Thursday, May 08, 2008

Orphan Works Bill for 2008

Please take a moment to fill this out:

More information on what it is about:

A few key points:
The Orphan Works Act defines an "orphan work" as any copyrighted work whose author any infringer says he is unable to locate with what the infringer himself decides has been a "reasonably diligent search." In a radical departure from existing copyright law and business practice, the U.S. Copyright Office has proposed that Congress grant such infringers freedom to ignore the rights of the author and use the work for any purpose, including commercial usage. In the case of visual art, the word "author" means "artist."

It is a violation of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works for any country to impose registration on a rights holder as as a condition of protecting his copyright. See Article 5(2) "The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality (emphasis added)."

Publishers and other art licensees will be less likely to commission new work from artists if they can surf the net for free images that have become separated from identifying information. An artist's pre-existing paintings and drawings - orphaned through no fault of his own - would be competing against him for the new commissions he needs to make a living.

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