Short story: I’m getting emails from various artist sources about this bill, which – supposedly – is pending before Congress, on a fast track for passage before summer recess, and will render life for artists and other creative types unprofitable and worthless because any douchebag who wants to will be able to rip off our image copyrights.
Long story: an “Orphaned Works” bill was before Congress in 2006 but did not pass at that time. The idea is to allow things that have been in apparent copyright forever (decades) and for which no clear copyright owner exists to enter the public domain. The Copyright office appears to be legitimately concerned about how to handle this situation (who owns the copyright on your parents’ wedding photos? could you even find the original photographer?) without endangering current creative image generation.
The story that is generating all the hysteria, due to its “THE SKY IS FALLING OMG” tone, is: http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3605&page=1
A lucid post – and pretty much a complete rebuttal to the panic and FUD – is at http://maradydd.livejournal.com/374886.html.
Basically, this post affirms that our current state of affairs – I have a copyright on any painting of mine the instant I finish it – will remain the same. And that it’s my problem to track down anyone with the temerity to infringe my copyright (again, as it is now). Please read the Radio Free Meredith post . . . and breath a sigh of relief. But of course, it’s worth staying informed on the issue.Tags: legislation