Orphan Works Legislation (lose rights to your artwork)

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dik pose
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Orphan Works Legislation (lose rights to your artwork)

Post by dik pose » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:15 pm

Here is a long, but very interesting article on AWN about a bill the government is trying to pass to make all our creative work available for anyone to use...

We lose our copyrights to past and future works UNLESS we register it with different private companies, multiple companies (you would need to register with each of these companies to protect your work fully) this could cost the artist A LOT of money!

So basically we lose the right to our own work, and others can make money off it.

http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=page ... le_no=3605

Here is contact info on how to write your legislators and representatives

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR:
Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to quickly find the phone number, address and e-mail of every U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor and state legislator.

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squirpy
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Post by squirpy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:40 pm

I saw that, but then I saw this: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/12/co ... fud-a.html

I hear a lot of different stuff about this
I keep a sketchblog here

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dik pose
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Post by dik pose » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:20 pm

Awesome man, I was going to do my homework on this before posting, but figured someone would do it for me if I posted (I didnt have time last night)

I think it is good to get the info out there quickly rather than sit on it too long.

Thanks for posting the link.. I will read that link in its entirety later.

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Post by Kazu » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:47 pm

Thanks for that post, Squirpy. When a friend sent that rant to me via email, I smelled something fishy about it.
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dik pose
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Post by dik pose » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:07 am

Well, I still havent read the link from Squirpy, but here is a link to the transcripts of the proposal to get legislation started to change Orphan Laws...

so even if a law is not in legislation, there is talk about changing these laws, and that IS something we should all keep an eye on...

http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat031308.html

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Nick
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Post by Nick » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:28 am

Here's another counter argument.

http://maradydd.livejournal.com/374886.html

All the info and speculation flying around the web is making the waters very muddy indeed. I'm going to have to read all this again when i get home from work.

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Post by The Monongahela Monster » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:50 am

The AWN guy's article was a bit over the top- *OMG THEY CAN TAKE THE SHIRT OFF YOUR BACK WE'LL ALL BE NAKED* and so on.

However, the first point in all the rebuttals is 'this legislation isn't even before Congress'. However, what it says here-
http://orphanworks.blogspot.com/2008/03 ... -back.html
-is that a version of the bill died last year, but a new version is being drafted for consideration in 2008. So, it sounds like it's not as gone as we might like it to be.

Furthermore, Brad Holland is worried about it. And Brad Holland is, as far as I can tell, a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and credible guy (and a brilliant illustrator). Audio interview with him here:
http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html
The interview was conducted by the AWN guy, so it's got the *OMG THEY'LL TAKE YOUR PANTS TOO* type of stuff all over the page in red letters. Still- Brad Holland.

This may or may not be anything to panic about, but if we're relying on our elected representatives to protect us from corporate interests... well... I've got a little bit of a bad feeling about it.

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Post by ChadTHX1138 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:04 am

The Animation Guild has a rebuttal on this and the AWN article.

Pretty much saying it is bogus...
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Post by The Monongahela Monster » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:20 am

Link please? I saw a bunch of comments there in an Orphan Works thread- the best-articulated part was a statement from the copyright office, which can also be read here:
http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat031308.html

The gist of the statement seems to be 'don't worry, an Orphan Works law would only go into effect when the creator of a piece of art can't be found'. That doesn't strike me as much of a rebuttal, though, since the question remains: how hard does somebody who wants to use your work have to look for you before they can legally say they couldn't find you?

But maybe I didn't see the article you meant. Don't get me wrong- I'm hoping this is all FUD. I just haven't read anything yet to entirely convince me of that.

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Read the new, 2008 Orphan Works bill for yourself

Post by The Monongahela Monster » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:59 pm

You can download the texts of the House and Senate versions of the new, 2008 Orphan Works legislation from the Illustrators' Partnership website.

http://illustratorspartnership.org/

It seems to say that if someone wants to use a particular work, they have to perform a "good faith" search to try and find the author of the work. If they can't find the author (because, for instance, you haven't registered the work), it looks like they're not liable for infringement. In short, if your work isn't registered, you're not protected.

IANAL, and I've only read it in the most cursory fashion (just found the link a few minutes ago). But I'd have to say 'no sir... I don't like it'.

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Post by patrace » Thu May 15, 2008 12:59 pm

I can see how this is potentially scary but in reading this bill it seems that they've defined what a constitutes a "good faith" search and haven't left it intentionally vague. The search must be documented and follow the copyright offices best practices guidelines. Also a lack of identifying information isn't enough to give someone the freedom to use your work.

U.S. copyright law is incredibly lengthy and as a result many creations fall into a realm of orphaned works. Those works can't be reproduced or used without violating copyright but at the same time they have no owner.

I'm a fan of copyright reform in the United States. Copyright law should benefit the creator of a work by providing a limited monopoly and then allow the work to pass into the public domain.
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Post by The Monongahela Monster » Thu May 15, 2008 1:24 pm

it seems that they've defined what a constitutes a "good faith" search and haven't left it intentionally vague.
Forgive my skepticism. :)

In practice, the legal rights and protections you can expect to enjoy in the US vary greatly depending on how much money you have to throw at your problems. I predict that the Walt Disney Corporation's right to profit from the image of Mickey Mouse will emerge from this round of legislation miraculously unscathed. Any new limits on copyright protection will chiefly affect less monolithic entities like, say, myself, and perhaps you- individual creators whose work can be found online.

Again, I'd love to be wrong about this.

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Post by patrace » Fri May 16, 2008 2:22 pm

@Monster

You're probably right to be skeptical. Is there anything that can be added to this legislation to make certain that only truly orphaned works to pass into the public domain?
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Post by Mac McCool » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:34 am

It's not too late to call, fax, write to, or e-mail your legislators about stopping, or at least amending, the Orphan Works bill. For the latest news, the Illustrator Partnership has created a blog. Also consult the Orphan Works Opposition website, which offers more insight.

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