Have you heard about this? I only just did this morning when it was posted on Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog. Basically, the US Orphan Works Act will make it infinitely easier for scandals to STEAL the work of small time artists by allowing the free use of "orphaned" works. Basically, if the Orphan Works Act goes through, artists would have to register each and every thing they have created with a private party copyright registrar. OMG - you have GOT to be kidding me!!
This on top of all the other copyright nightmares going on out there?
Below, I've reposted the write up from Drawn! and here is the direct link to TAKE ACTION!
"By now many of you are already informed about the proposed Orphan Works Act being introduced to the U.S. house and senate. For those unaware, this legislation, if enacted, can effectively undermine and dismantle your existing copyright protection.
Currently, copyright is granted the moment a work is created. This new Orphan Works legislation proposes a change in U.S. copyright that would (indirectly) require artists, illustrators, photographers, and any creative individual to actively maintain and defend their copyright by registering each and every work with privatized registrars. Failure to do so would leave everything you’ve ever created as an artist up for grabs by anyone who wanted to copy, reproduce, create derivative works of, or flat out steal your work since the act defines an “orphan work” as any work where the author is unidentifiable or unlocatable, and applies to both published and unpublished works, U.S. and foreign, regardless of age.
This is completely contradictory with international copyright standards and is ethically, logistically, and financially bonkers.
The two bills are S.2913, the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 and H.R.5889, the Orphan Works Act of 2008. Markup of the Bentley bill is this Thursday, May 15, and it’s not too late to voice your concerns.
Taking action to prevent this from happening is not only vital, but incredibly easy. U.S. citizens, simply fill out one of these templates provided by the Illustrators Partnership and your opposition will automatically be e-mailed to your members of Congress.
Non-U.S. citizens can simply FAX these letters to the various U.S. agencies’ numbers provided.
This affects all of us, so I encourage you to educate yourself with the facts. For more information, I’d recommend listening to this eye-opening interview (MP3) with Illustrator Brad Holland, who describes in detail the effect this legislation will have on artists.
The Illustrators’ Partnership of America has plenty more information on the Oprhan Works Act, how it affects you, and what you can do to fight it."
-Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog 5.13.08