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Anyone concerned about changing copyright laws? (orphan works bill)


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#1 blueglass

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:07 AM

Hello,
I read about the possibility of copyright laws changing in the near future:
read article
It's worthwhile to read that link to stay on top of things.
Anyone concerned about this changes?
Any more information about what is going on?
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Carlos Villoch
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#2 masguy

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:07 AM

Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903

As a lawyer who has worked on some copyright issues over the years (I am by no means an expert) I think anyone who is concerned about copyright protection in the U.S. should read the report by the Registrar of Copyrights @

http://www.copyright...phan-report.pdf

There is a summary of the report here:

http://www.copyright...stat031308.html

You can see the video transcript of the most recent hearing (March 13) in the House of Representatives here:

http://judiciary.hou...ght.aspx?ID=427

You can see what the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has to say about it here:

http://www.asmp.org/...phan_update.php

I think folks should know the facts before they engage in a discussion.

While the law has a legitimate purpose (to free up the use of untraceable historic works) the protections afforded authors (it denies them the right to attorney’s fees otherwise provided in every other instance of copyright infringement) is insufficient. It has been my experience, that the fact the copyright law has a mandatory attorney fee component, often hastens settlement of an author’s claim.

I am also concerned about how “diligent” a copyright user has to be in searching for an author of a work. See the link below about the millions in unpaid royalties that record companies did not pay because they “could not find” such “unknowns” as David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Harry Belafonte, Liza Minnelli, Dave Matthews, Sean Combs and Gloria Estefan:

http://www.oag.state...y/may4a_04.html


Masguy

#3 echeng

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:20 PM

I received this e-mail today from Lee Peterson and Tom Harman over at Marine Camera Distributorss:

FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP

Take Action: Don't Let Congress Orphan Your Work

THE ORPHAN WORKS BILL IS BACK.

And this time the wheels have been greased for quick passage.

Yesterday a revived Orphan Works Bill sailed through a House panel. Today the Senate bill will be marked up. These bills will expose any work of art to commercial infringement. This will include everything from professional paintings to personal photos placed on the net.

The bills will coerce you to register your work with for-profit registries as a condition of protecting your copyrights. Any unregistered pictures will be subject to Orphan Works infringement. This is a radical departure from international copyright law and normal business practice.

If you wish to oppose this legislation, you must act now. We've set up an online site for anyone to e-mail their Senators and Representatives with one click. This site is open to professional artists, photographers and any member of the image-making public.

We've provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, reps, licensing firms, designers:

If you're opposed to the Orphan Works act, this site is yours to use.

For international artists and our colleagues overseas, we've provided a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write.

2 minutes is all it takes to write Congress and fight for your copyrights. Go here:

http://capwiz.com/il...rtnership/home/

Pick a sample letter or write your own. Type in your zip code. Your letter will be automatically addressed to your congressman and senators. Click and send.

For more information about the Orphan Works Act of 2008:

IPA Statement to House Subcommittee March 20, 2008:

http://www.illustrat...earchterm=00261

IPA Senate Mark-up Comments April 30, 2008:

http://www.illustrat...hip.org/ow_docs

Geneva/ May 7, 2008 Orphan Works Bill Catches Global Attention/ Intellectual Property Watch: http://www.ip-watch....ndex.php?p=1028

MP3 Interview: http://www.sellyourt...com/orphan.html

YouTube:

Please post this message or forward it to any interested party.

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.


eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#4 wagsy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 05:14 PM

It can only happen in the USA....what a joke. :guiness:
Big greedy USA company's at work again.

I'm in good old AUS and I don't think rubbish like that would work here.
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#5 brandoncole

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 09:19 AM

It can only happen in the USA....what a joke. :guiness:
Big greedy USA company's at work again.

I'm in good old AUS and I don't think rubbish like that would work here.


I only wish this was a joke.

This Orphan Works BS has me more worried about my future than anything else I've faced in my 15 years in this business.

brandon

#6 John Bantin

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 10:11 AM

I couldn't see any opportunity for a non US voter to write a letter her so if anyone would care to add my twopennyworth to their letter (or make up an address for me) here it is:

My work is protected under English Law as a Statutory Right. I will vigorously pursue and unlicensed reproduction of my work in the High Court of Her Majesty and seek to enforce judgement against any US citizen/or entity should they have assets on any UK territory.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#7 timrock

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:26 PM

Well, the links work.

I got this back from my Congresswoman:

MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO
427 Cannon House Office Building
Washingon, D.C. 20515-5301
Phone: (202) 225-1188
Fax: (202) 226-0341


May 15, 2008


Mr. Timothy Rock

P.O. Box 24666

Barrigada, GU 96921



Dear Mr. Rock,


Thank you for your e-mail regarding H.R. 5889, The Orphan Works Act of 2008, and for sharing your concerns for artists' rights with me. I am supportive of the visual arts and of copyright laws that are in the best interests of artists and innovators. I will examine this issue closely and will evaluate its ability to best protect visual artists and their businesses. Thank you again for your input. I will keep your views in mind if this legislation progresses in the legislative process.

Sincerely,
/s/

MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO
Member of Congress
Tim Rock
Barrigada, Guam 96921 USA
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#8 echeng

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 08:33 PM

An acquaintance of mine, Dan Heller, has posted a good article about the Orphan Works Act. It is worth a read...
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#9 TheRealDrew

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:59 AM

An acquaintance of mine, Dan Heller, has posted a good article about the Orphan Works Act. It is worth a read...


A good analysis of the general situation, but the Act still is something I am not fond of, probably as much emotionally as practically. The thought of being forced to allow someone to be permitted to use something a person created on the provisions in proposed law is unsettling. Of course the Copyright Laws has many provisions that have to be looked at, and this amendment is not made in a vaccum. To wind through the laws and all the "what ifs" would would be very interesting, but rather lengthy. For instance, the law provides time limits on when actions may be commenced.

I would prefer to see the entities listed in Sec. 514 ( c ) ( 1 ) ( B ) - "a nonprofit educational institution, library, or archives, or a public broadcasting entity" as the only parties who could receive protection under the Orphan Works in any manner whatsoever.

Even then it is not difficult to construct a scenario where a photographer would not permit an entity to use a photograph if the photographer was initially approached for use of the photograph. The limits on injunctive relief are also something of a concern. You can wordsmith the proposed law forever.

For instance the Sec. 514 ( c ) ( 1 ) ( B ) entities, in order to not pay compensation, need to prove by a "preponderance" of the evidence that

(ii) the infringement was primarily educational, religious, or charitable in nature


"primarily", "educational", "religious" and "charitable" would all be open to argument.

Hopefully the Copyright Office, between fees and paperwork, makes the Notice of Use filings a bit a pain to deal with and does make it more difficult so the "bad guys" to try to slip into this protection.

Though it is relatively easy to file with the Copyright Office, the paperwork and cost is something that many people will not do and they are ultimately adding alot of overhead to the system. Professionals probably file their works, but in the digital age there is a huge amount of photographers out there. If someone posts a photo on the POTW and it gets picked up and winds its way through the internet, does it mean the photographer meant to free it to the world? Should someone force be forced to have it licensed? How difficult will it be for someone to determine whether a Notice of Use has been filed? And a slew of other questions.

It is funny, but there could be an ancillary benefit to this proposed bill. The uproar it has made is focusing the attention of photographers on the Copyright Law where they may not have thought about it as much before.

#10 LanceG

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:32 AM

Reply to my letter from Senator CORNYN.

Lets just say that if I was executive for the recording industry or the poor librarains. I would be getting a nice warm feeling about how He plans on vote on this bill.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

As you know, S. 2913 was introduced in the Senate on April 24, 2008. This legislation provides a limitation on judicial remedies in copyright infringement cases involving “orphan works”—copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify and locate. I strongly believe that we must protect the intellectual property rights of the authors, journalists, and artists who, through their creative pursuits, benefit all Americans. I also understand that the issue of “orphan works” presents a real problem to both content creators and to content users. Potential users of "orphan works"—such as the libraries and museums who work to preserve historical journals, records, and films—shy away from materials for fear of being sued should an owner emerge.

While potential users suffer as "orphan works" fade into disuse, the creators also lose. Not only do creators receive no monetary compensation for "orphan works" that are never used, but they also lose the benefit of having their work viewed and appreciated. For example, a vast treasure trove of documentary and artistic films from the early days of cinema are now disintegrating in their boxes because the film preservationists and historians who would restore them are afraid of copyright liability.

On May 15, 2008, an amended version of S. 2913 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaits further consideration by the full Senate. This legislation is intended to help fix the "orphan works" problem while taking into account concerns expressed by content creators. You may be interested to learn that S. 2913 has been endorsed by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as independent librarians, historians, and preservationists.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain I will keep your thoughts in mind as S. 2913 and other relevant legislation is considered. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator





517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
http://www.cornyn.senate.gov

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#11 TheRealDrew

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:47 AM

Reply to my letter from Senator CORNYN.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.


On May 15, 2008, an amended version of S. 2913 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaits further consideration by the full Senate. This legislation is intended to help fix the "orphan works" problem while taking into account concerns expressed by content creators. You may be interested to learn that S. 2913 has been endorsed by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as independent librarians, historians, and preservationists.



Here is the revision with highlights

http://www.govtrack....?bill=s110-2913

Started reading through it, still winding through it but this part which was added is good

`(f) Exclusion for Fixations in or on Useful Articles- The limitations on remedies under this section shall not be available to an infringer for infringements resulting from fixation of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work in or on a useful article that is offered for sale or other distribution to the public.'.



#12 echeng

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:33 AM

Reply from Senator Feinstein:

Dear Mr. Cheng:

Thank you for writing about S. 2913, the "Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act." I appreciate hearing from you.

America's copyright industry is one of our most important economic engines, and giving artists the incentive to produce their works is vital to our country. As I am sure you know, the creative process is so important that our Founding Fathers put copyright protection into the U.S. Constitution. That is why I feel so strongly that we must continue to give copyrighted works the protection they deserve.

I understand your concerns regarding certain provisions in this bill. I believe that all artists should be able to maintain their right to be compensated for their hard work, and I worked with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to make improvements to the bill that would further protect the rights of visual artists. The bill now also requires the user of an orphan work to search for all persons and entities that can license the intended use of the work before they may use it.

On May 15, 2008, the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, unanimously approved the orphan works bill. Please know that if the Senate considers this legislation any further I will be sure to keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.

Again, thank you for writing. If you should have any further comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, DC staff at (202) 224-3841.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator


A lobbyist friend told me that the bill was "the baby of someone who died of cancer, so unfortunately, it's being seen as a sort of tribute to him. Unfortunately, that's sometimes the way it is."
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#13 ATJ

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:59 PM

I'm in good old AUS and I don't think rubbish like that would work here.

But those big greedy US companies will be able to use your photographs and you won't be protected.

#14 wagsy

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:41 PM

Well if a big greedy US company every uses my stuff I hope their server website/email is well protected :D
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