Last Thursday, July 20th, Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel, joined with the coalition of visual artists associations in meetings with staffers and representatives to show support for copyright small claims legislation. Association leaders and attorneys from Professional Photographers of America, (“PPA”) American Society of Media Photographers, (“ASMP”) Nation Press Photographers of America (“NPPA”), American Photographic Artists (APA) and Graphic Artist Guild (“GAG”) all were present to show unity and that Visual Artists spoke with a single voice. PPA’s lobbyist Cindi Merifield set up meetings.
After early morning prep, the team first met with Sally Rose Larsen working with Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA-09) who personally introduced himself to the group at the end of the meeting. Next was Chris Randle of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY-08) office that has been working on a Small Claims bill to be introduced shortly.
After lunch, there was a meeting with Curtis Philp of Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-TX-21) office. Last, was a marathon meeting with Joe Keeley, Chairman Goodlatte’s office that included Jason Everett and David Greengrass, working for Ranking Member Conyers. This last meeting was significant as it gave the coalition an opportunity to review key issues as Goodlatte has been behind Congress’s review of the copyright Act and copyright office modernization and is planning to introduce a Copyright bill covering several areas of interest including small claims this year.
The overall impression was that the meetings were very productive and important in keeping the interests of the visual artists community in the mind of the representatives.
We will keep you posted as legislation progresses.