Photographers are being caught in the middle of a perfect storm of technology, terrorist fears, and a World Wide Web mentality of entitlement to images. At the leading edge of this storm are the rising number of incidents of photographers being interfered with or arrested due to a climate of fear and suspicion of anyone taking pictures or recording events in public. This issue has only been exacerbated by the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras and the ability of everyone to post photos and recordings on the Internet.
In the ongoing copyright infringement case by photographer Patrick Cariou against “appropriation artist” Richard Prince, both sides have filed briefs respectively supporting and opposing the August 21, 2013 petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Cariou, appealing the April 2013, ruling in the case by a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That decision reversed and vacated a 2011 lower district court ruling involving the application of the fair use doctrine to artistic works. Cariou originally published his photographs in 2000 in a book entitled Yes, Rasta, while Prince’s work was exhibited in 2008 as Canal Zone collages.
Ever since 9/11 there’s been a heightened awareness of taking pictures or recording events in public. This issue is exacerbated by the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras and the ability of everyone to post photos and recordings to the Internet, where they may be viewed, shared and, in many cases, go viral with thousands of views.
On the eve of closing its offices due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Copyright Office released its long awaited Report on Copyright Small Claims. The report adopts many of the positions advocated by the NPPA, including a tribunal, called the Copyright Claims Board, which would hear all types of copyright infringement cases and permit all defenses, including “fair use”. The report recommended a ceiling for claims at $30,000, which is the current upper limit of statutory damages for non-willful infringement.
The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SDX) is providing a $12,500 grant that will enable the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to collaborate with the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) on a national training program for police and journalists.
The National Press Photographers Association sponsored by the The Photo Committee of the National Press Club in support of Free Speech Week proudly presents The Right to Photograph & Record in Public.
The Overseas Press Club of Cambodia (OPCC) strongly condemns the attacks on Cambodian and foreign journalists covering the aftermath of Cambodia’s disputed election.
The National Press Photographers Association is a participating partner in a new survey of media credentialing practices.
Earlier this summer the California legislature proposed a new “anti-paparazzi” bill, which NPPA opposes. More recently, Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner testified before the California State Assembly, voicing their support for the bill that carries with it serious First Amendment implications. The measure would make it illegal to photograph a child because of their parent’s job (i.e, acting) without the parent’s permission, and expands the scope of existing California harassment law while increasing the penalty for a violation.
Photographers need to know their rights when they are confronted by police or private security while photographing news, or a documentary, or while on a commercial assignment. So to help educate our profession, NPPA's general counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher and ASMP NorCal chapter chair Nicolo Sertorio will host a discussion on legal insights into photographers' rights on August 8, 2013, in San Francisco.