Oppose Orphan Works 2008 with a click of a button


[left]Edit 1/5/09 - for the most up to date information on the Orphan Works issue, please subscribe to the official blog of the IPA:




UPDATE - 10/3/08[/b]

  Please note that this first post has been edited with the most recent information. Comments posted to this thread reflect previous developments in this issue chronologically and may no longer be relevant to the [b]post below which is the most recent:[/b]
   (thanks to dmedillus for posting at the end of this thread):


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Apparently no one senses the irony of a generation of artists who think it’s their right to download, listen to, reuse and redistribute (“sharing”) music they’ve never paid for now getting all wound up about this orphan copyright thing.

Irony or karma… could be either.

There is a place for an orphan copyright consideration in the law that would greatly benefit artists doing historical work and research.

Bombarding your congressperson with form e-mails will do little to make sure the law has the proper protections for your non-abandoned works.

I’d urge everyone not to take the “Illustrators Partnership” explanation at its face, as it seriously misstates the realities of “orphan copyright” proposals that are being considered now.


Are there links for supporting this bill?
My cgportfolio is gonna be so sick 2 hours after this bill law thing goes through. Like 3000 more images sick…and then Im gonna sell it.


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double post


All I say is: Read up on orphan works before you say no. It may have some interesting ideas and is probably something that is not inherently evil. However I haven’t read unbiased information about it yet to make a call… just yet.

Just saying.



Ok I have compiled some resources that ALL artists should read before they say “we jumped” the gun.

BTW I am 100% against this bill.

To learn more about the Orphan Works Bill, listen to the interview with Brad Holland:
[li]mp3 version: http://www.sellyourtvconceptnow.com/orphan.html[/li][li]YouTube version: http://youtube.com/watch?v=CqBZd0cP5Yc[/li][/ul]BLOG: Orphan Works – No Myth
[li]http://illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00264[/li][/ul]Worldwide Copyrights
[li]http://www.eucopyright.com/[/li][li]http://www.eucopyright.com/[/li][li]http://www.copyright.org.au/[/li][/ul]US Contacts
[li]http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm[/li][li]https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml[/li][/ul]Berne Convention
[li]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_an d_Artistic_Works[/li][/ul]And of course… Why we are here:
[li]S. 2913, the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (SENATE)[/li]
[li]H.R. 5889: The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (HOUSE)[/li][li][/li]You can find more info of the status of BOTH bills here:
Just enter their #'s

[li]Orphan works hearing March 13, 2008[/li][/ul]Places to avoid:(In my humble opinion)
Radio Free Meredith (She is spreading mis-information left and right)


I popped up a link to this in my DA journal and also a thread in the DA forums. Hope it helps gain support in opposing this bill.


Maybe I am missing something here but the bill seems to cover only those items where the item in question is ‘Orphaned’ ie where a copyright owner cannot be established. My own personal view is that if I create a work that I value then I would have no hesitation copyrighting it. If I did not value that work enough to actually copyright it then why should I complain if someone else values it enoguh to use it for any purpose? BUT I guess applying commonsense to such an emotive topic is probably just asking for trouble…


Ehm, your work is automaticly copyrighted as soon as you created it. I don’t need to go anywhere to “actually copyright” it.

Imagine the case where someone just crops a picture to leave out any mark or autograph and then says “Well, nope, can’t identify the original owner” But that is the basic premises of this bill.

(I know this case is probably covered for in the bill…I hope!)


Would you really want to leave all your ’ no good ideas, and work ’ unregistered in a case like this?. Ideas that you didn’t value, or images that you didn’t believe were worth anything.
I know in the aftermath of work, we sometimes overlook sketches, ideas, writings or images that were really good, in search of something better. I don’t want a situation where I have to register everything, especially at a cost, and of course not either where I overlook registering an image only to have it lost, orphaned and making money.

Regarding the ‘everything you do is auto copyrighted’, isn’t this what this bill is standing to negate?

If I crop of the C logo and sell it before someone notices, appearing oblivious to its previous ownership, I stand to be fully within my right. That’s outrageous.


Well I did my part.
Got the message to the Reps for it here in California.


Awesome. I think it’s particularly important for those in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and even Vermont to write to Congress as the congressmen in those states are particularly important in launching the legislation. (This is not of course to discourage anyone else from any part of the world from writing in to the U.S. Congress). That is according to this interview with Brad Holland, who has a big hand in organizing the Illustrators Partnership:


Bear in mind that this interview was recorded prior to the release of the actual Orphan Works bills to the House and Senate in April of this year; however he’s good at explaining the ramifications of why it might be important to oppose the Orphan Works legislation.


I visited the link in the first post, but I cant find a way to publically voice my concern to congress. There is no link at this site that I could find to send a message to congress. Could some one help me out. http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/[b]



AugieBenDoggie, click any of the links to individual letters which are listed - you can choose the letter that you wish to send from the hyperlinked list.


For example, the first letter you might choose is:

[For Visual Artists - The Real Short Letter: I Can Be Located](http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=11333406)

Simply scroll to the end of the letter and put in your information, then click “Send Message”.

For the record, the letter I selected was:

For Visual Artists - A Gold Mine for Opportunists

Once I filled out my information, copies of my letter were automatically sent to Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein of California (since that is where I reside). I did not have to go to the trouble of locating these Senators’ contact information; after I filled out the form and clicked “Send Message”, copies of my form letter were sent to both Senators automatically.


It should be noted that international artists are encouraged to write in as well. Here is the page with information pertaining to international artists:



Everything you make will have to be documented, and everyone else, so we are talking mega database (sure there are lots of public servants dying for a job for life). Your work may be being used in a foreign country that doesnt recognise any copyright laws from yours. Ok this happens, but when it happens in your own economy it hurts your income directly because it is a failed sale in your home market which is low cost sales overhead. If this happens the onus will be on you to prove the work is yours. Once you get into any legal system it can and often is time consuming, frustrating and generally expensive. My girlfriend is a lawyer and as all lawyers know even if you are 100% right there is no guarentee you will 100% win or even win at all. The argument that this action will free up work of historical importance is little comfort because it impacts work you are making NOW.

I am praying this bloody action doesnt go through in the US because Europe has a nasty habit of following suit, if that happens you can be sure we will give them a fight they will never forget.



Don’t pray, write. :slight_smile:

It should be noted that international artists are encouraged to write in as well. Here is the page with information pertaining to international artists:



Anyone who has read up on these bills, and cares about artist, would find these bills very disturbing. Thanks for bringing this out in the open here. This isn’t the first time big business has tried to steal the rights away from artists and the wording of the current bills being proposed would make it all to easy for companies to get free access to millions of works and put artists in a crippling situation. Read up on it and I think almost any artist would see the trouble we would have. It is well worth the time it takes to fight this.


Nevada reps contacted.