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  #1  
Old May 8th, 2008, 12:01 PM
Cory Silken Cory Silken is offline
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Default Orphan Works Bill back again, write Congress & Post here that you have done it!

Do you like looking at pictures? Do you like taking pictures? Do you like selling pictures? Do you like the idea that photography can be a profession?

The Orphan Works Bill, which reduces copyright protection, is being put before Congress once again, and it will seriously threaten photography and other visual arts businesses if it passes. It’s completely absurd! Please go to the web site, http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/ , scroll down to where it says For Photographers and write to your senators and representatives- it’s very automated and takes only a moment to do.

I know some of you do not live in the USA, so please forward this to any photographer friends who do.
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  #2  
Old May 8th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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I have no lesson to give to US citizens, but I think I can give my advice to my friends photographers all over the world…
In Europe, and particularly in France we (UPC, see my sig.) battle for the protection of photographers rights.
More and more pics are stolen everyday on the web, mine are COUNTLESS!

So dear American friends, I would like to encourage you to act as Citizens, show the world your love for freedom but also respect of other's work and property…

For the lazy ones, here the text to edit and send to your Senator tthough it's much easier to follow the link provided by Cory…):

Quote:
On behalf of a [friend] who is visual creator in my life, I am writing to express my grave misgivings about The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.

I strongly oppose this bill.

I am not opposed to usage of orphan works by the cultural heritage sector for noncommercial purposes, or use by museums and libraries for preservation and education. This legislation, however, makes no limitations for these purposes. It will dangerously expose my [friend’s] art to infringements while stripping [her/him] of any practical means to protect [her/his] work.

The Orphan Works Act has the potential to do great harm to those who create intellectual property and us, their supportive network. If the intent of the bill was to allow museums, libraries and other not-for-profit institutions to legally exploit the creative work of authors who are difficult to locate, it has been used to extrapolate a widespread market failure, which the authors of this bill have not documented.

My [friend] is a working artist trying to manage [his/her] copyrights. [He/She] is easy to locate. This bill would allow anyone to declare any artist unlocatable. It allows easy access to artwork without the original artist’s consent.

My [friend] is often required to omit identifying information from (his/her) work. In addition, credit lines are frequently omitted, occasionally for legitimate reasons, sometimes not.

As a supporter of the rights of artists, I have the following objections to the Orphan Works 2008 bill:

1. It undermines the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act (enacted in 1978), in ways that will make it virtually impossible for me to protect my work.

2. It will burden artists to attempt to protect their work, at their expense, by registering it with a digital database system --when no such system currently exists.

3. It will eliminate statutory damages wherever an infringer can successfully claim an orphan works defense, thus removing the only tool the law provides artists to deter deliberate infringement.

4. It will allow for an infringer (including non-profits) to create —and copyright— a derivative work from an original illustration — even if the artist, as copyright holder to the original work, objects.

5. This bill would violate the Berne International Copyright Convention and fail the three-step test of TRIPs, which requires that exceptions to an artist’s exclusive rights should be limited to certain special cases, not interfere with an artist’s normal exploitation of his work, and not prejudice a rights-holder’s legitimate interest.

In short, the Orphan Works Act fails to properly define the category of orphaned work. It sets the infringer’s bar of due diligence so low that it virtually guarantees abuse.

I ask you to consider the harm this bill can do to visual artists, their businesses, and the businesses and people that rely on their protected creativity. Please vote against it unless it is amended to precisely define an orphan work as a copyright no longer managed by a rights-holder.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed Orphan Works legislation.


Thank you for all who makes or try to make their living with photography…
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Old May 8th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Silken View Post
Do you like looking at pictures? Do you like taking pictures? Do you like selling pictures? Do you like the idea that photography can be a profession?

The Orphan Works Bill, which reduces copyright protection, is being put before Congress once again, and it will seriously threaten photography and other visual arts businesses if it passes. It’s completely absurd! Please go to the web site, http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/ , scroll down to where it says For Photographers and write to your senators and representatives- it’s very automated and takes only a moment to do.

I know some of you do not live in the USA, so please forward this to any photographer friends who do.
What's the timing?

Asher
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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More, here
and here
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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Colleen Vermillion Colleen Vermillion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
What's the timing?
Two different bills have been introduced in the House and Senate - it will likely take some time to work out the wording. I don't see anything to be alarmed about in the text of either bill. It doesn't make it any more difficult (or easier actually) to get justice for small scale infringement, but it does take some pressure off of people who have tried to find the original copyright owner to work out a deal for use of the protected work particularly if they are an educational or non-profit organization. There is a provision to study the current costs of registering copyright, and how to deal with the problem of the cost of prosecuting an infringer likely being more than the damages. And there is a provision in the Senate bill to certify copyright registries and keep a list of certified registries in one location on-line. I think it's a good thing, because I think it will lead to affordable or even free registries depending on how odious the certification process ends up being.

I'm particularly interested in the registries because of an incident that Asher knows about where someone started posting images on the Bibble forum that obviously were not taken by them and it was exceedingly difficult to find the true owners of the images. I have a dream of a searchable registry of the visual arts where the search string "artistic n*de ice block" returns the image I'm looking for ( by Amelkovich ) and some way to contact the owner instead of just really hideous porn.

There's a couple links in my earlier post that have a little of both sides of the debate.

Also here's a link to the current US copyright law if you want to compare and contrast, or just find a little bit of legalese helps you nod off at night

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

-Colleen

Last edited by Colleen Vermillion; May 8th, 2008 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Added a link
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  #6  
Old May 9th, 2008, 07:19 AM
Cory Silken Cory Silken is offline
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There are up and down sides to be sure. The main problem with the writing and passing of the bill is that artists have neither money nor any other significant political currency to be properly represented in the process.

Making it easier to find the author of a work is a great idea, but it does not have to be packaged with license to steal the work if you can't find the author. Likewise for making damages for copyright infringement more valueable than legal fees.
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  #7  
Old May 9th, 2008, 12:37 PM
Colleen Vermillion Colleen Vermillion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Silken View Post
The main problem with the writing and passing of the bill is that artists have neither money nor any other significant political currency to be properly represented in the process.
I don't think that's true. Both the bill introduced in the Senate and the House have a "STUDY ON REMEDIES FOR SMALL COPYRIGHT CLAIMS" section that is the first step toward addressing the problem of litigating an infringement claim costing more than the money the court would award if the claim were successful. Photographers have quite a few organizations willing to lobby for their interests - the PPA is cautious, but optimistic and was called to testify during hearings two years ago. The NPPA is not supporting the current legislation and the ASMP is offering some suggestions

I don't really have a horse in this race. I'm engaged just because IP law is an interest of mine and this particular one is going to affect a lot of folks I know. It does seem to me that the opposition is overreacting at this point. Granted the law doesn't do anything to remedy the real problems most individuals have getting justice from infringers, but I don't really think it's making anything worse than it was. The half of the battle that happens after you discover the infringement gets better with this legislation (or at least doesn't get worse), because the infringer must have documented before they used your work that they intended to claim your work was orphaned, they have to stop infringing when you come forward, they have to negotiate reasonable costs in good faith, and start payments in a reasonable time frame or they lose the limitations on damages. Granted it doesn't address preventing and catching infringement, but it sure does help if your goal is to stop the infringement and get compensated for it and offers a little shelter for the people who honestly wanted to do the right thing.

-Colleen
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