Orphan Works

Well, as an artist, this quite concerns me and should just about anyone else. As of right now, copyright happens right when you post something to the public. Such as my sketches on this site. I went on a forum recently, and they can better explain Orphan Works, better than I can, and they provide links to how you can write to your representative. This is very importante, and I kind of put it off for awhile because of the summer…

I found this on Esthetique forum:

Heres the basics!
Its no secret, places like Google have trouble with copyright laws. If this law goes through, it will benefit thieves than artist. All past works will be consider “Orphan” if not regestered in “system regestries” which still does not exsist. If you for one second think this does not consern you because you are not an artist nor you live in the U.S. Then YOUR WRONG! Good luck trying to find any work from any artist on places like the internet. If this law pass, it will be in all artist best intrest in every country not to share any of their work over the interent in fear if someone will pick it up. Do a “thorough” search and if they cannot find the artist its free to claim.
This law benefits thieves than artist.

Heres more!

e-mail a question or comment

But how can any copyright law be “comprehensive” if it makes millions of copyrights, no matter how valuable, available to users, no matter how worthy, under a system that would introduce permanent uncertainty into the business lives of creators?

Private Sector Registries
Since the last bill died in committee in 2006, the advocates of this legislation have promoted the creation of private commercial registries. On January 29, 2007, a lead attorney for the Copyright Office warned us that under their plan any work not registered with a private sector registry would be a potential orphan from the moment it was created.

This means you would not only have to register all your published work, but also:

– Every sketch or note on every page of every sketchbook;
– Every sketch you send to every client;
– Every photograph you take anywhere, anytime, including family photos, home videos, etc.;
– Every letter, email, etc., professional, personal or private.

This Would End Passive Copyright Protection:
Under existing law the total creative output of any “creator” receives passive copyright protection from the moment you create it. This covers everything from the published work of professional artists to the unpublished diaries, letters and family photos of the average citizen.

But under the Orphan Works proposal, none of this material would be covered unless the creator took active steps to register and maintain coverage with a commercial registry. Failure to do so would “signal” to infringers that you have no interest in protecting the work.

The Registration Paradox:
By conceding that their proposals would make potential orphans of any unregistered works, the Copyright Office proposals would lead to a registration paradox: In order to “protect” work from exposure to infringement, creators would have to expose it on a publicly searchable registry. This would:

a.) Expose creative work to plagiarists and derivative abusers;
b.) Expose trade secrets and unused sketches to competitors;
c.) Expose unpublished and private correspondence to the public on the Orwellian premise that you must expose it to “protect” it.

Yet registries will not be able to monitor infringements nor enforce copyright compliance. Even after you’ve shelled out “protection money” to a commercial registry to register hundreds of thousands of works, you still won’t be protected. A registry would do nothing more than give you a piece of paper. You would still have to monitor infringements – which can occur anytime anywhere in the world; then embark on an uncertain quest to find the infringer, file a case in Federal court, then prove that the infringer has removed your name or other identifying information from your work. Meanwhile all the infringer will have to do is say there was no such information on the work when he found it and assert an orphan works defense. This will be the end result of trying to “resolve the users’ concerns” at the expense of time-tested copyright law.

Coerced registration violates the spirit and letter of international copyright law and copyright-related treaties. And because this bill would effectively eliminate the passive copyright protection afforded personal correspondence, family photos, etc. it would tear one more slender thread of privacy protection from the fabric of fundamental rights we currently take for granted.

We urge Congress to carefully reconsider the unintended consequences of this radical copyright proposal.

-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership

Heres a track of the bill!

This site is open to professional artists, photographers and any member of the image-making public.
They provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts.
If you’re opposed to the Orphan Works act, this site is yours to use.

2 minutes is all it takes to write Congress and protect your copyright

Please forward this message to every artist you know.

For Users that are not U.S. citizens.

These are regular question adresses, so it might take some time before they read this.. A fax (if possible) would probably be quicker..
Don’t forget to clearly state in the e-mail that the mail is meant for the person in bold letters
Ambassador Susan C. Schwab
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20508
United States of America
FAX: 001 (202) 395-4549
(Telephone: (202) 395-3000)

General Information | contactustr@ustr.eop.gov (Your e-mail will be directed to the appropriate office.)

Marybeth Peters
Register of Copyrights
U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
United States of America
FAX: 001 (202) 707-8366
(Telephone: (202) 707-5959)


Jon W. Dudas
United States Patent & Trademark Office
P.O. 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
United States of America
FAX: 001 (571) 273-8300
(Telephone: (800) 786-9199)

info: usptoinfo@uspto.gov

Reuben Jeffrey III
Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
United States of America
FAX: 001 (202) 647-9763
(Telephone: (202) 647-7575)



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