After admittedly posting this below from the Illustrator’s Partnership without doing any research into the latest copyright reform proposal, I did said research and a few days later posted this more even-handed take on this issue. Since several people seem intent on linking only to this early post and not to the one where I agree much of what is said here in the IP response is overblown and downright misleading, here’s a link to that later post. The more recent version of the Orphan Works proposal is less awful that previous ones, but it still leave a wide, wide loophole for copyright infringement with very little risk of financial repercussions.
Are you all as sick of hearing about the “Orphan Works Act” and the continuing resurfacing of attacks on the copyrights of artists and other creators as I am? They keep on getting squashed by lawmakers but keep on coming back in another form or with subtle changes. It eventually becomes so repetitive that artists just roll their eyes and ignore it.
That’s the battle plan of the people that want to destroy your ability to earn a living from the work you have created and allow others to earn money from your work instead. Apathy. Keep throwing it at us until we just get tired of swinging the bat, and then when we wake up again we find we’ve already struck out.
Don’t let that happen. These proposed changes to copyright laws are being lobbied for by major internet players that want to be free to catalog and monetize creative works they did not create. Don’t let them. Read this and make your voice heard:
Orphan Works is Back! Immediate Help Needed from ALL Artists by 7/23/15 !
The US Copyright Office wants to hear from artists and others in the art business on how art is being monetized, enforced, and registered under the existing Copyright Act. The information collected from the letters submitted will be used during the Copyright Office purposed five-year pilot program addressing Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. The results from this pilot program will most likely determine what will be included in the new Copyright Act to be sent to Congress for approval. As artists and others in the art industry, we need to tell the Copyright Office how Orphan Works will impact our business if it is incorporated in the new Copyright Act!
Please submit a letter ASAP to the Copyright Office! For information on what to include in the letter and to see an example of a letter, read “Orphan Works – Sample letter to Copyright office” by artist Annie Troe.
DEADLINE to submit letters to the Copyright Office is 7/23/15 !!!
• What is Orphan Works?
According to “Copyright Office proposes pilot program for extended collective licensing to address mass digitization” report “Orphan Works are works where the copyright owner cannot be identified or located. As the Copyright Office observes, this compromises the ability of a potential user to seek permission or negotiate licensing terms. The legislation would apply to all categories of copyrighted works as well as to all types of uses and users who engage in a good faith diligent search. The Office concluded that existing features of the current copyright system, such as voluntary and licensing agreements, best practices documents or the fair use doctrine, do not sufficiently address the legal uncertainty of the mass digitization of protected works.”
“The demand for copyright ‘reform’ has come from large Internet firms and legal scholars allied with them. Their business models involve supplying the public with access to other people’s copyrighted work. Their problem has been how to do this legally and without paying artists.” is stated by Brad Holland in “The Return of Orphan Works: The Next Great Copyright Act“.
• How Orphan Works will Impact Artists
Brad Holland in “The Return of Orphan Works: The Next Great Copyright Act” states:
“The Next Great Copyright Act” would replace all existing copyright law.
1. It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.
2. It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.
3. It would “pressure” you to register your life’s work with commercial registries.
4. It would “orphan” unregistered work.
5. It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers.
6. It would allow others to alter your work and copyright those “derivative works” in their own names.
7. It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.
Twice, Orphan Works Acts have failed to pass Congress because of strong opposition from visual artists, spearheaded by the Illustrators Partnership. It was the teamwork and support of visual artists all over America calling and writing to their congressional leaders that made the difference.
This is the first step in the once again fight to defeat Orphan Works. Please submit a letter ASAP to the Copyright Office!
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