Saturday, May 03, 2008

Orphan Works -Update

The Orphan Works Bill is NOT dead for the 2008 committee!

Two new versions of the bill was introduced to Congress the week of April 25th.
New to both bills is the requirement that the U.S. Copyright Office to create and undertake a certification process for the establishment of searchable electronic databases of visual works, so that the public can view orphaned works.

From what I understand the better of the two bill is the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. Due to the fact that the act would enable users to exhibit orphan works to the public, the sponsors say, if the copyright owners are unable to be located after a "thorough, documented search." The legislation spells out the requirements that would be necessary to meet the standards of a search, and how a court can review the search to decide if it was adequate and done in good faith, If no copyright owner is found and the material is used and then later the copyright owner comes forward, the bill requires that the user must pay the owner "reasonable compensation."

On this site are provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, reps, licensing firms, and designers: If you are 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. Two minutes is all it takes to write Congress and fight for your copyrights.

Pick a sample letter or write your own. Type in your zip code. Your letter will be automatically addressed to your congressman and senators. Click and send.

From the ICON5 website.

The Orphan Works Bill

The Orphan Works bills recently re-introduced in the House and Senate could have a profound effect on every illustrator and the protection of our copyrights.

ICON urges you to inform yourself on this important issue. Several organizations are following this closely, and the following links will provide further information. Please check them regularly for updates and advice on actions you can take.
Illustrators' Partnership
Graphic Artists Guild
American Society of Media Photographers
National Press Photographers Association
Stay informed at these sites above.


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