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URGENT – PLEASE HELP!!! Orphan Works Act | The Art of Will Terrell

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URGENT – PLEASE HELP!!! Orphan Works Act

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If you have not heard about the Orphan Works act,. please read up on it here..
ORPHAN WORKS ACT  The basics are that it is a congressional attempt to replace current copyright practices with a registration system, where each work must be individually copyrighted for a fee.  It takes the burden of copyright off of the user and puts it unfairly on artists, while removing almost all reasonable compensation and punishment for theft of copyright. 

To put it in perspective, I produce upwards of 5000 drawings, illustrations, and sketches a year that, under current law, are copyrighted the moment they’re created, signed and dated.  This bill takes that away completely. 

PLEASE HELP US!!! ALL artists, writers, photographers… we need your support.  There’s rumor this bill is a hoax.  I assure it is NOT.  In fact it was slipped through committee LAST NIGHT 5/19… and is fast tracked without debate to be voted in Senate.  We need your voice to speak for all of us artists that bring good things to the world.  If this bill passes, you will see a lot more Copyright Blemishes splashed across every image you see… if you even see nearly as many images as now.  No artist wants their work to be taken and abused by anyone without compensation or permission. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!

Even if you are not an artist, Contact your representatives in the Senate and House, TODAY visit http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml  Ask that they stop the bill so that it can be reviewed and debated. 

Contact your Congressman in opposition bill S.2913, the Orphan Works Act

Here is the basic email I’ve sent, but make it your own…

“Senator, I am writing to you to request that you speak for me in opposition to bill S.2913, the Orphan Works Act;  Because it has been negotiated behind closed doors, introduced on short notice and fast-tracked for imminent passage without open hearings, ask that this bill not be passed until it can be exposed to an open, informed and transparent public debate.  Thank you sir for your time.”

The House Judiciary Committee is considering H.R. 5889, the companion bill now. Please write them as well:

Congressman,

I am writing to you to request that you speak for me in opposition to H.R. 5889, a companion bill to Senates bill S.2913: the Orphan Works act; Because it has been negotiated behind closed doors, introduced on short notice and fast-tracked for imminent passage without open hearings, I ask that this bill not be passed until it can be exposed to an open, informed and transparent public debate. Thank you sir for your time.

I dont normally watermark my artwork with copyright.  But if this law passes, this may be one of the only ways to protect our artwork when we post online. Essentially, I would be rendering my artwork useless with a watermark to would-be users seeking to use my artwork without just compensation. But this watermark protection isn’t a guarantee, because anything printed or reproduced without your copyright will now be subject to theft! (That’s not to say your copyright wouldn’t be purposefully stripped for the purpose of theft.)

Right now, anyone can download my artwork, but no one can legally profit off my artwork without just compensation to me. This is all about to change with this new bill.

The Orphan Works act works like this. Is someone finds your artwork on the web, or printed elsewhere, without proper copyright and registration (or with the copyright stripped off), they can register it — after a “reasonable and diligent search.”

Now, if you want to protect your images from being ripped off, you would need to register your images with all these privately owned registries. How much will cost? Who knows? How many images do you draw per year?

If you’re in Lubbock, John Cornyn is our senator, and he was one of the folks on this committee.  So lets step up the effort to get this thing at least stalled so it can be looked through.  the Orphan Works Act Senate Bill S.2913 and House Bill H.R. 5889. Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA),Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Lamar Smith (R-TX), (Chairman and Ranking Members of House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property and Full Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member respectively) and Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Please get active and protect your copyrights, or be prepared to lose them!

Read the act, testimony or full report
Go to the Illustrator’s Partnership Resource Page !
See the Brad Holland video about this act
Government contacts and sample letter!

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