Mind Your Business: You Will Lose All the Rights to Your Own Art
Brad Holland: If a user can't find a registered work at the Copyright Office, hasn't the Copyright Office facilitated the creation of an orphaned work?
David O. Carson: Copyright owners will have to register their images with private registries.
BH: But what if I exercise my exclusive right of copyright and choose not to register?
DOC: If you want to go ahead and create an orphan work, be my guest!
This cavalier and disrespectful dialogue should have you seeing red. Who the hell does he think he is? Carson should be fired and RUN OUT OF WASHINGTON!
None of this could happen with our current laws. Our current laws work and they protect us and our creations.
The only people who will benefit from the copyright law change are those who can't create work on their own or companies who stand to make a lot of money from using our works of art. They make contributions to congressmen, which is why they get what they want. We need to stand up and be heard. Every one of you need to write your senators and representatives. We have to protect our livelihoods. It's that serious.
Plus, the technologies being developed for locating visual art don't work well enough. On March 13, 2008, PicScout, the creators of one of the software applications used in the registries, stated to the House IP subcommittee:
"Our technology can match images, or partial information of an image, with 99% success."
A 1% margin of error is huge when you consider the millions of searches performed for art every day. That means for every million searches, 10,000 images could be orphaned.
Plus, this only takes into account images registered on their system. If you have registered all your work on another system, they won't be searched here and, even though you may have spent thousands of dollars registering your creations, a new or unused directory could orphan everything you've ever created.
This is just one of the many reasons why INTERNATIONAL LAW FORBIDS COERCED REGISTRATION as a condition of protecting your copyright. The United States is about to break international law by making us register our works. The people behind the bill say it's not forced registration, but you won't have any rights unless you register. THIS IS SEMANTICS! Of course, this is forced registration and we can't stand for it!
There are many, many other problems with the Orphan Works legislation. As a creator, YOU MUST understand what is going on.
For additional information on Orphan Works developments, go to the IPA Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists.
This is not something that is going to go away easily. We need to be vocal NOW!
This legislation has been beaten or delayed for the past two years and they will keep trying until it passes. This is no time to be quiet and see what happens. What will happen depends on you. Send e-mails and call your congressmen. Ownership of your own creations depends on it.
Roger Dean sums this up well. "Where are the colleges and universities in all this? Has the whole world gone to sleep?"
GET ON ORPHAN WORKS E-MAIL LIST
To be notified of the latest information on the Orphan Works bill and when to contact your legislators, send an e-mail and ask to be added to the Orphan Works list.
AUDIO INTERVIEW LINK
I have recorded a fantastic interview with Brad Holland of the Illustrators' Partnership regarding this bill and what it means to us as artists. Please listen and learn more about how you may lose ownership of all your art and photos. This article and the recorded interview are available for anyone to use in print or online. Please forward this information to every person and group you know so that we can work together and protect our creations and livelihoods.
Mark Simon is an award-winning animation producer/director and speaker. He speaks around the world on subjects about art, animation and TV production. His copyrighted companies may be found online at www.SellYourTvConceptNow.com and www.Storyboards-East.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portions of this article use information and phrasing provided by the Illustrators' Partnership.
The opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of AWN, Inc. and its affiliates.