Sept. 2, 2020
The NPPA submitted comments today to the U.S. Copyright Office asking it to consider the First Amendment impact on photographers who experience copyright infringement by state entities. Currently photographers cannot sue state entities for copyright infringement because in March of this year the U.S. Supreme Court held sovereign immunity bars such claims.
Congress passed a law in the early 1990’s abrogating state sovereign immunity in copyright cases but the Supreme Court overturned that law in March in Allen v. Cooper. Now, Congress is going back to the drawing board and as a part of that effort the U.S. Copyright Office is providing research and information. NPPA’s comments emphasize the application of the First Amendment when governments use photographs without permission, the intentional nature of most infringement, and our obligations under international treaties.