Calling all artists, designers, photographers, creators of intellectual property...
This bill affects EVERYONE...whether you create yourself or enjoy the creative efforts of others. PLEASE, take 10 minutes of your day and fax your elected officials, tell them they MUST VOTE AGAINST the orphan works bills. THIS MUST BE DONE BY WEDNESDAY!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!
Late last week, 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. WE NEED TO STOP THIS. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES IMMEDIATELY! WE MUST BE HEARD.
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!
Many of you have heard of the Orphan Works bill that was fought over the past couple years by SCBWI, GAG, the Illustrators Partnership, etc. Well, this past week, the Orphan Works bill was reformatted and is currently being catapulted through both the Senate and House at lightening speed. If passed in their current forms, the repercussions from these bills will adversely affect every single SCBWI member…whether writer, illustrator, manufacturer or publisher. In a nutshell, the bills will create a huge loophole for anyone that chooses to reproduce or use copyrighted materials in any way they choose (including for profit). At the same time, it also removes all current legal punishment for copyright infringement by removing damage and legal fee awards for those whose works are infringed or stolen.
Artists who have registered their work with the U.S. Copyright office will no longer be protected. Manufacturers with in-house staff or who have purchased art as wfh and subsequently registered those images will also no longer be protected. Nor will photographers, publishers, or basically any form of creative expression that can be copyrighted.
In our current economic climate and controversies about politics and war, Congressional leaders have much more to worry about than this “little” bill. And that is exactly why it is being timed like this….to “piggyback” through on the tails of something more important. The timing by the bill’s supporters is impeccable. And that’s why we need to be equally as diligent.
This information below is extremely important and must be followed through immediately. This also needs to be brought to the attention of the leadership (and members) of every single professional organization (from GAG to SCBWI and beyond) that will be affected by this. The urgency to act immediately is real because these bills are being rushed through VERY quickly. If they are passed, every person or company that depends on copyright ownership of intellectual property will lose.
If you want to hear an interview that goes into more depth about the bills as well as more information about the impact they will have on ALL creatives, please go to this link……
Also you can visit any number of other professional organization sites such as Graphic Artists’ Guild www.gag.org or Illustrators Partnership www.illustratorspartnership.org . These are both creative advocacy organizations dedicated to protecting the rights of artists and are experts in this issue.
Visit this specific link for more on the very latest: http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00265
Find your representative:http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
1. Call the representative 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 letterGet as many signatures as possible on the paper copies.
Do all 4 steps if you want to be heard!There is a small window of time to voice your oppositionusually the best time to act is in the 48 hours following the release of the bill number!
Let others know so this bill can be stopped! And we can protect our ART!