Saturday, May 10, 2008

Artists, Illustrators MOBILIZE!!!

A good friend of mine, amazing artist Sho Murase, forwarded this alarming info to me recently about the ORPHAN WORKS ACT, a new legislation that's about to get introduced to Congress.

This concerns all artists, copyright issues and Congress and seems
really important at this point in time.

Please read and pass it to any artist , friend of an artists. Every artist must hear about this legislation about to go before Congress.

Basically it states that if you do not pay a registration fee with an independent, for profit, registration service, for every work you create, you will lose the rights to that particular work. Imagine paying $5 for every work you create!

To clarify some of the issues involved from, here is an excerpt from the Q&A the ILLUSTRATION PARTNERSHIP ORGANIZATION page.

Q: What does it mean to say your copyright is an “exclusive right”?
A: Under existing law, “[a] copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license his work…Under current law, works are covered whether or not a copyright notice is attached and whether or not the work is registered (emphasis added).”
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Copyright#copyright:_an_overview

Q: Why does this exclusive right matter?
A: Two big reasons:
- Creative control and ownership: No one can use or change your work without your permission.
- Value: In the marketplace the ability to sell exclusive rights to a client triples the value of your work.

Q: So how would the Orphan Works proposals endanger that right?
A: It would allow anyone who can’t find you (or who removes your name from your work and says he can’t) to infringe your work. Since infringements can occur anytime, anywhere in the world, they could be countless but you might never find them.

Q: So?
A: So:
- Under this bill, you would never again be able to assure a client that your work hasn’t been – or won’t be – infringed. Therefore
- You would never again be able to guarantee a client an exclusive right to license your work. This means
- Your entire inventory of work would be devalued by at least 2/3 from the moment this bill is signed into law.

To get more info,, read up on these link. You'll find more in-depth info at IllustratorPartnership.org. Pass this along to your artist friends. Write or better yet call
your members of Congress.

"TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR:
Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to quickly find the phone number, address and e-mail of every U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor and state legislator. Forward this article to every creator you know and urge them to take a moment to protect their very livelihood. I am giving everyone the right to reprint this article in any form to help spread the word to protect our creative rights.

Letters to our government officials don't have to be long, but they should be heartfelt. A good story helps. Tell them who you are, how this legislation negatively affects you and that you want them to vote against the Orphan Works legislation. It's that easy! If you don't, you will have only yourself to blame when you see other people making money from your art and you don't see a dime."

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