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Thread: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

  1. #1

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    Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    I started a new thread on this topic to give you an important update that I thought might go buried if only posted as a response to the the original thread started by Domenico.

    The latest word from the APA is that the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed the Senate version of this legislation behind closed doors, without public hearings, and the proposal is now being fast tracked for a vote at the same time that the House is considering their version. The APA has letters for you to contact your political representatives in both chambers of the legislature, and I wanted to urge everyone to do so, even if you have already signed a petition, or sent letter before. They need to hear from all of us a lot. Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

    Here is a link:

    http://app.e2ma.net/app/view:Campaig...10a8455694e6d9

    If you have time, and are so inclined, please send a letter. Thanks!

    Claudio
    Last edited by claudiocambon; 19-May-2008 at 16:02. Reason: grammar

  2. #2

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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Thank you Claudio,
    done once more.
    Domenico

  3. #3

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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Thanks Claudio,
    done as well.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  4. #4
    Brett Simison bsimison's Avatar
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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Done. I also went to my congressman's and senator's websites and drafted personal messages about this. It doesn't take that much longer than sending the form letter, and perhaps personalized messages will draw a little more attention.

  5. #5

    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Done!

  6. #6
    Brett Simison bsimison's Avatar
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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    I received a response from Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Thought y'all might be interested to read it.

    Dear Mr. Simison:

    Thank you for contacting me about orphan works. I appreciate hearing from you, and I am sorry to hear that we disagree on this matter.

    On April 24, 2008, Senator Hatch and I introduced the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008, S. 2913. This bill would allow the use of orphan works, but only if the users first conduct and document a diligent search for any owners, from whom they could seek licenses to use the works, but are unable to locate those copyright owners. If a copyright owner later emerges, the user must pay reasonable compensation to the owner and is shielded only from full statutory damages.

    The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act does not dramatically restructure copyright law - it simply provides for a limitation on damages in discrete, limited circumstances in which, among other things, the owner is not locatable. It does not provide for a transfer of copyright ownership or rights. The legislation also does not require artists to register their works; it merely provides extra protection for visual works by requiring the Register of Copyrights to certify that there exist databases of visual art that have the capability to search images both by text and by image.

    Congress must act carefully to ensure that legislation does not harm the creators who hold copyrights and who bring so much value to our culture and our economy. At the same time, I would like to see the chance for social and cultural enrichment by enabling use of these orphan works by the public. At its core, the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act seeks to unite users and copyright owners, and it seeks to ensure that copyright owners are compensated for the use of their works. It does not create any orphans, and it does not create a license to infringe.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

  7. #7

    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    The intention is to create a supply of low to no cost creative content for end users (Companies, Corporations, et al) with little to no liability. Whether you agree with the stated concept or not, this is another realm of competition for creative professionals, which further dilutes an already somewhat saturated market.

    The idea of protecting museums, educational institutions, or restoration specialists could be addressed by more clearly defining Fair Use. Your Legislative branch is nearly all former attorneys, so drafting something that covers those aspects shouldn't be that difficult. Instead they have chosen the path of benefiting a few to the detriment of others. All one needs to do is ask: where is the money. When you see who stands to benefit from such legislation, I think you find an answer to that.

  8. #8

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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    I also want to know how a diligent search is defined. How hard to they have to try to look for you? What if they claim the image they found had no title, and therefore they couldn't find the owner? What if you are a photographer somewhere in the majority (developing) world without a website or other clear contact info, but with an amazing portfolio that then gets exploited? Or what if "they" call, leave a garbled message, but then never follow up, but claim they made the necessary contact because you never called to object?

    What is the burden of proof, and why does it smell as if corporations, government agencies and other large entities are being given the benefit of the doubt at the same time that we are in other ways being increasingly burdened with risks?

  9. #9
    Brett Simison bsimison's Avatar
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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Here's the response I just received from Bernard Sanders, US Senator from Vermont. Bold emphasis is mine.

    Dear Brett:

    Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about S. 2912, The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. Copyright laws are a complex issue and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this important topic.

    The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 was introduced in the Senate on April 24, 2008. Similar legislation relating to orphan works has also been introduced in the House of Representatives. Neither bill has garnered a significant amount of co-sponsors or support.

    Intellectual property issues need to be addressed in a manner that protects the ability of educational and non-profit institutions to access materials without burdensome or costly obstacles. At the same time, the rights of artists and creators of content must also be respected. I understand the concerns of Vermont artists in regards to this bill and will keep your views in mind should this legislation regarding orphan works copyright issues come before the Senate for a vote.

  10. #10

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    Re: Orphaned Art Legislation - Important Update

    Brett,

    Sanders' response was a lot more fair than the one I got from Richardson in Long Beach, which seemed to have been drafted by the Party, and which put all sorts of faith in the due diligence of people searching for owners of copyright.

    Good news the bill is going nowhere! Thanks for posting this.

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