Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Orphan Works Act

An update on the proposed amendments to the Copyright Bill...

Hi Guys, I have just received this from the Illustrators Partnership and thought I would post a copy of the content of the email here to keep everyone up to date with events thus far:

As promised here is the letter template:



As we wrote yesterday the House Judiciary Committee may mark-up the Orphan Works Bill this week.

Here's a short letter we're proposing for Committee members. Please feel free to modify it and use it as your own.

Dear Honorable ________________,

As an artist and a small business owner, I'm writing to oppose H.R. 5889, the Orphan Works Act of 2008 as currently drafted. Please support the
amendments submitted jointly by the Illustrators' Partnership of America, the Artists Rights Society and the Advertising Photographers of America. Otherwise, please do not vote this bill out of committee until Congress can hold proper hearings into the harm it will do to small businesses, individual creators and ordinary citizens.

While I support a bill that would give libraries and museums a legitimate expansion of fair use, H.R. 5889 is far too broad. It would cause trillions of dollars of private property to be transferred into the control of a few corporate databases with no guarantee as to how these assets will be protected, used or abused. It will undermine the passive copyright protection that all citizens now enjoy - and that threatens individual creativity, freedom of expression and the right to privacy embodied in copyright law.

There is no reason for the reckless scope of this bill. It is based on a Copyright Office study of orphaned work. Yet it will permit the infringement of contemporary work by creators working in today's commercial markets - a subject the Copyright Office never studied. Its stated purpose is to let libraries and museums digitize their collections and let ordinary folks duplicate family photos. But these modest goals can be met with a modest expansion of Fair Use. I do not believe citizens should have to hand over their personal intellectual property to a few corporate special interests. The unintended consequences of this bill could be a rights grab of monumental proportions.

Please look behind the talking points of the special interests promoting the Orphan Works Act. Do not support a major revision of copyright law without an open, informed and transparent public debate.



We recommend using this template letter 2 ways:

Email it to House Judiciary Committee members using this deep link.

Download the text of this letter, copy it onto your own letterhead and fax it to members of the House Judiciary Committee. We provided their contact information and fax numbers for you here.

--Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

60 organizations, numbering over 250,000 creators, are united in opposing this bill in its current form. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.

Don't Let Congress Orphan Your Work

If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: illustratorspartnership@cnymail.com Place "Add Name" in the subject line, and provide your name and the email address you want used in the message area.

Please post or forward this message in its entirety to any interested party.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
July 15th 2008

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