effectively communicate these and the reasoning behind them to our members, our industry and to the public we serve.
I look forward to working with the board, staff, officers and other NPPA volunteers to continue in this work, especially as we bring our new public website online.
Gregory W. Smith