Another important role of the Advocacy Committee is responding to proposed laws that impact photographers and lobbying accordingly.
NPPA submits comments in response to a request from the U.S Office of Management and Budget through the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) for written recommendations regarding intellectual property violations and enforcement NPPA – IPEC Comment 03-23-10 Final
NPPA visits Capital Hill on a regular basis and is involved in federal legislative advocacy efforts with the support of our pro-bono counsel at the prestigious firm of Covington & Burling. Recent legislative lobbying issues have included:
- Support for a Federal Shield Law;
- Efforts to limit the negative impact of proposed Orphan Works legislation;
- Military Embed Policies;
- Dover Photo Ban;
- White house access;
- Photography rules in National Parks.
- Connecticut – A law was proposed in Connecticut that would have given a cause of action to anyone who was stopped from taking pictures in public by police. We reached out to the senator who proposed the bill and offered our support and offered testimony, although the hearing had already passed by the time we learned of it. The law passed Senate but the House let it die. http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=1206&which_year=2011&SUBMIT1.x=0&SUBMIT1.y=0
- Iowa- A law that would ban photography of farms without the consent of the property owner bill passed the House, committee in other chamber, and is still being considered. The Iowa legislative session ended without enacting the bill. http://blogs.nppa.org/advocacy/2011/03/18/iowa/
- Florida- A similar bill was proposed in Florida. We reached out to the legislators involved and pointed out the conflict regarding photography from a public street. They amended bill, as explained here: http://healthfreedoms.org/2011/03/28/your-guide-to-the-illegal-farm-photos-bill/. We still opposed this bill because it will impose serious burdens on journalists, even if they are on property with permission. The bill was “Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration” and the legislative session is over: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/1246/
- Texas- A lawsuit that targets someone for exercising their First Amendment rights is called a “SLAPP suit.” NPPA Attorney Alicia Wagner Calzada was involved in extensive lobbying efforts to get a strong “Anti-SLAPP” bill passed in Texas. Almost 30 U.S. juridictions now have an anti-SLAPP law, with Texas now having one of the strongest (there is also new anti-SLAPP for DC). The committee is considering getting involved in an effort for a federal Anti-SLAPP law. For more information go to http://www.slappedintexas.com.