WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 22, 2019 — The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for its action today passing the CASE Act, H.R. 2426, legislation that would create a copyright small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office. We are particularly grateful to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) who introduced the bill back in May, worked diligently with authors groups including NPPA to craft a bill that would serve the needs of individual creators, and have guided the bill through the House. As of Tuesday morning, the bipartisan bill had 151 representatives listed as co-sponsors. NPPA is grateful for all co-sponsors and those who voted favorably on the bill.
The bill was introduced on the House floor by Rep. Jeffries, who acknowledged NPPA’s support of the bill on the floor. It passed on a vote of 410 to 6. The bill is part of a ten-year effort by Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office, and trade organizations to make it easier to adjudicate copyright claims where the damages are below $30,000. The Senate companion bill of the CASE Act, S. 1273, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. With the passage of H.R. 2426 in the House, the next step for the bill is passage by the full Senate, then the bill will need to be signed into law by the president.
NPPA President Michael P. King explained, “the manner in which infringement persists without a workable remedy is financially devastating for photographers, their clients and their employers. It is our hope that the balanced nature of the CASE Act provides a real solution for photographers and other authors.”
NPPA General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher, added, “Infringement takes a direct economic toll on these small business owners, and takes time, energy and money away from their work as journalists. We hope that the CASE Act changes that equation and enables both sides to have a reasonable and affordable venue to resolve these misappropriations.”
NPPA members’ work helps Americans — and others — better understand the world in which we live. As news organizations have trimmed staff, more and more of our members are now working as independent contractors, licensing their images and footage for editorial use. Visual journalists work on extremely tight deadlines covering events of great national and international importance, including political campaigns, wars, breaking news, sports and entertainment. Those images are widely infringed as a matter of course. Within seconds of its creation, an image may be downloaded and re-posted, becoming “viral” in short order.
Deputy General Counsel Alicia Calzada said, “as a practical solution for the problem of policing copyright infringement, the CASE Act has the potential to benefit thousands of photojournalists and make our industry – which is essential to our democracy – more equitable.”
Since its founding in 1946, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has been the Voice of Visual Journalists.
NPPA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit professional organization dedicated to the advancement of visual journalism, its creation, editing and distribution in all news media. Our Code of Ethics encourages visual journalists to reflect the highest standards of quality and ethics in their professional performance, in their business practices and in their comportment.
NPPA vigorously advocates for and protects the Constitutional rights of journalists as well as freedom of the press and speech in all its forms, especially as it relates to visual journalism. Its members include still and television photographers, editors, students, and representatives of businesses serving the visual journalism community.
For more information contact Mickey H. Osterreicher at
716.983.7800 or via email [email protected]
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