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Orphan Works Bill makes its way into Congress - ACT NOW to protect your !

Just a few days ago, both the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate introduced two versions of the Orphan Works bill. Both the Senate version, S.2913, and the House version, H.R.5889 are very similar in nature and closely mirror the Orphan Works Act of 2006.

Radio interview explaining the proposed bill:


Find your representative: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

To get the attention of your representatives, you need to immediately do ALL FOUR of the following steps:

1. Call the representative and give the bill numbers and say I oppose this (You'll get someone who works for your representative and they will log your address and your pro/con feedback.)

2. email your representative

3. Overnight or priority mail a snail mail letter

4. Fax a letter

Get as many signatures as possible on the paper copies.

The original intent for the bill when first proposed was so that educational institutions and non-profit organizations could use copyrighted materials in print form without fear of lawsuit if, after searching for the copyright owners and not being able to locate the owner, the copyrighted materials were subsequently used. That was the original intent. Once the stock image companies, (and others that have to pay to use copyrighted images) got wind of this, however, they realized that with a few changes and added clauses, they could benefit from this, too. In other words, greed has gotten in the way of morals and reason. Those "benefactors" supporting the bill have everything to gain..at our expense.

Here is a sample letter you can edit and send to your local and/or state representatives and Senators. These letters work best when you make your point clear, do not curse, and make them aware that you live in their district or state and can vote for or against them.

Feel free to make this personal with your story on how the Orphan Works legislation will harm your income. Stories are incredibly powerful.

Faxes work better than e-mails, as e-mails are too easy to delete.

Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator (their name)
(their contact info)
Fax: (their fax number)

Re: The Orphan Works legislation Bill # (either H.R. 5889 or S. 2913 depending who you're writing)

Dear (their name),

My name is (your name) and I live in (your city, state). After reading about the Orphan Works bill, I am shocked and outraged that this could happen in our country.

This Orphan Works legislation, if passed, will severely impact my income and life as an artist. Not only will it give license for others to legally steal and use my work for free, it will be virtually impossible for me to afford the time and money to register my creations in all the potential new registries.

(your personal story if you wish. It should show hardship under the new bill)

I strongly urge you to vote AGAINST the Orphan Works bill and protect my rights, my copyrights, to all that I have and will create.

Thank you.


(your name)
(your address)

Original PG post April 11th - Mark Simon has a good article on the proposed Orphan Works legislation that will require artists to register every sketch, drawing, painting, word, photo, sculpture, design with a designated registry to protect their ownership of the work. This expensive and time consuming obligation will devastate the artist's livelihood and rights of their own work.

As it stands now, whatever you create and put in tangible form (on paper, canvas, photo, etc) is automatically protected copyright. You may stop anyone from using the image without your prior consent. This new law would reverse that automatic right.

Please read the article, and write to your congressman. The only parties that benefit from this legislation will be the registering body and the companies that take advantage of unprotected works (ad agencies, royalty stock art/photo companies, etc.)

As mentioned in the article, this will not go away...this will eventually pass if we don't stop it. Read it here.


This page contains a single entry from April 29, 2008 9:53 PM.

The previous post in this blog was "Before" solo exhibit by Cindy Stokes.

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