Forums > General Industry > 6 Misconceptions About Orphan Works

Photographer

digital Artform

Posts: 49326

Los Angeles, California, US

"There's a bunch of FUD going around the internets today about orphaned works, thanks to this article by Mark Simon of Animation World Network. He's urging artists to write their Congresscritters about eeeeevil orphaned works legislation and screaming about how it will effectively invalidate copyright for everyone except big evil registrars.

The problem? There is no such legislation before Congress (there was a bill in 2006, but it was never voted on; Marybeth Peters of the Copyright Office recently spoke before a subcommittee, but that's not a bill), and Simon is flat-out wrong about every concern he raises.

I've distilled his article down to six key misconceptions, and explained why each is wrong. "

-- Meredith L. Patterson

http://maradydd.livejournal.com/374886.html

Apr 12 08 08:34 pm Link

Photographer

Monito -- Alan

Posts: 16524

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Thanks for the link.  I have bookmarked it.  However, Patterson is not quite correct.  While there is no 2008 legislation written at this point, there have been hearings and lobbying to start to get legislation rushed through this session before June.

----

In 2008 new legislation is being prepared to take away rights from creators.  It uses the trojan horse name of Orphan Rights and pretends to be about helping libraries and scholars, but the real intent is to help companies avoid paying living photographers and artists proper fees for their work.  It is a resurrected form of HR 5439 (May 2006) and HR 6052 (Sep. 2006) that were killed by concerted action by creators of visual material.

The American Society of Media Photographers and the Illustrators Partnership of America are both tracking this legislation:
http://www.asmp.org/news/spec2008/orphan_update.php
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/ … term=00185
Here is a 48 minute MP3 interview with illustrator Brad Holland:
http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html

The new proposal is to require creators to register their creations at all of an unlimited number of new works registries, in addition to the Copyright Office.  Companies seeking to use an image would be able to inquire at a couple of obscure registries and then claim due diligence if they did not find the work registered there.  They would then be free to use the image for multiple uses for thousand and millions of copies.  The burden would be on the artist to notice the infringement, absolutely find the company (searching in a couple of places would not count), then notify them, and go to court if necessary.  After all that and paying for their own lawyers' fees, they would only be able to charge whatever usage fee the infringer (not the artist) felt was good.

There is no need for this legislation since libraries and scholars and high school students can use images in reports and papers under the fair use laws that already exist.

Follow the money.  Google, Microsoft, Corbis (owned by Bill Gates), and Getty are lobbying for this.  Many other big money interests stand to benefit from this.  Large companies like Disney that create images can afford to register in many places and have a legal staff.  Medium sized companies and unscrupulous art directors would slip money under the table or buy shady people free lunches to get them to strip watermarks and EXIF info from images to post on websites and forums where they could be claimed as "orphan works".

This is a rights grab against individual photographers and artists and small companies.

Please track this issue and get involved.

See also:
Professor Peter Jaszi.
Anti-alarmist view by Meredith L. Patterson.

Apr 12 08 08:40 pm Link

Photographer

Russell Tracy Photo

Posts: 1011

Norfolk, Virginia, US

This is my understanding of the whole issue.

First you are correct, there is no bill before congress. This is because it has not been presented before congress as a whole, it is still in the works (they are still writing it). We will have to wait till it is actually in "bill form" and has a number assigned to it.

If you are referring to the link posted earlier today (http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html) they didn't say write your congressmen they said to hold off till everything is in writing. They also stated that until it is in bill form and we can't find out what the bill is actually going to do and everything at this point is speculation.

Most of the opinions expressed at this point are based on speculation and knowledge of the 2006 attempt to pass a similar bill into law.

Apr 12 08 09:24 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36345

San Francisco, California, US

NorthPoint Photography wrote:
Most of the opinions expressed at this point are based on speculation and knowledge of the 2006 attempt to pass a similar bill into law.

Bingo, people are stepping two steps ahead of the game.

Apr 12 08 09:53 pm Link

Photographer

Monito -- Alan

Posts: 16524

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Alan from Aavian Prod wrote:
Bingo, people are stepping two steps ahead of the game.

And you think the lobbyists and big companies driving this process aren't trying to run three steps ahead?

Apr 12 08 09:56 pm Link

Photographer

LeDeux Art

Posts: 50123

San Ramon, California, US

digital Artform wrote:
"There's a bunch of FUD going around the internets today about orphaned works, thanks to this article by Mark Simon of Animation World Network. He's urging artists to write their Congresscritters about eeeeevil orphaned works legislation and screaming about how it will effectively invalidate copyright for everyone except big evil registrars.

The problem? There is no such legislation before Congress (there was a bill in 2006, but it was never voted on; Marybeth Peters of the Copyright Office recently spoke before a subcommittee, but that's not a bill), and Simon is flat-out wrong about every concern he raises.

I've distilled his article down to six key misconceptions, and explained why each is wrong. "

-- Meredith L. Patterson

http://maradydd.livejournal.com/374886.html

this is worth another look

Apr 15 08 08:52 pm Link

Wardrobe Stylist

stylist man

Posts: 34372

New York, New York, US

Update of 2008 bill proposal

Orphan Works Bill 2008 - HR5889 - text of bill
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=282201

Apr 28 08 05:06 pm Link

Photographer

Free at last

Posts: 1472

Fresno, California, US

digital Artform wrote:
"There's a bunch of FUD going around the internets today about orphaned works, thanks to this article by Mark Simon of Animation World Network. He's urging artists to write their Congresscritters about eeeeevil orphaned works legislation and screaming about how it will effectively invalidate copyright for everyone except big evil registrars.

The problem? There is no such legislation before Congress (there was a bill in 2006, but it was never voted on; Marybeth Peters of the Copyright Office recently spoke before a subcommittee, but that's not a bill), and Simon is flat-out wrong about every concern he raises.

I've distilled his article down to six key misconceptions, and explained why each is wrong. "

-- Meredith L. Patterson

http://maradydd.livejournal.com/374886.html

Psssst, don't tell this to the house and senate (both of which have bills submitted).

Senate - Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913)

House - Berman and Smith (H.R. 5889)

And we should listen to you, why?

Apr 28 08 09:52 pm Link

Photographer

A S Photography

Posts: 1217

Newark, Delaware, US

Lohkee wrote:
Psssst, don't tell this to the house and senate (both of which have bills submitted).

Senate - Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913)

House - Berman and Smith (H.R. 5889)

And we should listen to you, why?

You are quoting something from April 12.  The bill hadn't been introduced then.

Apr 28 08 10:38 pm Link

Photographer

Free at last

Posts: 1472

Fresno, California, US

A S Photography wrote:

You are quoting something from April 12.  The bill hadn't been introduced then.

Fair enough. Both were formally submitted (I think) April 24; two weeks later. Seems that some people got wind of this issue before the OP. It happens.

Apr 28 08 10:47 pm Link