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American Society of Media Photographers

ASMP, American Society of Media Photographers
150 North Second Street
Philadelphia
PA 19106-1912
USA
Phone
+1 215 451 2767
Fax
+1 215 451 0880
Website
http://www.asmp.org
Chief Executive Title
Executive Director
Thomas Kennedy
Chief Executive Phone
+1 215 451 2767
Chief Executive Email
Purpose
To protect and promote the interests of professional photographers whose works are for publication, through information, education, and advocacy.
Year operations began
1944
Members
7000 in 39 chapters around the United States and in over 30 other countries.
New Developments
Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office Karyn Temple testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s U.S. Copyright Office oversight hearing on June 26, 2019, as well as before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property for its U.S. Copyright Office oversight hearing on July 30, 2019. She focused significantly on future plans for U.S. Copyright Office modernization as well articulating support for the Copyright Alternatives in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (CASE Act). This legislation was introduced on May 1, 2019 in both the House (HR 2426) and Senate (S. 1273). If enacted, this legislation would create a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office to adjudicate “small” copyright claims valued at $15,000 or less (with a maximum of $30,000 per individual action). This would enable photographers and other visual creators to pursue claims without having to go to federal court and experience the burden of costly, time-consuming processes involved in bringing federal court suits. The bill significantly mirrors recommendations made to Congress by the U.S. Copyright Office in a 2013 report, expressing the need for this remedy to vindicate the intellectual property rights of individual creators.

The Senate version of the bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a voice vote on July 18, 2019, and the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on their version of the bill in September after returning from the August recess.

ASMP filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Estate vs. Wall Street case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2019 that held that a plaintiff must wait until the copyright application process has been completed and a certificate issued before an infringement suit be brought in federal court. ASMP argued that plaintiffs should be able to bring a suit once an application had been filed rather than waiting for a final determination and issuance of a certificate. Given the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, there has been clear concern expressed by the House and Senate regarding registration pendency times, and how those might be affecting claimants. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have requested more information from the U.S. Copyright Office about their plans to reduce pendency times, and what other options might be available in the future to copyright holders regarding improvements in the registration process.
The U.S. Copyright Office has responded to those queries, indicating it has taken steps to reduce registration times and has plans to continue to do so as part of overall modernization efforts in the future.

ASMP filed an amicus brief in the Brammer vs. Violent Hues case in which the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Eastern District of Virginia’s decision which had found that the unauthorized use of a photograph was made “in good faith” since the defendant saw “no indication” that the photograph was copyrighted and that this therefore favored a finding of fair use. We were heartened when the Fourth Circuit rejected the “fair use” defense and remanded the case in April for further proceedings.

ASMP has also filed an amicus brief in the case of Allen v. Cooper in which the U.S. Supreme Court has granted the plaintiff’s petition for certiorari. In this case the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the officials of the state of North Carolina had sovereign immunity from copyright infringement claims. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the arguments in this case on Nov. 5, 2019.
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Title
Managing Director and General Counsel
Phone
+1 215 451 2767
Name
Victor Perlman