US Orphan Works Legislation - Act or Die.
This is a request to all LS members who are US citizens. Currently the US Congress is fast tracking legislation on Orphan Works.
Hearings on it began 2 days ago.
Repeated below is the description posted on the American Society of Media Photographers website.
‘Orphan Works’ are basically works whose copyright owners cannot be located.
The term "Orphan Works" is really a dangerously misleading phrase. It makes it sound as if it includes only a few works that are not valued enough by their creators to warrant taking care of them. That may be true for owners of many kinds of copyrights.
However, the reality is that for independent photographers and illustrators, the majority of your published photographs may well become Orphan Works.
The reason for that is that, unlike just about every other category of copyrighted works, photographs and illustrations are typically published without any copyright notice or credit to the photographer or illustrator. The one exception to that has traditionally been editorial uses, but even there the trend seems to be away from providing credit lines.
As more and more photographs are published on the Internet, credits become even rarer. Worse, even if you registered your photographs at the US Copyright Office, there is no mechanism for identifying you or your photograph or for locating you through those records, if the user does not know your name.
Under the proposed legislation, a person or other entity who wants to use a copyrighted work is required to make only a "good faith, reasonably diligent search" to locate the copyright owner. If, after making such a search, the user is unable to locate the copyright owner, he/she/it gets an almost free license to use the work.
If the copyright owner never comes forward, the user gets to use the work for free. Even if the copyright owner discovers the use and demands payment, the MOST the copyright owner can get is "reasonable compensation," i.e. a reasonable license fee for the use actually made. There is NO possibility of statutory damages or attorneys’ fees, even if the work was registered before the use was made without your permission.
Wait, it gets worse: If the copyright owner discovers the use and demands payment, "where the infringement is performed without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, such as through the sale of copies or phonorecords of the infringed work, and the infringer ceases the infringement expeditiously after receiving notice of the claim for infringement, no award of monetary relief shall be made."
The fact that the potential compensation is so low presents a fatal impediment to collection: if you discover one of your works being used and demand only your reasonable licensing fee, but the person refuses to pay, you cannot afford to sue to collect the minimal amount to which you are entitled. Without the possibility of an award of attorneys’ fees or statutory damages, no lawyer would take your case; and if he or she did, you would end up paying far more legal fees than you could possibly collect.
The bottom line is that, even if you have done everything right, including registering your photographs immediately at the Copyright Office, every photograph that you publish may be up for grabs if it doesn’t have a published credit. Yes, people have to contact publishers to try to identify and locate you, but if that doesn’t produce your name and/or contact information for any reason, they may be entitled to a free, or almost free, pass.
I believe the law if enacted, is planned to be retrospective for 28 years. Which means that every photograph and illustration with no credit attached since 1978, if floating around in libraries or on the Net can be considered essentially Royalty Free.
One of the reasons many younger LS members who aspire to be independent professional photographers will (sadly) find it increasingly difficult to make a decent living, is the increasing practice of widespread copyright abuse, predominantly on the Web, which is of course, set to be the ‘air we breathe’ in terms of visual communication.
This legislation will in effect, make copyright infringement almost legal, and IMO, will be a final nail in the coffin for us as photographers. Even chasing up rampant copyright infringement will be pointless, as no lawyer will take the case, and the abuser is not even liable to pay up.
I don’t even live in the US, but realise it will have profound implications on the situation of independent photographers Worldwide.
The ASMP has appealed for people to fax or write to their Congressman ASAP – details can be found here:
I would urge all US based LS members to think carefully about the implications of this legislation, and contact their member of Congress using the ASMP letter template as a matter of urgency.
[a former member]
2006-03-10 02:38:21 UTC
Mar 12 2008
The Rob Galbraith site has posted up a story about this issue with links :
I know its dusty legal stuff, but it really is time to step up for this one, people…it effects all of us because it means essentially the biggest market for images in the World, and the place where most of our images are transferred (because apart from anything else, it’s where Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft live…) is potentially passing legislation which legalises image copyright theft.
10 Mar 2006 09:03
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS’ PARTNERSHIP
Written Testimony re Orphan Works Amendment, House Judiciary Subcommittee
by Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner
March 22, 2006
This is the text of IPAâ€™s written testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee, submitted March 14, 2006.
RE: Orphan Works Amendment to 1976 Copyright Act
The Orphan Works proposal would legalize the infringement of any work of art,
regardless of age, country of origin, published or unpublished, where the rights
holder cannot be identified or located. This would affect illustrations and photographs
disproportionately because images are commonly published without identifying information,
signatures may be illegible and information can be removed by others. By exposing to
infringement any work that cannot be sourced by â€œreasonable effort,â€ the OW amendment
risks orphaning millions of valuable copyrights that cannot otherwise be distinguished
from true orphaned works.
The inability to distinguish between abandoned copyrights and those whose owners are
simply hard to find is the Catch 22 of the Orphan Works project. When Congressmen wrote
the 1976 Act, they considered the OW problem, but chose to leave it unresolved, citing
â€œthe near impossibility of distinguishing between types of works in fixing a statutory
term.â€ That Congress erred on the side of protecting private property. Unless this
Congress can devise a reliable test to distinguish true orphans, it will commit the
greater error of encouraging potential users of art to unilaterally exploit â€“ and
possibly devalue – the self-created property of countless artists, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Many users responding to the OW Study have asserted that orphaned works have little or no
commercial value. While this may be true of real orphaned work, it is not true of the
numberless managed copyrights that will be caught in the orphan works net.
Non-profit organizations, which assert that only work of little or no commercial value
will be affected, have not documented those assertions. Since non-profits typically offer
rights holders little or no compensation for the work they solicit, government should not
infer that such charitable donations by artists to non-profits reflect the commercial market
value of the artistsâ€™ work. Users who wish to exploit work royalty-free have every incentive
to minimize its value. Congress should not rely on their assertions as evidence that the work
has little or no value in commercial markets. Value is based on quality and demand, not on genre or age.
The use of any work without the authorâ€™s permission violates the authorâ€™s exclusive right to
permit or deny usage. Similarly, payment for use after the fact violates a basic principal of
negotiation: An author whose work has already been exploited has no leverage to negotiate for a
fee higher than the user is willing to pay. The Orphan Works amendment would act as a de facto
compulsory license, which is nowhere acknowledged in the OW Report.
Artists have the right to maintain the value of their work by keeping it out of downscale or
inappropriate markets. The OW amendment would violate that right by giving users the unilateral
privilege of exploiting anotherâ€™s property, regardless of the adverse effects this could have on
the integrity or the value of the product.
Many artists in markets such as advertising and proprietary research enter into exclusive licensing
arrangements with their clients. Because these artists are rarely permitted to sign and mark their
work, this art would be subject to orphan status from its conception. This would destroy the artistsâ€™
ability to guarantee exclusivity to a client, undermine the value of the art itself and retroactively
jeopardize existing contracts of exclusivity between artists and clients.
Currently, copyright law is enforced by the threat of substantial penalties for infringement. By
â€œlimitingâ€ these remedies, the OW amendment invites abuse of the law. Without effective remedies
for infringement, a user might find it a rational business decision to infringe first and pay
â€œreasonable compensationâ€ only if the infringement is detected.
While the OW Report is concerned exclusively with the difficulty a user may now have in locating an
author, it does not address the difficulty an author may have under OW law in locating an infringer.
The OW amendment would place an impossible burden of diligence on rights holders, who will never have
the resources to police infringement, which could occur anytime, anywhere in the world. We do not see
how Congress can justify legislation that places an impossible burden on a property owner as a condition
of protecting his property.
Because of the â€œlimitation on remedies,â€ artists will never have the resources to go to court – as the
OW amendment will require – to establish the case-by-case definition of a userâ€™s â€œreasonable search.â€
This would constitute another impossible burden placed on rights holders and undermine any premise of
fairness in the system.
The OW amendment will favor infringers by providing them with a no-fault defense. Since the infringer
need only show that a good faith effort was made to identify or locate the artist of an unmarked image
- the assertion that an artistâ€™s signature was illegible may be good enough – a judge may be forced to
uphold the majority of infringements, regardless of the ill effect it will have on the copyright holder
and the value of his work.
Because every infringement of a managed copyright will create a family tree of potential successive
infringements, samples of the infringed work will linger in the public domain even if a rights holder
comes forward to stop the infringement. These orphans-of-orphans will be available to other would-be
users, who would be justified by OW law in re-infringing the work. In this fashion, the effect of OW
law would be viral.
A “take-down” of orphaned work posted online will be insufficient to restore its integrity. The Internet
Archive, The Wayback Machine and Google Cache all provide access to defunct and removed web pages. These
back-ups will allow falsely-designated orphans to remain in circulation, making it impossible for a rights
holder to get back the rights to work unleashed into the public domain by the actions of others.
Because it would be retroactive, the OW amendment would betray artists, who for 28 years have published in
the confidence that, even without formalities, their work enjoyed the basic protections guaranteed them by
the 1976 Copyright Act. We do not think Congress should withdraw protections that have become settled
expectations in the marketplace, especially as the remedies provided by the 1976 Act constitute the only
enforcement mechanism artists now have for protecting their valuable copyrights.
Advocates of the OW amendment claim that copyright inhibits scholarship. But that was refuted by the authors
of the 1976 Act:
â€œ[I]t is important to realize that the bill would not restrain scholars from using any work as source
material or from making â€œfair useâ€ of it; the restrictions would extend only to the unauthorized reproduction
or distribution of copies of the work, its public performance, or some other use that would actually
infringe the copyright ownerâ€™s exclusive rights." SOURCE: H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 136 (1976)
The OW amendment in effect re-imposes formalities. By forcing the rights holder to rely on registries,
metadata and notice as a condition of copyright protection it violates the letter and spirit of the
The letter and spirit of Berne is addressed in this submission to the i2010 Digital Libraries project
by the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO): â€œDigitisation is an act
of reproduction subject to the authorisation of the copyright holder. On the basis of Article 5(2)©
of the Directive 2 001/29, exceptions have been introduced in favour of libraries and archives that
allow these institutions to reproduce works without prior consent of the rightsholders, mainly for
preservation purposes. These exceptions do not cover and should not be extended to cover reproductions
on a mass scale, which would clearly conflict with the normal exploitation of works and prejudice the
legitimate interests of the copyright holders, and would thus not pass the three step test of the
Berne Convention and Article 5.5 of the Directive200/l29 -p.2, (Spelling in the original, emphasis added).
Professors Jane Ginsburg and Paul Goldstein have also warned that the Orphan Works provision must
narrowly define the scope of the orphaned works or fail to meet the three-step test of
TRIPS art. 13 and Article 5(2) of the Berne Convention:
â€œ[T]he diversity of responses highlights the fundamental importance of precisely defining the
category of “orphan” works. The broader the category, or the lower the bar to making the
requisite showing of due diligence, the greater the risk of inconsistency with our international
obligations to uphold authors’ exclusive rights under copyright. Compliance with Berne/TRIPs is
required by more than punctilio; these rules embody an international consensus of national norms
that in turn rest on long experience with balancing the rights of authors and their various
beneficiaries, and the public. Thus, in urging compliance with these technical-appearing rules,
we are also urging compliance with longstanding practices that have passed the test of time.â€
1., p. 1, OWR0107-Ginsburg-Goldstein (Emphasis added)
In the OW Report, the authors state:â€œ[W]e believe that registries are critically important,
if not indispensable, to addressing the orphan works problem (p.106).â€ Yet they acknowledge (p.95)
that the Copyright Office lacks the resources to create and administer them. If Congress cannot
allocate funds to create the kind of registry that the OW amendment will make â€œindispensable,â€
lawmakers should not be persuaded to impose that burden on rights holders as a condition of
maintaining their copyrights. To do so will literally force artists to make their rights available
to others at the risk of losing those rights by default.
At the Orphan Works roundtables, 7/26/05, Alexander MacGilivray of Google stated that
â€œGoogle strongly believes that these orphan works are both worthwhile, useful, and extremely valuableâ€ ( p.119).
Also: â€œwe expect that [Googleâ€™s] use of these orphan works will likely be in the 1 million works range…
(p.166, emphasis added).â€
Since Google has already demonstrated their disregard for copyright by embarking on the
Google Book Search project, thereâ€™s no reason to believe that they, or a similar firm,
will not take advantage of the OW amendment to harvest images wherever artists and
photographers can be characterized as â€œdifficult or impossible to locate.â€ We do not
believe that government should interfere with the free market exchange of goods and
services by legislating a government-sanctioned royalty-free archive to compete with authors.
On page 14 of the OW Report, the authors write: â€œif our recommendation resolves usersâ€™
concerns in a satisfactory way, it will likely be a comprehensive solution to the orphan
works situation (our emphasis).â€ With all due respect, we believe a solution cannot be
â€œcomprehensiveâ€ if it â€œprejudices the legitimate interests of the copyright holders,â€ and
interferes with the free market principles on which our cottage industry is based.
Last year, the Illustrators’ Partnership submitted a defense of existing copyright law to
the Orphan Works Study. It was signed by nearly 2,000 individual artists and endorsed by 42
organizations representing countless thousands of other artists from around the world. This
was an unprecedented expression of international concern that the principles of the Berne
Convention be respected as the foundation of international copyright law. These principles
have been built up over centuries and should not be legislated away in haste to conform to
a debatable theory that the internet has changed the nature of creativity and the value of
For all of the above reasons, we strongly urge reconsideration of the statutory language
developed by the Copyright Office.
-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board and members of the Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership of America
Â© 2006 Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner
This may be republished, posted or forwarded in its entirety to any interested party.
received an update from the ASMP
on this today…I don’t understand why other photographers are not jumping on this.
A photographer I was at the NSC with told me that they wanted this to go through and I am curious as to why someone would have that opinion…anyone else share that view?
From my interpretation, it is the photographers responsibility to claim credit for their work. However, if someone else was to remove the photographers credit to that particular work, then it would be instantly considered an orphaned work and public domain. So I am wondering…if I have a photo on TIME’s website and someone grabs it and posts it on their blog with no credit…does that give say an advertising agency privilege to use it…and according to the wording…I as the photographer would be responsible for defending my claim to that work only to receive a predetermined sum for its usage, regardless of the type of usage of my photo. That sounds like something that will effect us all. So why would some people be for it?
Thanks Sion, Stephen, and Gayle for presenting all this information. I am thinking that maybe LS as a body should also get involved and contact ASMP
and the other groups in order to be represented among that united front. This seems crucial. Even ifyou are not in the US, as Sion points out you cannot afford really to allow this huge market to be manipulated in this way. LS now forms a body of over 7000 photographers and that aint chickenfeed. We need to channel this power. maybe, first off, another thread with a heading in big bold letters to wake up our membership and get them talking, because no one is responding to Sion’s original post. Then a letter to ASMP
PS: well I couldnt get the heading to read in big bold caps, but I posted the warning.
earlier in the month requested everyone to re-word a letter and fax it to their local politicians…apparently most of the major organizations are involved, Editorial Photographers, ASMP
, and the NPPA
…so its out of most of our hands at this point. It just reminds me of those lectures on the “War on Photography” that I dismissed while working on my undergrad.
Thanks Sion!….have joined (even though i now reside in US, sent an email to my old representative (since I still have a us bank account and mailing address)….I agree with Jon, I would, absolutely, be willing to sign a group letter from LS, or even contribute to buy an advertisement in a paper, like the NY Times or Washington Post….Please let me know if the LS idea materializes…..although, the reps in my former home state (florida, prior to moving to canada) are notorious slow about all this :((((….thanks again Sion, for the heads up…Bob
24 Mar 2006 18:03
Thanks Stephen. It might still be worth contacting ASMP
and asking if LS as a whole can somehow join in. If I have time tomorrow I will contact them.
On February 24, the Washington College of Law presented a timely Orphan
Works Debate. A webcast of the program is now available. It is 2 hours
long, with one hour devoted to each panel. You will need Windows Media
Player to view it. Follow these links:
On this page look under the horizontal rule line for the heading that says:
EVENT WEBCAST (Click Here)
Click on the link, and enter the password.
For those who donâ€™t yet know, Congress is at work on a major change to U.S.
Copyright Law. Orphan Works legislation is now being fast-tracked in both the
House and Senate. It would seriously impact the careers of illustrators and
photographers by limiting or removing penalties for infringement where works
have been published without identifying information. The proposed legislation
would affect both foreign and domestic work and it would be retroactive.
Joining in the discussion were representatives of groups who both favor and
oppose these changes.
Prue Adler (Association of Research Libraries),
Jonathan Band (counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance),
Kathleen Franz (American University History Dept.),
Stephen Gottlieb (Recording Industry Association of America),
Brad Holland (Illustrators’ Partnership of America),
Robert Kasunic (U.S. Copyright Office),
Eugene Mopsik (American Society of Media Photographers),
Jay Rosenthal (counsel to the Recording Artists Coalition),
Jason Schultz (Electronic Frontier Foundation),
Eric Schwartz (Smith & Metalitz),
Matt Skelton (U.S. Copyright Office),
Jule Sigall (U.S. Copyright Office),
Rebecca Tushnet (Georgetown Law Center),
Jennifer Urban (USC Law School, who filed comments for documentary filmmakers).
For illustrators who would like to go directly to an analysis of this legislationâ€™s
effect on our profession, Brad Holland’s presentation begins at 68:10 minutes.
The Board of the Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership of America
For detailed information or to ask questions re: Call To Action To Prevent The
Orphan Works Amendment To Copyright Law go to the forum below entitled
â€œFree Culture-The Copy Left Is Not Right.â€
First time users will have to register.
This announcement may be posted elsewhere or forwarded to others in its entirety.
I have written to Perlman on behalf of LS and explained what we are doing and whether there is something that LS can do as a body. Meanwhile the letter that you must all send is here on the link that I am giving below. IT DOES NOT MATTER
IF YOU ARE NOT
OR IF YOU CANNOT WRITE ENGLISH
: the letter is a form letter that requires one simple adjustment to make it personal, and if you reside in the states
you have a representative and a congressman. You can send them a fax.
If this law gets passed, I think I may decide to do the same thing to any product I come across in American. A car in the street maybe, I’ll shout out a few times does anybody know who owns this car and if no-one answers I’ll assume it’s mine for the taking. Seems to be the same thing, I will have asked if anybody knew who it belonged to, no one knew so it’s anybodies. Hell, if some has enough money to fund an advertising campaign feel free to use this to illustrate the idiocy of this potential law. As long as I’m credited!!!
What a remakably stupid law, what fuckwits are behind it? In fact it seems so moronic, I find it hard to believe it’s true, esp. as it’s applying to prior images.
Ok, in regard to working together as a body, a couple points need tobe cleared up here, as I am letting my enthusiasm for the fight ahead get the better of me.
Obviously Lightstalkers doesnt form a body in the same sense as ASMP
or other such organizations. We are not an organization; we are a web of synaptic connections firing off every 1/125th of a second. This amorphous,if not to say anarchic, formless form (and it is anarchic in a good sense, I mean who is in charge here? No one!) is what makes us different from other websites and more interesting. So we cannot really speak of a body here, just a collection of people, some of whom may be interested in this particular issue and some not. (we musnt forget that besides the photographers here we also have writers, editors, film makers, aid workers, soldiers, etc
and apropos of that, if any of you are currently working with writers, invite them to join.)
So Shinji has ingeniously provided for this very circumstance by creating the "Cell" feature which is found on your profile page when you click on "My Network." If a group of us wish to work together as a body on any particular matter, or if we just want to form some kind of group within the umbrella of LS, we can do so by creating a Cell.
With that in mind, if the ASMP
contacts us in regard to this matter, we can consider our options and possibly gather together a bunch of us here in a cell in order to have some union strength.
It may be that all we can do is simply notify the membership and urge everyone who can to write to their reps, but there are plenty of US resident LS members so even that gesture would be significant.
You are very welcome Jon, and YES
! US resident LS members gestures of opposition would be significant!
I would also like to stress that international viewpoint that includes either groups or
individuals is extremely important as well. I am not certain how to approach that
though. I will try to find out.
As it has been explained to me that if this Amendment goes through even with
the small negotiation that might be allowed, that every intellectual property owner
in the world could be negatively affected. The Amendment would virtually gut
the US 1976 Copyright Act and it will be in violation of the International Berne
Convention. The US would become a rouge nation in the world of international
copyright and intellectual property protections and it will effect the
entire global community through the use and spread of the internet as a means
of commerce. It will effect world trade and it will influence other countries
to follow. This is a very strong, financially backed first attempt to change
copyright as we know it. The results of this "Free Culture" movement
could, and again largely thanks to the internet, put artists’ product and
intellectual property, past, present and future, the public domain to be
"harvested" and sold back to us for use by big corporations. If
we all don’t Act now, as Mr. Sion Touhig says, our
livelihoods will Die.
If I may, so as not to take up too much space here, I will add some important links
to IPA Press Releases that explain IFRRO’s position and how the proposed OW Amendment
will violate the International Berne Convention.
1.) 03.14.05 International Orphan Works
2.) 03.15.06 Orphan Works: Conflict with Berne?
3.) "….the opinion of experts that the Orphan Works amendment must pass the
TRIPS Three-Step Test or risk inconsistency with international copyright
law. So what is TRIPs? And what is the Three-Step Test?
“TRIPs is the international Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
The US is a member. The Three-Step Test is a sequence of three simple questions that let a nation
decide whether the exceptions they write into their national copyright laws will interfere with
your right to market your work – and therefore make that country a copyright renegade….”
QUOTE FROM 3.16.06 The TRIPs Three-Step Test: Limitations and Exceptions to Exclusive Rights
4.) IN THIS LINK IS ALSO STATED SOME OF THE BIG MONEY BACKERS WHO WILL ALSO,
NO DOUBT, BE AMONG THOSE WHO MAY GAIN TREMENDOUS PROFITS FROM THE THE WORLD’S LOSS AFTER
“HARVESTING” AND SELLING OUR COPYRIGHTS BACK TO US. Someone will be making
BIG money from our work and it won’t be us. Why else would they want our work so badly?
03.20.06 “Consumer Group Seeks to Fix Prices on Orphan Works”
5.) All of these links can be accessed along with other relevant information and related IPA Press
6.)If it hasn’t already been posted, here is also a excellent
link by SAA- Stock Artist Alliance that shows what could or
would be considered orphans by this new legislation. Can any of you US Citizens or
Non-US Citizens identify any of your copyrighted work or any of your colleagues
intellectual property in the would be “orphaned” internet examples?
I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A US CITIZEN FOR YOUR COPYRIGHTS AND
LIVELIHOOD TO BE DRAMATICALLY AND DRASTICALLY CAUGHT IN THE NET OR PUT UP FOR GRABS
BY THIS ROGUE US LEGISLATION. IF THIS OW LEGISLATION IS PASSED, EVEN WITH THE VERY SMALL
CHANGES HAVE SAID WILL BE ALLOWED OUR EXCELLENT SPOKESPEOPLE, IT WILL BE AFFECTING
YOU AND YOUR PROFESSION NOW, AND IN LONG RANGE WAYS, THAT ONE CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE
NO MATTER WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF.
As I said, I will try to find out what more, as well, from IPA what the International Copyright
Community can do to constructively oppose the US ORPHAN WORKS LEGISLATION and either request a
board member to post back here or I will personally convey their suggestions in this same topic
thread. I am just an IPA messenger and want to make certain that what I say is beneficial
and accurate. Personally I have sent out over 3000 emailed and faxed IPA Press
Releases to US National and Local Media Outlets and Congress through internet search and
the following excellent Congess.org link:
But we need to do much, much more to stop this “Orphan Express” from harvesting our
“children” and placing them on their work farms for their profits. There will be no later
time to act. “Act Now, Or Die”.
It is IPA’s stance that every individual should speak out loudly about their opposition since the OW
Legislation will affect us more as individual artists than as members of any group. This is
IPA Board and it’s members’ analysis I am conveying. I hope some of this info helps.
Thanks for your consideration and help,
Not an Orphan Works Amendment
by Brad Holland
March 21, 2006
For over a year, weâ€™ve used these emails to warn you about the coming
Orphan Works amendment. Now itâ€™s time to call it by its real name:
This is not an â€œorphan works amendment.â€ An OW amendment would have
applied to old work whose authors are hard to find. This proposal
will apply to past, present and future work. It will be retroactive.
It will interfere with working artists and commercial markets.
It will nullify your exclusive rights to your work. It is the
undoing of existing copyright law and itâ€™s a challenge to the
rest of the world to follow. If youâ€™ve never cared about copyright
law before, this is the time to start.
The madcap rush to ram a bill through Congress suggests that there
are special interests who want to get it on the books before it can
be exposed for what it is. These special interests are still not
happy with the Copyright Officeâ€™s proposal. They want no penalties
for infringement or a cap no higher than $200. These groups are
well-funded, well staffed and theyâ€™ll be lobbying full-time to get
what they want. Congress has warned us that very little is negotiable,
but this is not the time to lie down and die. Last Wednesday, the IPA
filed written testimony with the House Judiciary Subcommittee. Weâ€™ll
email you the text of that testimony tomorrow.
-Brad Holland, for the Board of the Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership
This may be republished, posted or forwarded in its entirety to any interested party.
~See IPA written testimony filed with the House Judiciary Subcommittee in my first post.
To watch the March 29, 2006 Video Webcast of the Oversight Hearing on “Remedies
for Small Copyright Claims”
click below on the “House of Representatives
Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, The Internet, and Intellectual Property”
link. Look under HEARING DOCUMENTATION
and then click on “Video Webcast”.
The complete video is 54:54 minutes long and uses RealPlayer.
The four on the Witness List reading statements and answering questions are:
1.) Paul Aiken-Executive Director, Authors Guild.
2.) Jenny Toomey-Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition.
3.) Brad Holland-Founding Board Member, Illustrators’ Partnership of America.
4.) Victor S. Perlman-General Counsel and Managing Director, American Society of Media Photographers, Inc.
Dear Sion, Jon, and others concerned with freelance photographers copyrights/licensing,
Sion, maybe you already know but if not, you might
be interested in knowing that Creative Commons and it’s co-founder,
attorney and Stanford Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig, are the major
well-funded force behind the horrific U.S. Orphan Works Legislation.
When you have a moment in your work schedules, you might be interested
on looking at CC’s anti-copyright time-line and acelerated agenda as followed
in the IPA
Read beginning at the bottom of the “Press Releases” column starting with:
“4.15.01 Mothra vs Rodan: The New Copyright Wars, The movement to abolish copyright”
(before 9/11 even!)
about Lessig’s, CC and other “Free Culture” Advocates intentions to do just that, abolish copyright.
Anyway Lessig and CC is where it all started.
(see also: http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00189
As you can see, this movement, now has gained a frightening momentum with it’s
US OW Legislation that when passed will become globally viral.
Brad Holland (you may be more familiar with his 1979, Ayatullah Khomeini
“Man of the Year” Time Cover), who has been observing and writing since
2001 about Lessig’s destructive copyright career path choice,
is the founder of Ilustrators’ Partnership of America (IPA
good friends with ASMP’s legal counsel, Victor Perlman.
In reference to me trying to find out what suggestions could be made for the
international community’s opposition to OW Legislation, I am afraid that my IPA
request hit at exactly the same time as Mr. Holland was scheduled along with
Mr.Perlman to make their statements in front of the US House Subcommittee.
If you haven’t had any luck with your response from ASMP
, Jon, then again it most
likely has to do with the timing. Since it makes more sense obviously for you to
get your advice from a photographers trade organization, I won’t request anymore
info for you from IPA
particularly since ASMP
and IPA’s positions on the OW Legislation,
although on the same side, differ slightly, probably due to our different mediums
and consequently number of works in the field of art. Mr.Perlman is skillfully acting
to get the best deal for photographers and ASMP’s members out of the whole miserable
legislative mess while Mr. Holland and IPA’s stance is no negotiations, period, with
legislation that many illustrators consider amounts to “copyright terrorism”.
Anyway, if you are still interested in creating a Lightstalker coalition of sorts
(whether US, International or both) that opposes US Orphan Works Legislation there
is still time to be significant since the Legislation is not a bill yet and hasn’t
been voted through the House and sent to the Senate.
I am certain that ASMP
will get back to you particularly considering the potential
power and size of a Lightstalker OW Legislation opposition group. Otherwise, I
might suggest that perhaps Mr. David Sanger, President of SAA
might able to be of some help. I believe Sion mentioned SAA Orphan Works blog
in the other thread.
Make certain to read this link above as it tells of other non-U.S.
groups (UK’s AOP) that are part of our copyright coalition to oppose OW Legislation.
David’s personal website info is:
Travel stock and assignments worldwide
Sorry for the long post, just felt responsible to do an update and follow-up
since the original OW cell didn’t appear at first to make it through the server change.
Nice to post with you photographers again and Good Luck! U.S. freelance
artists appreciate and need all the help we can get with trying to minimize damage
from CC’s OW and other unfair and unhealthy copyright legislation.
B.F.A., M.A., M.F.A.
Freelance Visual Artist and University Design Instructor
IPA General Member-
I urge you all today to join a photographers or other artist, writer, musician etc. coalition to oppose
the new attempts at anti-creator and abolition copyright legislation.
If we all don’t see these new types of legislation and “culture” trends for what they really are and speak
out against them, it will be the way of our future if we indeed have one.
There is a very sophisticated spin being put on this anti-copyright movement to seduce the “Napster”
generation into legalizing piracy and copyright infringement. That’s right, if you are old enough or young enough
now to ever have downloaded files off the original Napster you can start feeling guilty today for the on-line
shoplifting spree, because guess whose vehicle is going to be next? …It’s ours.
How will it feel to see the photos that you may have risked your life to take, downloaded, stolen, cut up,
collaged and republished by some mediocre remix “artist” or art director that has all the money but doesn’t
have even a small portion of your imagination, creativity and soulâ€¦â€¦never had to sacrifice a meal, rent,
seeing a doctor or dentist, having health insurance, a relationship, a family, a home, a date, or even a
good bottle of anything just to scarf up enough money for the camera/film/digital supplies, memory cards,
laptop, software, portfolio, travel expenses, promotional materials, studio etc.
Now that we understand how this “free culture” movement can affect our dreams and our livelihood,
feel free to thank Metallica for having had the guts, even in the face of strong fan opposition,
to lead the way. We just need to make sure that we back their hard work up by reinforcing that
same courage. Get angry, get militant, but do something constructive! You can Act Now! by speaking out,
write letters to your appointed or elected officials about your occupational copyright and licensing
concerns and take the time to form or join, add your name or support to some type of copyright protection
coalition before our creative work and licensing rights disappear entirely and permanently are
taken out of our control.
â€œGoogle Sees Value in Orphan Worksâ€
by Brad Holland
March 8, 2006
From Copyright Office Transcripts/Orphan Works Roundtables 7/26/05:
â€œThe thing that I would encourage the Copyright Office to consider is
not just the very, very small scale -the one user who wants to make use
of the [orphan] work -but also the very, very large scale – and talking
in the millions of works. (p.21) â€œGoogle strongly believes that these
orphan works are both worthwhile, useful, and extremely valuable. In fact,
I think that’s why most of us are here. We do think there is a lot of value
in these works.( p.119).
expect that [Googleâ€™s] use of these orphan works will likely be in the
1 million works range… (p.166)
-Alexander MacGilivray/ Google
What you are doing [with orphan works legislation] is creating a government-sponsored
royalty-free archive that is then in competition with every professional…
[G]overnment is, in effect, interfering with free market exchange.â€
-Brad Holland /Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership (p.149)
Orphan Works Roundtables were held by the US Copyright Office July 26-7, 2005 in Washington DC
â€“ The Illustrators’ Partnership of America
This may be republished, posted or forwarded in its entirety to any interested party.
The Chairman Committee Information Committee Rules Online Library Document Request
HOME > HEARINGS > APRIL 6, 2006
“Orphan Works: Proposals for a Legislative Solution”
Senate Judiciary Committee
DATE: April 6, 2006
TIME: 02:00 PM
ROOM: Senate Dirksen 226
OFFICIAL HEARING NOTICE / WITNESS LIST:
March 30, 2006
NOTICE OF SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual
Property has scheduled a hearing on “Orphan Works: Proposals for a
Legislative Solution” for Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.
By order of the Chairman
Tentative Witness List
Hearing before the
Senate Judiciary Committee on
“Orphan Works: Proposals for a Legislative Solution”
Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
Senate Dirksen Building, Room 226
1.) Jule L. Sigall
Associate Register for Policy & International Affairs
U.S. Copyright Office
2.) Victor S. Perlman
Managing Director and General Counsel
American Society of Media Photographers, Inc.
3.) June Cross
New York, NY
4.) Brad Holland
Founding Board Member
Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership of America
5.) Maria Pallante-Hyun
Associate General Counsel and Director of Licensing
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (GuggenheimMuseum)
New York, NY
6.) Thomas C. Rubin
Associate General Counsel
7.) Rick Prelinger
San Francisco, CA
U.S. Senate Orphan Rights Legislation Witness testimony now available:
Well this is still ongoing, and i fyou havent sent letters in, I urge all US resident LS members to do so. You cannot afford to let this one slip by, you have to act. Meanwhile I did indeed hear back from Victor S. Perlman, General Counsel and Managing Director, American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. He is up to his ass in alligators but he is going to contact me again vis a vis what members of LS can do. I explained the situation with LS and that we can probably create a cell of concerned members who would then form another mass group. Creating this group might mean posting a thread on the board to let everyone know and then maybe PMing people. we could create some kind of form or petition if need be. But we can wait for Perlman’s response to see what is needed.
count me in the group
13 Apr 2006 11:04
This is great, Jon. Please let me know if I can do anything or be of any help to you or your group.
Just sent the ASMP
letter to my Sen. Pat Leahy who is on the committee. If it starts any dialogue I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date.
13 Apr 2006 16:04
Well we dont have a group yet, but let’s see what Perlman says and maybe I can begin to create something out of the massive rock face of LS.
I have complete faith in you, Jon.
Dylan Thomasâ€™ â€œDo Not Go Gentle into That Good Nightâ€
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
From the US constitution:
“To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”
Looks like this is being quietly rewritten to read “securing for unlimited times to major campaign donors”… Wonder if this can be struck down in the courts as unconstitutional and downright unamerican.
That is a really good point, John. I wonder if that will be the last fighting chance we have
after “Orphan Works” is made into law.
I personally felt immediately when I read the OW proposal that it’s premise was fradulent.
Here is what my organization’s founder, Brad Holland, said at the last Senate Hearing:
*Statement of Brad Holland
Founding Board Member
Illustrators’ Partnership of America
Subcommittee on Intellectual Property
Committee on the Judiciary
Hearing on â€œOrphan Works: Proposals for a Legislative Solutionâ€
April 6, 2006
Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, distinguished members of the Subcommittee:
Last year, the Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership filed a submission to the Orphan Works
Study which was endorsed by 42 national and international arts organizations,
representing a broad spectrum of popular artists, fine artists, medical,
scientific and architectural illustrators, cartoonists and educators.
On behalf of these artists, I appreciate the opportunity to address you.
Our chief objection to the proposed Orphan Works amendment is that it is not an
orphan works amendment.
An Orphan Works amendment would have applied to old work whose authors have
abandoned their copyrights. This proposal would legalize the infringement of
any work of art, past, present and future, regardless of age, country of origin,
published or unpublished, wherever the rights holder cannot be identified or located.
It would permit a user to appropriate the private property of rights holders based
on the userâ€™s own definition of â€œa good faith, reasonably diligent search.â€
It would re-impose formalities by forcing rights holders to rely on registries,
metadata and notice as a condition of protecting their copyrights.
It would be retroactive, affecting art done over the last 30 years, when artists
were told that their work would have the basic protections of copyright law,
whether it was marked or not.
It would affect illustrations and photographs disproportionately because trade
practice requires that images routinely be published without identifying
information, or because artistsâ€™ signatures or marks may be illegible, or
because information can be removed by others.
It would remove any meaningful remedies for infringement, which are the only
means rights holders now have of enforcing copyright.
It would place an impossible burden of diligence on rights holders, because
they will never have the resources to police infringement, which can occur
anytime, anywhere in the world.
It would interfere with the rights of artists to exploit their work in commercial
markets, which would violate the Three-step test of TRIPs.
And it would harm foreign artists by making vast bodies of their work royalty-free
in the U.S.
For these reasons and for many more â€“ and with all due respect – we do not believe
the statutory language proposed by the Copyright Office is a solution to the
orphan works problem. Instead itâ€™s a blueprint for a radically new copyright law.
The inability to distinguish between abandoned copyrights and those whose owners
are simply hard to find is the Catch 22 of the Orphan Works project. Put simply,
if a picture is unmarked, itâ€™s impossible to source or date it. Therefore this
amendment would orphan millions of valuable copyrights that cannot otherwise be
distinguished from true orphaned works – and that would open the door to cultural
theft on an unprecedented scale.
In their submission to the Orphan Works Study, Professors Jane Ginsburg and Paul
Goldstein warned that orphan works legislation should precisely define the
category of “orphan” works. â€œThe broader the category,â€ they wrote, â€œ or the
lower the bar to making the requisite showing of due diligence, the greater the
risk of inconsistency with our international obligationsâ€ which in turn reflect
â€œlongstanding practices that have passed the test of time.â€
Many potential users of orphan works have asserted that these works have little
or no commercial value. While this may be true of real orphaned work, it is not
true of the numberless managed copyrights that will be caught in an orphan works
net. Non-profit organizations which assert that only work of little or no commercial
value will be affected have not documented their assertions. And other users, who
wish to exploit work royalty-free, have every incentive to minimize the value of
the work they would profit from selling access to.
We believe the orphan works problem can be and should be solved with carefully
crafted, specific limited exemptions. An exemption could be tailored to solve
family photo restoration and reproduction issues without otherwise gutting artistsâ€™
and photographers’ copyrights. Usage for genealogy research is probably already
covered by fair use, but could rate an exemption if necessary. Limited exemptions
could be designed for documentary filmmakers. Libraries and archives already have
generous exemptions for their missions. And if their missions are changing, they
should abide by commercial usage of copyrights, instead of forcing authors to
subsidize their for-profit ventures.
Therefore we respectfully urge this committee to consider the negative effects
that this proposed statutory language would have on free market transactions.
And we ask you to conduct further hearings to resolve the specific problem of providing
public access to true orphaned works.
For additional information about Orphan Works developments, go to the IPA Orphan
Works Resource Page for Artists:
Or see IPA Forums below: â€œFree Culture-The Copy Left Is Not Right.â€
Please post or forward this email in its entirety to any interested party
[ 04-09-2006, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Brad Holland ]*
This quote is from the above statement and following link:
“….And it would harm foreign artists by making vast bodies of their work royalty-free
in the U.S….”
Now is the time to “..not go gentle into that good night”.
Leahy D-VT (my senator) responds:
Dear Mr. Eckels:
Thank you for contacting me about orphan works legislation. It is good to hear from you.
Last year, Senator Hatch and I asked the Copyright Office to conduct a study and issue a report on orphan works, which the Copyright Office has defined as a “situation where the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner.” After receiving more than 850 comments and holding a series of roundtable discussions, the Copyright Office released its report and proposed legislation in January.
On Thursday, April 6, the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which I serve as Ranking Member, held a copyright hearing: “Orphan Works: Proposals for a Legislative Solution.” The hearing focused on the proposed legislation that resulted from the Copyright Office’s study. To learn more about what was said at the hearing, I invite you to read my statement located at http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=1847
This is an issue of vital importance. Congress must act consciously to ensure that we do not craft legislation that harms the creators who hold copyrights and who bring so much value to our culture and our economy. Nonetheless, I would like to see the chance for social and cultural enrichment by enabling use of these orphan works by the public. As Congress drafts legislation dealing with this important matter, rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind. Again, thank you for contacting me. Please keep in touch.
UNITED STATES SENATOR
I’d be happy to pass an LS group letter to him.
21 Apr 2006 14:04
Perhaps you’d like to enquire with Senator Leahy how he intends, in a digital environment where not crediting photographers on the Web is already virtually the norm, and where media organisations and individuals habitually strip copyright information from photos (apparently a Scottish newspaper habitually stripped copyright info from incoming images to re-use without paying – then used images by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sebastiao Salgado without attribution until somebody politely ‘reminded’ them who they were), and where uncredited or ‘Royalty Free’ images are stored on huge databases which don’t charge for the images, but for ACCESS
to the images (which is the real corporate motivation behind the Orphan Works campaign), how he intends to protect individual authors from excercising their rights under international treaty (and I assume, the US Constitution) to seek fair recompense and recognition for their work.
To spread cultural enrichment by (for example) freeing up archives from the American Civil War to researchers is perhaps one thing – those authors are self evidently dead, and the copyright time limit has long expired…although somebody still has to pay to keep the archives from rotting away.
However, to purposefully remove any acceptable penalty to (already rampant) copyright abuse (by individuals and institutiuons) from authors who are still ALIVE, seems to me to be morally unfair, as it removes the simple human right of authors to be recognised by their peers as the creator of a work, and even on a bean-counting, purely nationalistic level (he is a US Senator, representing US citizens, right?) economically maladroit, as it hands potentially incredibly valuable exploitable IP over to the hands of any competitor to the US.
Bearing in mind China is set to obviously benefit from this new raft of cheap exploitable IP to use as it sees fit – which I’m sure the Senator would agree is set to be an economic blow to the US, particularly because of China’s current ahem…‘laissez-faire’ attitude to intellectual property (not to mention its micro-labour costs), this virtual handing over wholesale of US authors IP to potential economic competitors would seem to me to be a particularly bad move – bearing in mind that aiding your countries economic competitors was the kind of thing that US Senators were supposed to avoid.
This is of course, all predicated on the assumption that US Senators represent the interests of their citizens, and not purely the interests of US corporate business.
And that would just be a ridiculous idea, wouldn’t it…?
21 Apr 2006 15:04
Jon and Sion, I have some answers and leads for you that I will post momentarily here after
I send off a reply email to IPA
Founder Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner. I found out more info
also concerning Senator Leahy’s help at the Senate Hearings. Let me just
finish asking them this email question about LS forming a Cell since they are very close to
Mr. Perlman. Maybe I can get an answer through them for you since Mr.Perlman has been tied
up in the OW Bill negotiations and hasn’t been able to answer Jon because of all those
“alligators up to his ass”. Even though the PDNonline article was so very encouraging there
is still some fight time left for you to join and voice your individual concerns regarding
the Free Culture/Big Corporation assault on our copyrights.
Sion, Sound OK to you? I will be right back as soon as possible.
Thanks! and thanks so much to Michael!
Sion, Michael and Jon, Here is an IPA
Press Release that came out today:
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS’ PARTNERSHIP
The Senate hearings on Orphan Works have shown that artists and photographers
are united in opposing this bad amendment. We went to Washington to say that
this proposal is either poorly conceived or something other than what it appears
to be: You donâ€™t need to expose everybodyâ€™s work to abuse by anybody for any
purpose in order to make abandoned work available to some people for proper use.
You donâ€™t maintain law and order by making everything legal.
Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, seems to get this. He asked the relevant
questions of the Copyright Office, questions that will need to be asked again and
again if this proposed amendment is to be tempered or defeated. We all owe our
thanks to Senator Leahy and his staff for contacting IPA and giving artists the
chance to be heard. His staff may not appreciate a lot of thank you letters clogging
their fax machines, but some snail mail of appreciation might be a nice change of pace for them:
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Bldg
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Chairman Hatch ended the hearings by calling for more hearings. And he asked the
Copyright Office to come back with a more precise definition of â€œgood faith,
reasonably diligent search.â€ Thatâ€™s a start, but only a start.
We want to thank all of you for the many letters youâ€™ve written to Washington.
This effort is not over by a long shot, but artists have now had our voices
heard from the outset â€“ and heard at the highest level. Cynthia Turner and I
may have had the privilege of delivering the message, but it wasnâ€™t we who went
to Washington last week; it was all of you.
-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustratorsâ€™ Partnership
For additional information about Orphan Works developments, go to the IPA
Works Resource Page for Artists
Or see IPA
Forums: â€œFree Culture-The Copy Left Is Not Right.â€
You may post responses or ask questions on these forums. First-time users will
be asked to register.
You do not need to be an IPA
member to use the IPA
public Town Hall Forums.
Please post or forward this email in its entirety to any interested party
Ok Gayle, get back to us when you are ready.
OK, Jon, (-: Here is something to tide you over with until I get more info.
Again, I don’t want to give the impression that I in any way am in any way
, Mr. Perlman, or the IPA
Board for that matter, I am just a
volunteer runner with OW Opposition Press Releases, mostly IPA
every now and again I try to put out the ASMP
position for LS since they are
your true colleagues.
OK, so here are my two cents until maybe I can direct back to you
some group forming info from Mr. Perlman.
I would think now that it is time for you after this point
to form your “cell” and work to constructively present your group
and it’s members individual thoughts and opinions that pertain to
the legislation at hand. So then, you will be ready when your group action
is timely or is required.
These issues directly effect your livelihoods and you need to get any advice
or information from ASMP, or whomever works it out, and I think, as soon as
possible so that the LS “Cell” or group as you may call it will be in position
to defend your copyright concerns. After you have studied the facts, these
posts are mostly important for expressing and forming your group’s individual
thoughts about the topic. For the record, what I post here, outside of personal
rhetoric and discourse of course, is from the other Coalition Groups and are on
their websites, and if I do not have permission to post then I will abstract
or quote a statement from the link to give some idea of it’s contents.
Remember that I am just your OW Press Release runner. You all need to assemble,
so that now LS members thoughts on the issues can fill up this important
thread that Sion so conscientiously has started. Sion’s thread and concerns
have been fleshed out so to speak, with the great help of Jon’s contribution
and suggestion to form an LS copyright Quick Response Unit of copyright
support of sorts.
I think that it should and deserves to be an LS International Group and not just a LS
US-citizen group. I take it, Sion, that you are not US right?
Maybe even an English accent, right? Or is it me with the accent? …I forget (-:
Well, Sion, I have seen that you are well respected and liked here and similar to
Jon are an effective, but independent thinking spokesperson, you two are not
“yes men” in any form of the phrase. I think in your heart of hearts that the both
of you would not be tempted to receive adult beverage kickbacks. You both are rights
advocates, and issue communicators. It is also evident that you both have many,
many friends here that listen to you and may often ask for your advice.
Therefore, I suggest something that is fairly obvious to all of us already. That is that
Jon and/or you head the team’s start-up and have Jon give “heads up” to the US LS Citizen
Community. Then Sion, you head up the International front. If that takes too much time out of
your work then you just do UK and delegate a representative for individual countries or for particular areas
of the globe, right?
OK, now for personal rhetoric (-:….
The LS International (Real and not Remixed) Creative Community, IMHO, has
every right to be, well, quite honestly outraged at those US groups that have
instigated this suspect amendment. It will directly effect you and they
are callously tampering with your rights and livelihoods.
Sion, there was a time when America on the premise of “Taxation without Representation”
got extremely P.O.‘ed at Britain. Well, now it’s your turn to complain about
US laws that will unfairly effect you. You have every right IN THE WORLD….
and if we are fortunate enough to Kill Bill, should we still be naive enough to think
that Google and Creative Commons will good-naturally crawl back under their big rock duplex,
and be good sports about being caught with their fingers in the international cookie jar?
For a “Free” glimpse at your next future copyright battlefield foe get a good look
at the pro-piracy "Free Culture Manifesto: at the following link:
Here is just one creepy quote from the Cult’s Manifesto,
â€œThe mission of the Free Culture movement is to build a bottom-up, participatory structure
to society and culture,â€ says the Free Culture Manifesto. â€œWe will make, share, adapt, and
promote open content. We will listen to free music, look at free art, watch free film and
read free books.â€ http://www.freeculture.org/manifesto.php
And, please the following Manifesto quote is not recommended reading material if you are
of a sensitive nature. If you are and you get queasy turn your head to regroup your gag reflex,
…I don’t want to be held financially responsible for you needing to replace your laptop or
Through the democratizing power of digital technology and the Internet, we can place the
tools of creation and distribution, communication and collaboration, teaching and learning
into the hands of the common person — and with a truly active, connected, informed citizenry,
injustice and oppression will slowly but surely vanish from the earth."
OK, and now for one last IPA Press Release regarding the Lawrence Lessig’s plan to save
the world through opening the Free Culture Pandora Box “O-:” and allowing corporate miseries and
evils to fly out and afflict mankind by breaking one of the freelancer’s ten commandments,
Commandment 2, “Thou shalt not covet your neighbors copyright.” …
(that last quote, “O-:”, was from Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”)
Demanding Free Culture
by Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner
March 8, 2005
Ok, now I hear a six pack of Michelob coming up my driveway. Bye for now (-:
Here’s a draft response letter to Leahy. I’ve taken the liberty of cutting and pasting ideas from posts here. I’ll send a final version in 24hrs that reflects your comments/corrections. Post them here or PM me with them.
Dear Senator Leahy,
Thanks for you response. I have been keeping abreast of the situation and am aware of your comments. It is nice to hear from other sources that you are doing something to rectify the situation. For example this post from the Illustrators’ Partnership:
April 15, 2006
Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, seems to get this. He asked the relevant questions of the Copyright Office, questions that will need to be asked again and again if this proposed amendment is to be tempered or defeated. We all owe our thanks to Senator Leahy and his staff for contacting IPA and giving artists the chance to be heard."
It is a serious issue that is at the heart of both the American constitution and The Constitution, which clearly states one of the duties of Congress is “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” (article 1, section 8, clause 8).
The phrase “limited Times” stands out. I am not an expert on the Constitution but I agree that, to spread cultural enrichment, for example, by freeing up archives from the American Civil War, and similar materials, to researchers would be sensible. Those authors have self-evidently passed away, and the copyright time limit has long expired.
The other important phrase is “exclusive Right”. If the Constitution states that authors should retain exclusive right, I would argue that this takes precedence over “limited Times” and thus define “limited Times” to “as long as the exclusive right holders deem pertinent to retain their exclusive rights,” certainly their lifetime. This is of course barring the obvious: contractual sale of rights/materials.
The point is that since the appearance of the Internet photographers have started to get ripped-off left and right. Before the digital era when everything was archived in cool dry fire-proof boxes the problem did not exist to such an extent. However, to purposefully remove any acceptable penalty to already rampant copyright abuse by individuals and institutions from authors, who are struggling as it is to make a living, seems to me to be morally unfair. Beyond the practical necessity of monetary compensation, it removes the simple human right of authors to be recognized by their peers as the creator of a work.
I feel quite strongly about this issue and am in contact with many other photographers who feel the same way. My neighbors own one of the largest farms in Addison County, would it be ok for another dairy to siphon my neighbors milk and sell it under their own label without my neighbors knowing about it? I think not. The analogy is not perfect but I hope you see that the idea is the same.
Please do everything in your power to prevent the passing of this legislation.
23 Apr 2006 12:04
Folks, go to this new thread:
I believe it is time to pull together, enlist interested members from LS and form a group that can “represent.” We have bascially been invited to do so.
That is an excellent letter. I wish you would also post it on the IPA Forum here:
â€œFree Culture-The Copy Left Is Not Right.â€
You may post responses or ask questions on these forums. First-time users will be asked to register.
You do not need to be an IPA member to use the IPA public Town Hall Forums.
Or if you didn’t have the time, I would love to quote your post with your permission.
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