September 27, 2008

Something I think ALL photographers should know about!

Action is needed from as many people as possible to prevent our current copyright law/protection from becoming worthless. Please help prevent the single most damaging bill for artists of every venue - but especially visual artists like graphic designers and photographers! A bill, dubbed "Orphan Works," legislation was hotlined through the Senate this week while all eyes were on the financial issues.

The "Orphan Works" bill, as passed in the Senate yesterday, would rob thousands of people of their copyright protection, and allow any outside person/corporation to TAKE OUR WORK and use it, with NO COMPENSATION to the original artist, as long as they claim they "couldn't find" the copyright-holder. That is a simple matter of removing our name from a file, then the work can be dubbed "orphaned" and used WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION for ANYTHING they want to use it for! This bill would also force us to "register" EVERY SINGLE PIECE of our work with private registries, which could cost thousands of dollars for photographers and graphic artists, as we produce literally thousands of works each year! (Think about how many pictures a professional photographer takes in just ONE WEEK or how many graphics can be produced in ONE DAY!)

PLEASE pass this along to everyone you can - this is extremely critical, as this bill will deprive artists, photographers, etc. of the income they depend on!

The Senate has just passed their version of the Orphan Works Bill (on Sept. 26th). Now we must try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill and adopting the Senate version. Here is a link to a special letter for this purpose.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help!