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robertoortiz
04-11-2008, 07:48 PM
Hey guys, Roberto here.
The USCongress s about to pass a new law that would take away most of your rights over your OWN artwork if your work has been posted online...
You would have to PAY to register ANY piece of art you produce in order to get any legal rights....

AWN has a great article on the subject:

"...If the Orphan Works legislation passes, you and I and all creatives will lose virtually all the rights to not only our future work but to everything we've created over the past 34 years, unless we register it with the new, untested and privately run (by the friends and cronies of the U.S. government) registries."


Link (http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3605)

rakker16mm
04-11-2008, 08:48 PM
This really sends a chill down my spine. Now whenever a potential client asks to see examples of my most recent work online I have one more thing to worry about. When did the idea of copyright registration cease to be about protecting the originator of the work?

SP00
04-11-2008, 08:52 PM
This doesn't sound right, is this law interpreted right?

Edit - Just read it, it looks like a bill that will go nowhere. Where do people come up with these bills. Politicians must be bored.

robertoortiz
04-11-2008, 10:05 PM
More information on the bill:


Hearing on Promoting the Use of Orphan Works: Balancing the Interests of Copyright Owners
and Users (Video webcast )

from Thursday 03/13/2008

http://judiciary.house.gov/oversight.aspx?ID=427

And here is a great blog with current information:
http://orphanworks.blogspot.com/

jin choung
04-11-2008, 10:12 PM
actually, i would be WARY before anyone starts getting angry.

i'm not sure if this opposition does not play into BIG CORPORATION desires.

i didn't read beyond the link but what this bill MAY do is ensure that works continue to revert into the PUBLIC DOMAIN.

the BIGGEST INTEREST in keeping that from happening is large IP owners like VIACOM, TIME WARNER, etc.

PUBLIC DOMAIN is an ESSENTIAL principle that recognizes that nothing comes ex-nihilo, we all stand on the shoulders of others and that the manipulation and reinterpretation of past works can invigorate future innovation.

look at DISNEY. ALL of their early hit movies are based on PUBLIC DOMAIN stuff. but they don't allow ANY OF THEIR STUFF to enter public domain... they want a hold of their IP into perpetuity.

this does NOT serve the public good.

so if anyone has the inclination to get angry, read up and find out cuz nothing is as stupid as someone who is as angry as they are ignorant. find out:

1. WHO IS FOR THE BILL
2. WHO IS AGAINST IT

and don't assume it's the little guy who's against it just because you see a little guy talking up a point... voter campaign ads are full of this kinda baitandswitchery.

jin

jin choung
04-11-2008, 10:26 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphaned_works

http://www.publicknowledge.org/issues/ow

aha... i knew this sounded like a sham/bait and switch/notasblackandwhite as you thought issue.... just google it... orphaned works to see a broader outlay of the issue.

it does deal with issues of public domain and even ABANDONWARE and what happens to things like old computer games/roms, etc.

if anything, this is sounding more like something defending consumer rights and something opposed by large ip holding corporations.

all preliminary info.

but as i say, FIND OUT before you get incensed. it may not be what it seems. and you may find yourself on a side you wouldn't want to be on.

jin

robertoortiz
04-11-2008, 10:31 PM
OK here is another point of view:

http://lessig.org/blog/2007/02/copyright_policy_orphan_works.html

robertoortiz
04-11-2008, 10:43 PM
Guys to be honest I DO HOPE I am wrong...
I never go out of a limb like this, but still...


This is being reposted from the IPA website by permission from Brad Holland

Government “Promoting” Orphan Works

Yesterday (March 13) the House subcommittee on Intellectual Property held their first hearing on new Orphan Works legislation. Note the title:

"Hearing on Promoting the Use of Orphan Works: Balancing the Interests of Copyright Owners and Users"
http://judiciary.house.gov/oversight.aspx?ID=427

Balance, however does not seem to be part of the Orphan Works juggernaut. Indeed, after this hearing, we can no longer assume that the U.S. Copyright Office is an advocate for the protection of creators' rights It confirms what they wrote on page 14 of their original Orphan Works Report:


Quote:
“If our recommendation resolves users’ concerns in a satisfactory way, it will likely be a comprehensive solution to the orphan works situation.”

(our emphasis)

But how can any copyright law be “comprehensive” if it makes millions of copyrights, no matter how valuable, available to users, no matter how worthy, under a system that would introduce permanent uncertainty into the business lives of creators?

Private Sector Registries
Since the last bill died in committee in 2006, the advocates of this legislation have promoted the creation of private commercial registries. On January 29, 2007, a lead attorney for the Copyright Office warned us that under their plan any work not registered with a private sector registry would be a potential orphan from the moment it was created.

This means you would not only have to register all your published work, but also:

- Every sketch or note on every page of every sketchbook;
- Every sketch you send to every client;
- Every photograph you take anywhere, anytime, including family photos, home videos, etc.;
- Every letter, email, etc., professional, personal or private.

This Would End Passive Copyright Protection:
Under existing law the total creative output of any “creator” receives passive copyright protection from the moment you create it. This covers everything from the published work of professional artists to the unpublished diaries, letters and family photos of the average citizen.

But under the Orphan Works proposal, none of this material would be covered unless the creator took active steps to register and maintain coverage with a commercial registry. Failure to do so would “signal” to infringers that you have no interest in protecting the work.

The Registration Paradox:
By conceding that their proposals would make potential orphans of any unregistered works, the Copyright Office proposals would lead to a registration paradox: In order to “protect” work from exposure to infringement, creators would have to expose it on a publicly searchable registry. This would:

a.) Expose creative work to plagiarists and derivative abusers;
b.) Expose trade secrets and unused sketches to competitors;
c.) Expose unpublished and private correspondence to the public on the Orwellian premise that you must expose it to “protect” it.

Yet registries will not be able to monitor infringements nor enforce copyright compliance. Even after you’ve shelled out “protection money” to a commercial registry to register hundreds of thousands of works, you still won’t be protected. A registry would do nothing more than give you a piece of paper. You would still have to monitor infringements - which can occur anytime anywhere in the world; then embark on an uncertain quest to find the infringer, file a case in Federal court, then prove that the infringer has removed your name or other identifying information from your work. Meanwhile all the infringer will have to do is say there was no such information on the work when he found it and assert an orphan works defense. This will be the end result of trying to “resolve the users’ concerns” at the expense of time-tested copyright law.

Coerced registration violates the spirit and letter of international copyright law and copyright-related treaties. And because this bill would effectively eliminate the passive copyright protection afforded personal correspondence, family photos, etc. it would tear one more slender thread of privacy protection from the fabric of fundamental rights we currently take for granted.

We urge Congress to carefully reconsider the unintended consequences of this radical copyright proposal.

-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership

For additional information about Orphan Works developments, go to the IPA Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00185

jin choung
04-11-2008, 10:46 PM
the guy above is a vested interest.

read publicknowledge.org

orphan works seem to be about works whose status is unclaimed AFTER a good faith attempt at finding the rights holder. and read about the consequences - works lying fallow and DEAD - because of a lack of orphan works policy.

jin

p.s. and copyright AS IT IS is a wreck and a mess and favors large ip holding corporations over the public! radical reform of this as well as PATENT LAW (especially as it regards computer CODE) is DESPERATELY called for. any call to keep things status quo is not a friend of the people.

jin choung
04-11-2008, 11:00 PM
again, in the interest of getting a handle on who is FOR and who is AGAINST:

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6523163.html

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Orphan_works

wired magazine articles
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2005/04/67139

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/commentary/circuitcourt/2007/09/circuitcourt_0911

-----------------------------------------------------------------

this is lookin' like it's not primarily about the little guy content creator. the animation magazine guy sounds like a douchebag schill the more i look into it.

this is about DISNEY, VIACOM, TIMEWARNER, etc etc etc wanting to wrestle as much stuff to themselves and keep it there as long as possible.

continue to look into it and research on your own fellows.

this is looking like an attempt at big business to rally to THEIR cause hoping that the kindling of self interest will blind and cause a blind and misguided jump into a bandwagon that serves them.

jin

robertoortiz
04-11-2008, 11:02 PM
Fair enough,
I just ask for people to inform themselves on this issue...

Guys please do go to the congress site and READ the notes from the last Hearing on this issue and make up your up mind.
Both sides of the coin are well represented.

judiciary.house.gov/media/pdfs/Perlman080313.pdf

CMT
04-11-2008, 11:23 PM
I've been following this issue for about two years now and rarely do I hear it having to do with computer software or the like. It started with orphaned works and the companies which want to capitalize on all the unclaimed work out there. The problem is the side effects of the bill makes doing legit business that much more difficult for those creating the potential "orphaned work".

Take a look at what the orphaned works proposal would actually mean for the "little guy"..

Actually Roberto's links provide all you ned to know. But ther's a FAQ section that summs it all up very well.

Illustrator's Partnership FAQ (http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00221)

CMT
04-11-2008, 11:44 PM
Edit time expired...

I find it ridiculous that artists who have a ton of images previously created from over the years would find all that work orphaned unless they pony up the fee for each and every piece they created. Consider a low $50 fee for each piece. Say I've created 500 pieces over the years. Do the math. I'm supposed to empty my savings to register them when there's a 1% chance of error margin it will be orphaned anyway (based on current image recognition tech). Absurd.

jin choung
04-11-2008, 11:49 PM
another vested interest.

anyhoo, as roberto and i say, inform yourselves. don't go to just one website. look around. find out who is for, who is against.

google it.

but if lawrence lessig, the electronic frontier founation and the .orgs are on one side, guess who's on the other. yep, the likes of disney.

it's not black and white and it's not primarily about us.

let's not be dumases who run around like headless chickens the moment something even casts a shadow on our own interests.

jin

CMT
04-11-2008, 11:55 PM
Point taken, Jin. You don't need to reiterate it every other post......

As I've said. I've been following this for 2 years now. I think I have a good handle on the situation.

jin choung
04-12-2008, 01:10 AM
ahhhhhhhhh,

and here's the opposite of all the hypocritical big corporate lockdown of ip:

http://www.blendernation.com/2008/04/11/big-buck-bunny-premiere/

they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freeeedom!

jin

pumeco
04-12-2008, 06:04 AM
No offence intended, but I have only one thing to say to this :

ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS!!!

I'm not sure I've ever heard such an impossible proposal in my entire life. They cannot pass such a thing. When people create stuff with, and of their own material, it is theirs, and there is nothing anyone can (or ever will) be able to do about that.

No offence to the Americans in general (you know I love you), but really, such a proposal could only come out of America. If nothing else, I'd just like to thank you for bringing this little bit of nonsense to our attention. I've been in need of a bloody good laugh recently.

Hey, I might burst into a Lamborghini showroom and drive off with a Countach. I'll just tell 'em it's not theirs because they forgot to tell some American company that it IS theirs. Same thing, same stupidity, same impossibility.

Chill folks, it can't and won't happen - period.

ROFLMAO!!!

geothefaust
04-12-2008, 10:44 AM
Pumeco - I couldn't agree more, this kind of thing could only come out of America. Complete bollocks. :)

rakker16mm
04-12-2008, 11:58 AM
I love things being in the public domain. It is a great resource for every one, but I don't like the idea of having to pay a fee to register every thing I create OR ELS my work is going to be in the public domain. I mean that is what this law would really do right?

I thought copyright laws were to protect the originator of the work.

rcr62
04-12-2008, 10:57 PM
No offence intended, but I have only one thing to say to this :

ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS!!!

I'm not sure I've ever heard such an impossible proposal in my entire life. They cannot pass such a thing. When people create stuff with, and of their own material, it is theirs, and there is nothing anyone can (or ever will) be able to do about that.

No offence to the Americans in general (you know I love you), but really, such a proposal could only come out of America. If nothing else, I'd just like to thank you for bringing this little bit of nonsense to our attention. I've been in need of a bloody good laugh recently.

Hey, I might burst into a Lamborghini showroom and drive off with a Countach. I'll just tell 'em it's not theirs because they forgot to tell some American company that it IS theirs. Same thing, same stupidity, same impossibility.

Chill folks, it can't and won't happen - period.

ROFLMAO!!!

Hey thanks for making this a baseless smash America thread. Apreciate it.

robertoortiz
04-12-2008, 11:01 PM
Hey thanks for making this a baseless smash America thread. Apreciate it.

Guys, stay on focus...
The topic is this law

Marvin Miller
04-13-2008, 12:24 AM
For anyone interested, here is the US Code (the laws of the land). Copyrights are under Title 17.

http://uscode.house.gov/download/ascii.shtml

meshpig
04-13-2008, 03:25 AM
The Colonial history of...

http://www.caslon.com.au/droitprofile.htm#histor


m

pumeco
04-13-2008, 12:15 PM
Hey thanks for making this a baseless smash America thread. Apreciate it.

No one's bashing America, especially not me. I have enough ******** in my own country to contend with that deserves a bigger bashing than America. If you are wise you will realize that my discussion is because I can see where all this is going. I'm a Brit and live in England, and that's more than enough to educate even the most simple of folk.

My comments here are put forward in respect of your freedom, and that you deserve to keep it.


Thanks.

Steamthrower
04-13-2008, 01:04 PM
In all seriousness, read what Marvin posted. That's the law. It'll stay that way.

In all levity, rcr62, don't start slamming Pumeco for his jesting poke at America. We deserve it, all of us. If we accept their jabs at us, then we can jab back...HARD!

pumeco
04-13-2008, 02:30 PM
Yeah, what inigo said.

You could have a joke a the Brit's expense and I'll not only laugh at it, I'll probably join in on it. I really couldn't give a toss that you're American or that I'm British. It means absolutely nothing to me.

You're a person with an opinion ... so am I.
You're entitled to your opinion ... so am I.

It is my opinion that such a ridiculous proposition could only come out of America, and I'm free to air that opinion.

CMT
04-14-2008, 07:52 AM
If we can't recognize out own faults, then we can't take steps to improve ourselves. One big fault we all have is that we can sometimes be very lazy people. Especially in times like these where people throw tantrums if their food is late to the table 10 minutes.

We don't realize how foolish we can be. It's the responsibility of the people who it effects, who sees the entire issue and can do something about it to stand up and act. Otherwise we are at the mercy of the ignorant.

Steamthrower
04-14-2008, 08:15 AM
When humans start creating ideologies of their own nation, and morph it into something that is literally their god, then the resulting aura of heavenly halo sunbeams completely blinds them. Once you start worshiping your nation, no mistakes can be made, no cultural problems are recognised, and, what's worse, every other nation is "less than perfect".

Like Pumeco said, everyone's entitled to an opinion. And the reality is, a lot of people laugh at America. We can either choose to delude ourselves and think we're perfect, or we can realise that, hey, we've got some major problems. Americans as a whole are viewed as arrogant and overbearing.

Nobody hates the British. They've got their own problems (stupid government, pathetic car engineering, and bad food :D ) but nobody hates them. Everyone likes the British, mainly because of watching "Top Gear" and "Monty Python".

People do hate America. And we've got to realise that they hate America for a reason. And we have to try and not be a part of that reason. Which means don't bomb out Iraqi villages. Don't deflate the world's economy. Don't be anal-retentive TV-watching obsessive-compulsive soccer-mom subdivision-residing jerks.

Now for another episode of Mr. Bean...

pumeco
04-15-2008, 06:26 PM
We don't realize how foolish we can be. It's the responsibility of the people who it effects, who sees the entire issue and can do something about it to stand up and act. Otherwise we are at the mercy of the ignorant.
You put it much better than I did. I just that I get so infuriated when people can't see what's coming, especially when it's just so bloody obvious.

And as for inigo's last comments :

I think you'd be surprised what Brits think about America. I don't think we laugh, it's just that over here you only have to mention America and thoughts of legal battles and lawsuits automatically spring to mind. That's how America is publicised over here; it's all legal this and legal that.

Now listen here; regards our pathetic car engineering, just remember that Jaguar, Aston Martin, Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, (all quality engineered beasts) and countless others, were British at one time. It's our fault though, we never should have sold them, it ashames me to think how little pride our brands have in themselves.

Money, they say, speaks all languages. But had it not, I think Britain would still be home to the finest cars in the world.

So yeah, I might disagree on the car thing, but one thing you Americans DO have which we're losing all the time, is pride in your country. It's practically impossible to see America on the screen and NOT see an American flag waving about in the breeze or in someones hand. We don't do that here in England so I can only assume that we've lost all pride (I know mine's rapidly doing a nose dive) in our country. I honestly can't think of any other reason for the difference in general flaggy waviness.

Still, I'm all for Mr Bean though :D

CMT
04-15-2008, 09:14 PM
Still, I'm all for Mr Bean though :D

I prefer Blackadder myself. :thumbsup:

"I have a cunning plan that just might get us out of this..." Where's Baldrick when you need him?!!! He would stop this nonsense. :)

robertoortiz
04-16-2008, 02:48 PM
And for those not on the list, here is part one of the Illustrators Partnership response to the 'six misconceptions':

FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS’ PARTNERSHIP


Orphan Works: No Myth


We’ve seen “Six Misconceptions About Orphan Works” circulating on the Internet. It’s a well-reasoned piece, but has one problem. The author cites current copyright law to “debunk” concerns about an amendment that would change the law she cites.


How would the proposed amendment change the law? We’ll get to that and other questions in a minute. But first, let’s answer the broader charge that news of an Orphan Works bill is just “an internetmyth.”


Q: There is no Orphan Works bill before Congress – one was introduced in 2006, but it was never voted on.
A: Correct. The last bill died in Congress because of intense opposition from illustrators, photographers, fine artists, and textile designers. The Illustrators' Partnership testified against it in both the House and Senate. http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00203


Click the link for more....

http://www.lostpencil.com/wordpress/?p=225

Lightwolf
04-16-2008, 03:33 PM
Nobody hates the British.
But we can pity them a little (as they themselves are fond of doing ;) )... while we laugh our heads of watching Monty Python, Mr. Bean or Borat (Blackadder hardly left the isles unfortunately) ... or marvel at the quality programme the Beeb _can_ produce.

Cheers,
Mike

rakker16mm
04-17-2008, 02:14 AM
I just wanted to post some links regarding the amazing expansiveness of the fair use exemptions, so that people may consider what we actually before we go about dismantling the protections we enjoy as creators of original work under our current copyright system.

http://www.abanet.org/litigation/committees/intellectual/roundtables/0506_outline.pdf

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter1/1-b.html

http://www.pdn-pix.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003682851

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/fairuse-explain.html

Just to sum it all up, we always have the ability to add narrowly defined exemptions to a law, but when we weaken the law to reduces lawsuits we defeat the original purpose of the law and there is certainly no grantee that we will achieve our aim. The "Orphan Works" legislation sound anything but narrowly defined. It seems to potentially apply to quite a number of works. If that were not the case why would any one bother to pen the legislation?

Another principal of law I believe is embodied in our constitution is the principal that laws may not be made retroactive. In other words you don't change the rules midway through the game. For a lot of artist who have sold a lot of work, this law would put many of their earlier works in jeopardy. Just because I sell you one of my oil paintings does not mean that I have sold my copyright. The painting is yours to keep but you may not start selling poster and T-shirts with that image for your own profit. Perhaps I am wrong on this point but I really don't think so. At least many artists have taken this to be the law and to change it now when it may be quite difficult to retroactively register their works seems to me to be an unfair burden.

Finally in general I really hate to see the privatization and corporatization of our government. Like government capitalism also needs to be held in check, and the more of our government we allow to be privatized the less likely this is to happen.

robertoortiz
05-07-2008, 10:33 PM
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP

Take Action: Don't Let Congress Orphan Our Work

We’ve set up an online site for visual artists to e-mail their Senators and Representatives with one click.

This site is open to professional artists, photographers and any member of the image-making public.

We’ve provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts.

If you’re opposed to the Orphan Works act, this site is yours to use.

For international artists and our colleagues overseas, we’ve provided a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write.


2 minutes is all it takes to write Congress and protect your copyright:

http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/

Please forward this message to every artist you know.

If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: [email protected]
Place "Add Name" in the subject line, and provide your name and the email address you want used in the message area.

robertoortiz
05-09-2008, 08:02 AM
Update for those who still care:
"H.R. 5889 (the Orphan Works bill in the House) unanimously sailed through the House IP Subcommittee yesterday"

Since yesterday, over 31, 000 letters have gone out from our Orphan Works advocacy site.

Q: What can we do next?

1. Write the House Judiciary Committee. We’ve set up a special alert to contact members of this important committee.

Go to our Take Action/Alert site: http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/

Look for the sample letter labeled "Contact House Judiciary Committee NOW" and send it.

If your Representative is not a member of the House Judiciary Committee, this will send him a message asking him to contact his colleagues on that Committee on your behalf, urging them to oppose the bill.


2. Ask for support from family and friends:
Please ask your friends and family (5 to 10 others) who support your creative work to also go to the site. They can follow the instructions to easily send a message of opposition to this reckless bill.

Look for the sample letter labeled "For Supporters of Visual Artists - Wrong to Weaken Copyright Law" and send it.


3. Spread the word to the public: Photosharing on Web will now be at risk:
Please alert your friends who post photos to the web their personal property will be at risk.

Look for the sample letter labeled “For the Image-Making Public - Protect Personal Property”and send it.


For more information about the Orphan Works Act of 2008:
IPA Statement to House Subcommittee March 20, 2008:
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/a rticle.php?searchterm=00261
IPA Senate Mark-up Comments April 30, 2008: http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/ow_docs

Geneva/ May 7, 2008Orphan Works Bill Catches Global Attention/ Intellectual Property Watch/
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/index.php?p=1028
MP3 Interview: http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html
YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=CqBZd0cP5Yc


Please post this message or forward it to any interested party.

If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: [email protected] Place "Add Name" in the subject line, and provide your name and the email address you want used in the message area.

Matt
05-09-2008, 09:16 AM
But we can pity them a little (as they themselves are fond of doing ;) )... while we laugh our heads of watching Monty Python, Mr. Bean or Borat (Blackadder hardly left the isles unfortunately) ... or marvel at the quality programme the Beeb _can_ produce.

Cheers,
Mike

I like Germans too! No seriously, I do! ;)

ted
05-10-2008, 12:31 AM
One thing I do know. As soon as the Government gets a hold of it, they will screw things up, complicate things for everyone and it will surely cost us all money. :eek:

robertoortiz
05-10-2008, 01:51 AM
Here is a summary of the law
FROM THE SPONSOR OF THE BILL

http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/042408e.html

Judiciary Leaders Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral
Orphan Works Legislation



Leahy, Hatch, Berman, Smith Introduce IP Legislation



WASHINGTON (Thursday, April 24, 2008) – Leading members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to preserve so-called “orphan works” – works that may be protected by copyright, but whose owners cannot be found. Potential users of orphan works often fail to display or use such works out of concern that they may be found liable for statutory damages, amounting to as much as $150,000.



Legislation to address those concerns was introduced today in the Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a senior member and former chairman of the panel, and in the House by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. The bill is co-sponsored in the House by Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) The legislation would enable users to exhibit orphan works if, after a thorough, documented search, the copyright owners are unable to be located. The legislation outlines the criteria for such a search, and provides for court review to determine if a search has been adequate and done in good faith. If the copyright owner later emerges, the user must pay reasonable compensation to the owner. The bill also includes provisions to further protect owners of these orphaned copyrights, should any user exhibit bad faith.



“This legislation will help bring together potential users and owners of orphan works,” said Leahy. “But also as important, it will allow the public to view works that may remain orphaned. A Vermonter can restore a family photograph from three generations ago, even when the original photographer is no longer available to give permission. With this bill, we can preserve important parts of our personal and national heritage, without giving a free license to infringe on established copyright protections.”



“There are thousands of artistic creations around the country that are effectively locked away and unavailable for the general public to enjoy because the owner of the work is unknown. Identifying the owner of a copyrighted work is difficult in many cases and represents a huge liability to those who would bring the work into the public domain without permission,” Hatch said. “This bill represents a commitment from Congress to unlock orphan works so the general public may once again enjoy them.”

“Too many valuable works are unused because their creators are unknown, and potential users fear excessive liability,” said Berman. “We must act to lower the legal barriers that keep these works from the public.”

“Millions of copyrighted works are effectively ‘locked up’ and unable to be enjoyed by the public due to our current copyright system,” said Smith. “As a result, investments in new works and expositions by libraries, museums and others are frequently not undertaken due to the possibility of lawsuits and large statutory damage awards. By placing reasonable limitations on liability, while ensuring that owners receive compensation for the use of their works, the bills introduced today will help reduce uncertainty and encourage creativity.”



Leahy, Hatch, Berman and Smith have longstanding interests in intellectual property issues, and have introduced copyright legislation in the 110th Congress, including a bipartisan, bicameral bill to reform the patent system.

robertoortiz
05-13-2008, 07:16 AM
Fpr those who may care:
A copyright LAWYER posted this on cgtalk

Tammy Browning-Smith, a practicing COPYRIGHT LAWYER has taken some of ther time to comment on this law...



Greetings!

Many of your wonderful members asked if I would join in order to answer some questions since I am a practicing attorney who works extensively in copyrights and trademarks. I would be happy to do so if it will clear up some confusion on this OW issue. I just ask if you do ask a question, you be patient with me. My letters to Congress have become quite popular and I am being pulled in all ends. I have skimmed the postings and I have a few comments for you:

1) The biggest problem with OW from my perspective is that it truly changes the system of registration. Formality has not been required (i.e. - registration, copyright notice, etc.). It also places a strong burden on an artist to protect his or her work and NOT on the person wanting to use a so called "Orphan." The procedure set forth in the proposed language of both the House and the Senate Bills are terribly inadequate and will cause so many problems than help.

2) There are other countries using excellent systems for true "orphans." Canada is a poster child for this. It places the burden on a potential user to truly prove it is an orphan and that the potential user has done everything to do something to find him or her or it. The heart tugging stories being used are truly fluff. There are "fair use" exceptions and the like that can apply. The amount of orphans that LEGITIMATELY should be used are very small for the drastic impact this legislation would have. There are truly motives for profit here for databases, "orphan royalties", and the like.

3) Graphic Artist Guild and the some others are stating that this Bill WILL pass and that we should not write letters. I could not disagree more. First and foremost, it is a persons responsibility to let his or her government know his or her opinion. Secondly, there is a significant amount of education that MUST take place. I continue to speak to legislative offices that have no idea what these bills are all about. It is a crime, many of them think this is just "administrative" and will not affect very many people.

4) Finally, these Bills punish persons who have followed the law since 1976. The law has not required registration and/or notice provisions. These persons would truly be hurt the most. This will have a strong impact on rural artisian communities and others who create amazing works that represent our country. To this point, the only way their work has not been stolen is that it is against the law - that will no longer be the case.

Don't get me wrong, if these Bills pass, merge and become law - attorneys will benefit greatly. It will be essential that one who creates uses highly skilled legal counsel to register his or her works and develop a program to insure his or her works are not orphans. It will also require artists to go into their archives and begin registering or re-registering prior works to insure that all their "stuff" is covered.

The BEST way to prevent this legislation from coming into law is by educating yourselves, and speaking intelligently on the issue. It appears as if many of you have and continue to ask questions. And for our international friends - your voice is important as this does affect your protection here in the US. If your works comes on US soil - your work will be covered under these provisions.

Keep fighting the good fight!
Tammy Browning-Smith



***Please note, the following post is for educational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute the practice of law or an attorney/client relationship.***

Tzan
05-13-2008, 02:31 PM
Thanks for keeping us updated.

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 02:45 PM
I'm sorry about this if I seem ignorant, but this just seems ridiculous to me and I'm not buying it easily.

Does this mean that right after this law is passed, I can run around to all the Lightwave user's online portfolios and grab their images and register them as mine, as long as I get to it before anybody else does?

Tzan
05-13-2008, 07:53 PM
Hmm thats an odd example. Here is a more likely one.

Lets say a few years ago you posted some great image on a web forum. Since then you dont go there anymore and nobody who does knows you and your email address changed and you didnt register that image. That means they cant find you, assuming that they even tried. Then some one could make t-shirts and posters of it and sell them with no problems.

If you spotted them using it, you could get a reasonable use fee, but you couldnt sue them for big bucks. So basically the punishment is they have to do what they should have done in the first place.

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 08:33 PM
Thanks, that simplified it all a little bit. But I'm still wondering...does each and every image require registration?

Is Corbin going to register each and every one of their hundreds of thousands of stock images?

rakker16mm
05-13-2008, 10:42 PM
Hmm thats an odd example. Here is a more likely one.

Lets say a few years ago you posted some great image on a web forum. Since then you dont go there anymore and nobody who does knows you and your email address changed and you didnt register that image. That means they cant find you, assuming that they even tried. Then some one could make t-shirts and posters of it and sell them with no problems.

If you spotted them using it, you could get a reasonable use fee, but you couldnt sue them for big bucks. So basically the punishment is they have to do what they should have done in the first place.

And here's another thing no one is talking about. You may have posted those images as WIPs and may not even want them widely distributed in a comercial way. Why does any one think they have a right to make that decision for the artist?

Dodgy
05-13-2008, 11:23 PM
Okay, here's another what if.

A company finds an image of your children they would really like to use. All images now have to be registered to have copyright protection. This means all the company has to do is search the registries. If they can't find your image there, they can claim it's orphaned and make mucho moolah. So anyone who has any pictures on the web and not paid the registration fees for them will lose out. If they do find out a picture of their kids is being used without authorisation, they can't stop the company using it, just charge them for a smaller percentage than what they would have got suing for damages.

Copyright eh?

Anti-Distinctly
05-14-2008, 02:43 AM
Blackadder hardly left the isles unfortunately

Shame. I think it's the pinnacle of British humour. But that's for a different thread I think :)

Still worth sending those faxes? I'll have to track down a fax machine...

Lightwolf
05-14-2008, 04:37 AM
Okay, here's another what if.

A company finds an image of your children they would really like to use. All images now have to be registered to have copyright protection.
I assume this is regulated in a way similar to over here. There is the copyright on the image (held bz the person making it) but also personality rights by the people on the image (as long as the people depicted are not of public interest, i.e. celebrities etc...).

So in this case, there'd still be one right to clear that isn't a part of the new bill, right?

Cheers,
Mike

Cougar12dk
05-14-2008, 05:37 AM
Sheeeet.... some politicians seem to make stupid/retarded laws, only so it appears they're not just sitting on their BEhinds with a thumb up it and a finger up the nose.

What bothers me the most, is that all the rest of the damned world is affected by it too. So an american can steal someone's work and claim it his/her own, as long as that someone hasn't registered his/her work. It's retarded! How hard is it? They should be going after the fools (a more polite version of what they truly are) who steal other people's work and pass it on as their own to make money on it.

****! This whole debate pisses me off!

*Well, not so much the debate, as the reason we're having it*

Tzan
05-14-2008, 09:53 AM
Thanks, that simplified it all a little bit. But I'm still wondering...does each and every image require registration?

Is Corbin going to register each and every one of their hundreds of thousands of stock images?

Well thats really the issue. They havent fully defined what a reasonable search is. If it is just searching a registry, then you must register every image that you want protected.

In my example I assumed that they would have to search the location where they found the image too. But we dont know yet.

robertoortiz
05-14-2008, 02:20 PM
Tatiana posted this on CGTALK:

Washington is on the verge of voting on a bill called ‘’The ORPHAN BILL’’. Lobbies from Hollywood, Google, Associations of Museums in America, etc promoted this. This bill stipulates that any work where the author is not known could be used and commercialized at will if a “reasonably diligent search.” has failed to find the author. This “reasonably diligent search” would be determined by the user/infringer.

This bill targets all types of work: from professional paintings to family snapshots, from artistic work, to commercial work, personal and wedding photos, published or non-published, from literary works, to music, to visual arts, to film, works that reside or have ever resided on the internet or have been disseminated by any media. The bill may be more damaging to the visual arts and music because this kind of work is more frequently disseminated on the web without due credit or, in some instances, with the artists name removed. This will also have an enormous impact on Indigenous people’s culture since their work is never attributed to any individual.

At the same time this bill will create privately held commercial registries. Private corporations will be able to create registries where all authors will have to register all of their work to protect them from becoming orphaned: ie; for a photographer, every click of the camera, for an illustrator every sketch. Any work not registered could become orphaned and could be used and/or commercialized by any American entity. It will be the private sector that will decide the cost and the means of registering one’s work.

Even if this bill becomes a law in the United-States it will have a very big impact on creators around the world, on creators like you. Obviously this bill when passed into law will not make any difference between the works created by an American citizen and the works created by anyone else in the world. The implication is that EVERY work from everyone in the world would have to be registered in the USA. (Not a bad way to create an economic boom for Google and other American corporations). This create two different worlds with unfair competition: Only Americans will be able to appropriate most of the world work’s, while this practice will stay illegal in the rest of the world. Meanwhile, it may well induce a crash in the price of licensing work everywhere else.

This law violates the international Berne Treaty and the TRIP negotiations (Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property TRIPs UNESCO.) It may be susceptible to an international lawsuit under international treaties.

Many American creator’s associations are against this bill. They are asking their members to write letters to Washington. They are also asking the same from the international community.

When this law is enacted in the US, the same lobbies will ask other governments to do likewise. If we do not voice our concern now it may be difficult to voice it later with credibility when the same law may be presented in one’s own country.

We are asking you, your members and your associations to take a minute and write to Washington. Do not think it won’t make a difference. It will.

A letter you can use is reproduced bellow. Here is the link to the Illustrators’ Partnership in the US. We agree with their arguments.
http://www.illustratorspartnership....earchterm=00267

This bill could be voted on in a few weeks. We urge you to act in the next few days. We also ask you to forward this document to any group you are in contact with here and internationally.

Andre Cornellier
Copyright Chair
CAPIC National
Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communication

Cougar12dk
05-14-2008, 04:14 PM
The link is broken for me, Andre.

pneuma
05-14-2008, 09:15 PM
From what the lawyers and legal professionals are saying, I'm definitely against this bill, though I am a little tempted to support it because a few of my favorite shows still haven't come out on DVD let alone BD.

Even so, an artist should be able to decline to lic. their work without actually taking steps to do so. Maybe the company that wants to lic. the work uses child labor or has some political stance that the artist is opposed to. What then, the artist unwillingly gives their work to the company for a 'fair' price?

Maybe the artist did a piece they no longer want to be on display because it represents a view that they had, but no longer support. Should they have to register it to prevent it from being displayed?

Could a controversial piece done by an anonymous artist be turned into a t-shirt or coffee mug at the creator's expense because they doesn't want to identify themselves as the creator? Could it be used as a corporate logo?

So where's that petition?

Cougar12dk
05-15-2008, 02:54 AM
@Robertoortiz: Sorry I called you Andre :) I just glanced up and saw that name as the sender of the reply you had posted. Whoops.

@Pneuma: I agree with everything you said.

As a sidenote, I can't believe the american politicians are able to just pass significant laws like that without hearing the parties involved/concerned's opinion and responses and then take them into due consideration, instead of bypassing all that might oppose the bill to get it signed.

robertoortiz
05-15-2008, 05:39 AM
They held hearings in March,
and the law left comitte LAST WEEK.

You can see more about it here:

Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property; Committee on the Judiciary; United States House of Representatives

Date: March 13, 2008

Running Time: 1 hr, 27 min
Notes: Includes opening statements, other witnesses, and question-and-answer session.


http://www.copyright.gov/video/testimony-3-13-08.html


I POSTED THAT but for some bizare reason when we alerted people about this
people IGNORED us, and listened instead to the blogger
from Radio free Meredith who encouraged people to bury their head in the sand..AND THEY DID.

Anyway for those who wish to FIGHT this go here...
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/

AND PLEASE WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN...

robertoortiz
05-15-2008, 05:51 PM
Senate Committee Approves Orphan-Works Bill ...

May 15 2008
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill today to make it easier for scholars, archivists, and others to use orphan works. These are books, films, and other creations whose owners cannot be identified. Those who redistribute the material risk incurring penalties for copyright infringement. The legislation, The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act, S.2913, would make it less costly for people to exploit orphan works.

A companion bill cleared a panel of the U.S. House of Representatives last week.—-Andrea L. Foster

http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3006/senate-committee-approves-orphan-works-bill

robertoortiz
05-15-2008, 06:56 PM
Here is great AUDIO interview with designers Joanne Fink and Brenda Pinnick. Both of them are very concerned - and very knowledgeable - about the orphan works legislation that is currently before Congress.

They have been fighting this bill since 2006:

http://www.scrapbookupdate.com/scrapnancy/2008/05/hear-more-about.html

pneuma
05-16-2008, 06:45 AM
Hopefully there are smarter people in congress... I really don't know about the white house :lol:

Cougar12dk
05-16-2008, 06:48 AM
Hehe, let's hope the new president will be smart enough to not go to war with everyone and hump your economi. From the little snippets I've seen of Obama and Clinton's speeches I'm positive if one of them is elected the US will face better times.

robertoortiz
10-10-2008, 10:50 AM
Orphan Works: A Public Knowledge Postmortem

10.9.08

"Orphan works relief was vigorously opposed by visual artists... And while we have thought some of their concerns misguided, they did a fine job of organizing and getting their voices heard."


That was the rueful conclusion Monday from the President of Public Knowledge. She was conducting a postmortem on her blog to explain why their last minute efforts to pass the Orphan Works Act failed last week.

Public Knowledge is one of the key special interest groups driving orphan works legislation. And while interested parties around the country were being told all week that the bill was dead, she now confirms that there was a secret last minute push to pass it:


"[W]ith the country's financial crisis raging [she writes] and Congress in the middle of deliberations over a bill to rescue our financial institutions, there was still an opportunity to get a bill done. But how? The best option was to get either House Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Berman or House Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers to take the Senate bill that passed and put it on the 'suspension calendar,' which is the place largely non-controversial legislation gets put so that it will get passed quickly. There can be no amendments to bills placed on the suspension calendar, but it needs a 2/3 majority to pass (italics added).



"On Saturday, September 27," she continues, she and others "were on the phone imploring the members to move the bill...":


"The negotiations went on for hours and hours on Thursday into Friday, but in the end, PK, working with the user community (libraries, documentary filmmakers, educational institutions and the College Art Association) could not agree with [sic] on language with the House staff. Late Friday afternoon, the House voted in favor of a bailout bill and everybody went home. Time had run out." http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1783



Public Knowledge has a "Six Point Program" to undo existing copyright law. "Orphan Works Reform" is Number 5. http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1245 And while they're "disappointed" they weren't able to pass the bill this session, she advises supporters to "focus on what positive things came out of the process, so [they] can move forward quickly next year."


PK says artists have learned their lesson

In her opinion, one of the "positive things" to "come out of the process" is that:


"[V]isual artists, graphic designers and textile manufacturers who opposed orphan works relief now understand that they must change their business models." (Italics added.)



Artists "must change their business models"? Is that a sound we hear from inside the Trojan Horse?

Whatever happened to the claim that this bill was only a minor tweak to copyright law - to let libraries and museums digitize their collections of old work - or let families duplicate photos of grandma?

That was the argument lawmakers heard last spring, when the bill was rolled out suddenly, scripted for quick and easy passage. But now that the anti-copyright lobby has had to fight for it, they've dropped their guard. Now it's time to openly lecture artists that the world is changing and we'd better get used to registering our work with privately owned "databases" -- at least if we want to ensure that our works won't become orphaned.

But of course that was the agenda all along.


PK says not all artists are misguided

PK's President wants Congress to know that not all artists are "misguided" - only those that oppose the bill. Currently, 80 professional groups do.

By contrast, she cites the Graphic Artists Guild as an example of artists who have learned their lesson. She praises GAG as "enlightened," because GAG supported the House version of the bill. She quotes a recent letter from GAG's President in which he admonished artists to "get real about this Orphan Works scare":

"I don't think Orphan Works is going to have a dramatic influence on how we do business [he wrote], but I hope it has awakened us all to the importance of tending to business issues. If we as a community invested a fraction of the energy we've expended on an apocalyptic vision of Orphan Works into protecting our own creations, protesting unfair contracting practices or writing letters to low-paying publishers, we'd be in a far better market position than we are today. The fact is that we give away more in the every day practice of our businesses than the government could ever take from us."


We replied to the GAG letter weeks ago, when it was first circulated to artists. We obviously disagree. Indeed, we'd point out that what the community of artists is doing by opposing this bill is "protecting our own creations":


The Orphan works bill would have a dramatic affect on business, because it would let people infringe our work without our knowledge, consent or payment.
Most people who succeed in our field do "treat art as a business."

People who are bad at business can't be used as proof that successful people must change their business models.
You can't justify exposing an artists' property to theft by telling him he didn't write enough "letters to low-paying publishers."
What artists do or don't "give away" on their own doesn't justify government's taking anything from them.
It's counter-intuitive to tell small business owners we should accept a bill that's bad for business to prove that we've "awakened to the importance of tending to business."
If we don't fight to keep the work we create, that would be the ultimate failure to tend to business.

A full response to the entire GAG letter is here: http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com/2008/09/orphan-works-why-bet-against-ourselves.html

The Orphan Works Act was based on a premise and a conclusion:


The premise is that the public is being harmed because it doesn't have enough contact information to locate copyright owners.
The conclusion is that artists must change their business models.
What's lacking is any evidence in between.

The Orphan Works Act was based on recommendations by the Copyright Office. But the Copyright Office studied the specific subject of orphaned work. They did not study the business models of artists who are alive, working and managing their copyrights. That means there can be no meaningful conclusions drawn from their study to dictate that such artists must change their business models.

From the beginning, artists have said we'd support a true orphan works bill. We've submitted precise amendments that would make one out of this bill. http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com/2008/07/hr-5889-amendments.html Our amendments have never been considered.

Instead, as PK's President noted in her postmortem, their last minute strategy for passing the bill would have "put it on the 'suspension calendar.'" And "[t]here can be no amendments to bills placed on the suspension calendar..."

The anti-copyright lobby is well funded. They have powerful backers. They've warned us they'll be back next year.

We should take them at their word.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

__________________________________________________ ____________


Over 80 organizations oppose this bill, representing over half a million creators.

U.S. Creators and the image-making public can email Congress through the Capwiz site: http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/ 2 minutes is all it takes to tell the U.S. Congress to uphold copyright protection for the world's artists.

INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS please fax these 4 U.S. State Agencies and appeal to your home representatives for intervention. http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00267

CALL CONGRESS: 1-800-828-0498. Tell the U.S. Capitol Switchboard Operator "I would like to leave a message for Congressperson __________ that I oppose the Orphan Works Act." The switchboard operator will patch you through to the lawmaker's office and often take a message which also gets passed on to the lawmaker. Once you're put through tell your Representative the message again.

If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: [email protected] Place "Add Name" in the subject line, and provide your name and the email address you want used in the message area. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.


Please post or forward this message to any interested party.

STOP THE U.S. ORPHAN WORKS ACT NOW.

shrox
10-10-2008, 10:54 AM
And who is to say hard one has to seek the owner of the image? A glance in a phone book, a one time Google search?

MachineClaw
10-11-2008, 12:11 AM
And who is to say hard one has to seek the owner of the image? A glance in a phone book, a one time Google search?

Amended US Senate bill (S2913) had clarification as to a diligant search.

shrox
10-11-2008, 11:24 AM
Amended US Senate bill (S2913) had clarification as to a diligant search.

Oh, I feel so much better, know that the Senate has laid out a few hoops. I predict companies trying to literally steal what they like, any law be damned.

MachineClaw
10-12-2008, 03:18 AM
Uh companies stealing what they like get sued and copyright holders get checks.

news flash there are people stealing copyrighted art and throwin it on web sites now. go check some russian art galleries.

While the bill that is in the House and the amended Senate bill might not be the best solution there is a need for copyright law to be changed to deal with orphaned copyrights.

Everyone is so scared of the registering with databases and the myths and hype that have come from this Orphan works bills. If all this scares you go check out the Library of Congress Digital Library Project.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress_Digital_Library_project
http://www.loc.gov/philanthropy/wdl.php

shrox
10-12-2008, 04:08 AM
It's my lack of confidence in the "diligent search". If it is anything like the agency the finds deadbeat dads that don't child support, they will never locate and notify anybody.

robertoortiz
10-13-2008, 10:06 AM
October 3rd, 2008
Author Jeff Trexler
The House of Representatives has adjourned–for now–and unless the Clerk was asleep at the keyboard the so-called orphan works bill did not pass.

That means the bill is dead and gone, right?

Not really.

If we’ve learned anything from reading comics, nothing is dead unless we see a corpse–and even then, chances are the deceased will eventually come back to life. Law is much the same way. Since there has been so much confusion about the state of the bill over the past few days, here’s a brief explanation of what happened this week and what it means for the future

http://blog.newsarama.com/2008/10/03/orphan-works-and-comic-book-death/

robertoortiz
10-13-2008, 10:07 AM
The Illustrator's Partnership has established a new blog for information and updates on the Orphan Works Bill.
Keep up to date with this extremely important issue via the direct link on the right hand side of this page.
More than 80 Illustrator's Associations world wide, including Illustrator's Australia have joined forces with the IPA as they fight to save our copyrights.
http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com

robertoortiz
10-14-2008, 09:43 PM
We always should ask in a crime...



"Who benefits?"


Both Google and Microsoft have advocated for reform of the current system for orphaned works, which automatically grants protections to their authors for decades, whether the authors realize it or not.



In comments sent to the U.S. Copyright Office in 2005, as legislation was brewing, Google General Counsel David Drummond wrote that orphaned works often "exist in a sort of purgatory," and "represent an untapped wealth of information that can and should be made accessible to the public."



Drummond wrote that greater clarity on the status of orphaned works could provide comfort to companies such as Google, "that they can publish a work without fear of liability."



http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/web-firms-quietly-win-copyright/story.aspx?guid=%7BE21206C0%2D98F5%2D459B%2D9506%2 D8133CBD82859%7D&dist=msr_2

robertoortiz
11-19-2008, 07:51 PM
Congress reconvenes this week for a Lame Duck session. With the rules suspended, sources tell us the House Judiciary Committee may try to place the Orphan Works bill on the Suspensions Calendar and pass it (without debate) by “unanimous consent.”

http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=12208531

robertoortiz
12-03-2008, 07:51 PM
Orphan Works Update 12/1/2008-(Sorry Guys)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Orphan Works: Lame Duck Countdown

12.01.08

Part I. Little Known Facts

Congress will reconvene for a lame duck session next week. That means Orphan Works backers may try again to pass their bill by suspending the rules. We believe this bill is too controversial to be passed by backroom dealing. It would let commercial interests harvest and monetize the personal property of ordinary citizens without their knowledge.

The bill can be improved, and we’ve offered amendments that would improve it. But there’s not enough time to improve it during a lame duck session. The bill should be held over until the next session of Congress, when those whose livelihood it will threaten can have the opportunity to present their case.

Over the next few days, we’ll highlight some little known facts about the way this bill has been conceived, drafted and promoted. We believe these facts raise serious questions about the legislative process that has brought this legislation to the brink of passage:

1. The “legislative blueprint” for the Orphan Works bill was not the result of the Copyright Office’s year-long Orphan Works Study. It was drafted before the study began, by law students who made no apparent effort to survey its potential impact on commercial markets.

2. The blueprint was drafted under the guidance of a legal scholar who opposes current copyright protections. He has written that authors in the internet age “may not need the long, intense protection afforded by conventional copyright — no matter how much they would like to have it.”

3. The Copyright Office received barely 200 relevant letters to their Orphan Works Study. Although they testified to Congress that the number was “over 850,” they failed to acknowledge that more than 600 letters had to be dismissed as irrelevant or too vague to determine their relevance to orphaned work.

4. In their Orphan Works Report, the Copyright Office failed to acknowledge a unified statement submitted by 42 national and international visual arts organizations. This statement called for the maintenance of existing copyright protections and warned that a bill drafted too broadly would spread uncertainty in commercial markets.

5. The Copyright Office studied the specific subject of orphaned work, yet concluded they had discovered a widespread “market failure” in commercial markets. But since they didn’t study commercial markets, there’s no evidence for this conclusion in their report.

6. The principal author of the Orphan Works Report has acknowledged that their true goal was to “pressure” working authors into relying on registries to protect their work. He said this was necessary because artists and photographers have “failed to collectivize.”

7. The first commercial Orphan Works domain name was registered by an anonymous party more than two years before the Copyright Office announced their Study. Did this anonymous party have a crystal ball? How did he know the Copyright Office would ever study orphan works? How did he know they’d open the door to commercial usage? And why did he register anonymously?

8. Two of the key players in the legislative process have already left government service and gone to work for companies that stand to profit from passage of the bill. On the other hand, one of the parties who testified in favor of the bill has already gone to the Copyright Office. She’s now in charge of orphan works.

We think these and other little known facts give lawmakers sufficient reason not to pass this bill without a thorough vetting.

Tomorrow: The Legislative Blueprint: How a copyright critic and his students tackled the “orphan works issue.”

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership

http://www.tomrichmond.com/blog/?p=3500

Tzan
12-03-2008, 08:16 PM
Thanks for keeping us updated :)

Stooch
12-04-2008, 01:20 AM
Orphan Works Update 12/1/2008-(Sorry Guys)

7. The first commercial Orphan Works domain name was registered by an anonymous party more than two years before the Copyright Office announced their Study. Did this anonymous party have a crystal ball? How did he know the Copyright Office would ever study orphan works? How did he know they’d open the door to commercial usage? And why did he register anonymously?



sounds like a criminal investigation is in order.

KScott
12-04-2008, 08:42 AM
Yes, Thank You! for the update.

Kevin

Matt
12-04-2008, 09:13 AM
Tatiana posted this on CGTALK:

Washington is on the verge of voting on a bill called ‘’The ORPHAN BILL’’. Lobbies from Hollywood, Google, Associations of Museums in America, etc promoted this. This bill stipulates that any work where the author is not known could be used and commercialized at will if a “reasonably diligent search.” has failed to find the author. This “reasonably diligent search” would be determined by the user/infringer.

I hate this law.

However, if you put some sort of contact information either inside the meta-data or on the actual image as a watermark (or both) then they can never claim the 'I couldn't find the author' excuse.

Then you can prove that they just didn't bother, maybe.

robertoortiz
12-06-2008, 12:05 PM
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP

Correction

12.03.08

Correction: We've just received information that the domain name Orphanart.com is currently being used to sell art made by orphan children in Panama, Uganda and other places. It does not appear to be connected with the Orphan Works bill. It's not clear to us why the domain was registered anonymously, and from all appearances, its registration and renewals would seem to be coincidental to the fortunes of the Orphan Works Acts of 2006 and 2008. We regret any confusion and we'd urge others not to forward or post our recent email to others.

A corrected version of that email is available at the Illustrators Partnership Blog:
http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com/2008/12/orphan-works-lame-duck-countdown_03.html

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership