Arkansas Professional Photographers Association

Update on Arkansas publicity rights bill

May 17, 2016 10:04 AM | Rebecca Hardgrave (Administrator)

Last year, a bill was brought to the Arkansas Legislature that had an effect on professional photographers in Arkansas. We have been keeping a watch on the reintroduction of this bill and this morning, we became aware that a new bill is scheduled to come up in the special session soon.

APPA Regional Director Rebecca Peterman, APPA member and PPA Board Member Stephen  Thetford, and APPA past president Joel Schmidt has been in contact with Professional Photographers of America, who has been working on the wording of the bill with the writers of the bill and received this news this morning from Lindsey Forson.

  • Good morning, all – I am writing regarding the Arkansas publicity rights bill which we expect to be introduced in committee this Thursday. I have attached the current language of the bill in case any of you do not have it. I want to offer you our (PPA’s Government Affairs team) thoughts on this version of the bill. As all of you are aware, PPA very strongly opposed the original version of this legislation which was vetoed by the governor during last year’s legislative session. After that, we were told by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Woods, and the primary writer of the legislation, Meredith Lowry, that they plan to reintroduce the bill whenever possible. Ms. Lowry has now informed us that the plan is to do so during the current special session. Since Senator Woods and Ms. Lowry, were aware of the fact that the photographic industry was instrumental in the bill’s defeat, they reached out to us in an effort to address our concerns. I have been in communication with Ms. Lowry during the past year and have requested that specific language be inserted into the bill to create exemptions for professional photographers. As a result of this (and through suggestions provided by other stakeholders), the following language is now included. I’ve highlighted the areas of particular relevance: Exempt use — Commercial use. (a)(1) It is not a violation of this subchapter if the name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness of an individual is used: (A) In connection with a news, public affairs, or sports broadcast, including the promotion of and advertising for a sports broadcast, an account of public interest, or a political campaign; (B) In: (i) A play, book, magazine, newspaper, musical composition, visual work, work of art, audiovisual work, radio or television program if it is fictional or nonfictional entertainment, or a dramatic, literary, or musical work; (ii) A work of political, public interest, or newsworthy value including a comment, criticism, parody, satire, or a transformative creation of a work of authorship; or (iii) An advertisement or commercial announcement or any of the works described in subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section or this subdivision (a)(1)(B); (C) In a photograph or likeness where the individual appears as a member of the public, an attendee of a photographed event, or in a public place, and the individual is not named; (D) By an institution of higher education or by a nonprofit organization, club, or supporting foundation that is authorized by the institution of higher education and established solely to advance the purposes of the institution of higher education if: (i) The use is for educational purposes or to promote the institution of higher education and its educational, athletic, or other institutional of higher education objectives; and (ii) The individual is or was affiliated with the institution, including without limitation as a: (a) Student or member of the faculty or staff; (b) Donor or campus visitor; or (c) Contractor, subcontractor, or employee; (E) By any person practicing the profession of photography or his or her representative: (i) To exhibit and display photographs in a personal portfolio, through physical media or digital media, unless the exhibit and display are continued by the person practicing the profession of photography after written notice objecting to the exhibit and display has been given by the individual or by his or her representative; (ii) To distribute photographs for license and sale or other transfer to third parties or to promote or advertise such activities; and (iii) To provide yearbooks to an educational institution or photographs for school publications; or Due to the inclusion of this list of exempt uses (see the full list on pg. 6-8 of the bill), we do not have any strong concerns regarding this legislation at this time. While we appreciate the bill’s supporters taking into account our concerns, we only use our resources to actively advocate in support of legislation or regulations when the legislative or regulatory change will make a substantial positive impact on the industry by improving the current situation. While we are much less concerned about the current version of the bill, we do not see any real significant benefit to the industry in this bill becoming law. On another note, this bill may very well be removed from the list of bills to be considered during the special session since it is not related to the reason the session was called. If this is the case, it may not be considered until the regular legislative session in 2017. In this situation, we will do our best to remain abreast of any amendments made to legislation during the next year. If we become aware of any changes that are made either now or later, we will adjust our position and plan of action as necessary. If you have any questions or concerns or would simply like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to give me a call directly (404-522-8600 ext.281). I have sent this to you because of your leadership status with either PPA or PPA’s Arkansas affiliate or because of your involvement in our efforts related to this bill last year. Please feel free to forward it along to anyone I may have missed. 

  • Best,  Lindsey Forson

Arkansas Professional Photographers Association

P.O. Box 1134, Beebe, AR  72012;

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software