Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Take Action: Orphan Rights Act

Hey everyone, Not sure if you are familiar with the piece of possible legislation, but it could be disastrous to our industry.

Please take a moment & drop you congressperson a note today!

The Orphan Works Bill goes to the house for a vote tomorrow!! There is no time left to make your voice heard. IT'S SO EASY to make sure your senators and representatives hear you and how important it is for them to vote NO to this bill. My letter is below but an easy to use form is at this link, it's a no brainer. You can customize or do nothing, just fill in your info and it will be emailed to the senators and representatives in your state based on your zipcode.

Legislative Action Center

Please take 2 tiny minutes to fill this in NOW before it's too late, it's so very important to all visual artists. Please forward to all those you'd like to protect and the loved ones that care about us all.

Additional info:
Brad Holland and the Illustrators Partnership need your help opposing legislation that will put the livelihood of every illustrator and photographer at risk, and if passed, would pretty much mean an end to any right you have to your own creations.

Despite its seemingly laudable ends, S. 2913 and HR. 5889 - the “Orphan Works Bill” needs to be opposed and defeated. And we need to do this immediately! Here's why:

1. It changes the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act (enacted in 1978), and
makes it virtually impossible for artists to protect their work. It
basically allows anyone to use a design without the copyright
holder's permission.

2. It requires artists to attempt to protect their work by
registering it with a digital data base system (presumably for a fee,
in addition to the copyright filing fee)-when no such system exists!

3. It eliminates statutory damages wherever an infringer can
successfully claim an orphan works defense, thus eliminating the only tool the law provides to prevent deliberate infringement.

4. It allows for an infringer to create-and copyright-a derivative
work from the original design.

"If we do not stop BOTH Orphan Works Bills NOW-
It does not matter that you created it.
It does not matter that you have a copyright mark on it.
It does not matter that it is registered in the Library of Congress.
It does not matter that you signed it.
It does not matter that you put a big fat watermark across it.
It does not matter that you put digital signatures on it.
It does not matter if you get a lawyer- you will get a pittance
determined by the offending company and no reimbursement for legal fees.
It does not matter even if you do as they demand and pay to register it in the new registries that they will form - there is no real punishment for using your work for profit.
It does not matter that you do not want your image used on a product or to promote an agenda.
They can even sell your prints and make money!"

For more info on this matter go to:

A webcast interview with Brad Holland about the Orphan Works act bill can be heard at:
Orphan Works information

The Orphan Works Act of 2008 is hugely critical to the possible
future careers of artists everywhere and it must be opposed.

Time is of the essence. This legislation appears to be scheduled for
fast-tracking. Please act today!

I encourage you to take a minute to sign your name to the
Petition by linking to the website below.

Deviants against the "Orpaned Works" Bill - Signatures

You can also go to: Graphic Artists Guild: Elected Officials to get the contact info for your state's officials.

Please forward this message to anyone who can help us on this matter or might be effected by it. And thank you for helping protect artists rights.



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:
Legislative Action Center

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