Online Article Page


PPA Supports Copyright Alliance's Amicus Brief on Supreme Court Appeal

ATLANTA--As a defender of photographic copyrights, PPA supported the Copyright Alliance's first-ever amicus curiae brief (filed November 5), urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision threatening to upend the market for creative works and undermine years of legal precedent.

The brief asks the Court to hear an appeal of the Second Circuit decision in the Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings, Inc. case. That case began when a number of content creators filed a suit against Cablevision Systems Corporation, which had developed an automated program allowing the duplication of copyrighted television programs. The automated program is then able to transmit those copies, upon demand, to subscribers.

Sounds nice, from a consumer standpoint. But these copies were being created and performed without licensing the content from the copyright owners.

A lower court had decided in the creator's favor, determining the Cablevision recording and delivery process to be in violation of copyright law. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the initial ruling this summer.

"Simply put, the lower court's decision gives Cablevision and other infringers a 'get out of jail free card' because they will no longer have to take responsibility for the actual infringement," said David Trust, CEO of Professional Photographers of America and a Copyright Alliance Board Member. "Digital photographs already fall prey to infringement because so many consumers misunderstand U.S. copyright law. If the Second Circuit's decision is allowed to stand, retailers' liability for an infringement will be greatly reduced since any reproduction made would be initiated by the consumer."

The Supreme Court has until June 2009 to decide if they will take up the appeal.

Read the full story at the Copyright Alliance blog (

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), a worldwide, nonprofit association, exists to assist its 22,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic, and fraternal goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history. For more information, visit