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Author Topic: Orphan Work Act 2008  (Read 643 times)

Offline nepenthes

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Orphan Work Act 2008
« on: May 12, 2008, 12:46:34 AM »
 I ask you to support all American artists by voicing
opposition to the Orphan Works Acts that are being fast-tracked through
Congress. It's important that you act now - because Congress (both House
and Senate) could be voting on this legislation this month.

The Orphan Works Acts would also affect non-artists, anyone who
takes snapshot photos and shares them through email or on the web. Your personal family memories, pets, friends, etc., could be used by unscrupulous people or in ways you
may object - just to make a buck. The Orphan Works Acts also opens up
privacy issues - like by allowing people to distribute, sell, etc. pictures
of your family members.

Here is a brief summary of some of the problems of the proposed legislation:

* The Orphan Works Acts, if enacted would change copyright law in such
a way that it would be too costly (time and money) to make a living as a
visual artist. There would be less of a need for new art because all one's
existing and new work would be open for others to use for free. Today we
call those people- who use art without asking- infringers, those who steal
art for their own profit.

* The Orphan Works Acts would affect visual artists who do not make a
living from their art (create just for the joy of it). Someone, an
infringer, would be able to use your art anywhere they like to make a buck
and potentially in ways you would object.

The Copyright Act of 1976 was created to allow artists to profit from their
work thereby encouraging artists to create- a priceless gift that artists
contribute to the world. The new legislation would change it for the worse.

There may be a desire for libraries, museums, etc to acquire truly orphaned
works - those in which the author will never be located. Most visual
artists would support this cause for the greater good. But the new Orphan
Works Acts being pushed through Congress are written so broadly, they do not
take into account the devastating impact they will have on living artists
who can be located.

Here is a link to more information and an interview with illustrator Brad Holland:


Please ask your congressmen to vote in opposition to this act- in both house
and senate.

Here's a link to a web tool that allows you to do so effortlessly:

Select the letter that best represents you and edit it as you see fit. One of the letters is for friends and families of artists. Then click to submit - and your letter will be sent immediately electronically to all your congressmen.

Please forward and crosspost widely.

Thank you for your help!
"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.