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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #1
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Stop Orphan Works Copyright Bill!

The Orphan Works Act of 2008, introduced in the House, and the Senate’s Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913) would effectively allow photos and other created works to be used without prior permission if the actual copyright holder could not be identified and/or located. Under the proposed bills, the copyright holder could not collect statutory damages or attorney fees from an unauthorized user, so long as that user conducted a “reasonable search” to find the copyright holder and obtain permission. There are other detrimental effects to the bill for creators of intellectual property.

Go to; http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/ click on the Blue link at the top of the page and contact your legislators.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #2
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I've never heard of it before but this bill sounds OK to me if 'reasonable search' is defined adequately.
Am I missing something?
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Last edited by Richard Gooderick; May 9th, 2008 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #3
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"The Orphan Works Act will "solve the Orphan Works problem" by classing as an orphan any work whose author any infringer can successfully define as one. This will result in orphan status being assigned to any work, despite its age, even where the artist is alive, working and easily locatable by others. To repeat: even if 10 users (or 100) can find a given artist, this bill will allow a single infringer who can defend in court his failure to find the artist, to establish that the artist's work was an orphan for legal purposes. This would include any works, from professional paintings to vacation photos, including any pictures that reside or have ever resided on the internet."

In short - even if you can prove your copyright was infringed it doesn't matter because the guy who stole your work couldn't find you. I would call that a problem. If you make a living stealing other peoples work without compensation then this bill is for you.

http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartne...illid=11320236
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #4
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Have you read the actual bill yet Rick? You're throwing out a lot of stuff that is clearly addressed in the bill. I would suggest giving it an actual read through once so you can understand it better and sound more informed.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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Normally we don't do crusades on this site, but the topic definitely has merit.

For what it's worth, the National Press Photographers Association opposes this bill:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/.../orphan02.html

"There is no reasonable argument to authorize infringements for
commercial use. Unpublished works should also not be exempted..."
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #6
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If that summary is correct, and from a brief perusal of the actual bill, it appears to be, this is an intellectual property disaster looking to happen!

From experience, I can say it's VERY safe to say that peoples definitions of "reasonable" vary widely... and let's just say that those looking to infringe are not on the high end of that ethical and practical ladder. You'd be surprised how quickly "reasonable" can be inflated or poo-pooh'd depending on the motivations of the party involved. Relativism is a pain to enforce.

Looks to me like legalization of theft of IP on a massive scale, with a low threshold for an infringer to cross and HUGE potential expense to the property owner... just to protect what was their to begin with.

Misguided legislation at the very least, and looks like someone has a personal interest in creating registries... and more government waste with less protection to "we the people". Typical...
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Normally we don't do crusades on this site, but the topic definitely has merit.

For what it's worth, the National Press Photographers Association opposes this bill:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/.../orphan02.html

"There is no reasonable argument to authorize infringements for
commercial use. Unpublished works should also not be exempted..."
Chris,

Sometimes things are just too important to ignore, and as most of the folks on this site have a HUGE vested interest in protecting Intellectual Property, both theirs and that of others... perhaps this is one time to leave a little "wiggle room"!

Somehow methinks it's not a crusade when protecting your own interests from outright THEFT?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #8
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Chris,

If we as producers of "intellectual property" do not stand up for ourselves who will?

I originally received an email from the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association - includes pro editors, photogs and videographers across the US) and thought this one was important enough to post. Crusade or not, if we cannot protect our copyrights and our work we're all out of business. Even the amateurs on this site are going to be hopping mad when for example they see their daughters wedding picture in a condom commercial because the copyright owner "couldn't be found."

I was an NPPA member for many years in my TV news days and they are one of the few voices that speaks out on behalf of photographers and videographers in this country. To quote Yoda - "Do or do not, there is no try."
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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Aren't many of us users as well as producers of intellectual property?

I've come across situations where people have not been able to ascertain the ownership of material that they wanted to use in a film.

Isn't it in the best interests of film makers to strike a balance between remunerating creative people for their efforts and not stifling that creativity?

OK, OK ..... I haven't read the bill :-)
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #10
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The bill looks like it is pretty unlikely to pass, so don't worry too much.

It's not quite the Armageddon on ip that some people are trying to say it is.

In actuality if it passed though, not much would happen. Someone steals your image now, you can sue them. Someone steals your image after the bill, you can still sue them. It all boils down to money on the end and if the cost warrants going through the legal process.

Here is a link to the Senate version of the bill.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=s110-2913
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #11
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A page with an opposing, but more balanced take

Public Knowledge Has a nice description of both what prompted the Orphan Works legislation: Fear of large court judgements in favor of emerging owners of a work documentary filmmakers couldn't find while making the film was hindering free expression of the film makers.

http://www.publicknowledge.org/issues/ow

Also see some filmmakers' testimony to congress on this issue here http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1478

As more and more people are able to afford getting into video for a variety of purposes, the number of people who might want to make documentary-like works grows.

PK's account also details the strongly felt concerns of photogs and illistrators who think other people will, for various reasons, fail to find and cut deals with those creators, and thus cost the photogs and illustrators sales and limit their ability to sue afterwards. And it briefly says how the bill either addresses these issues, the concerns are exaggerated, or the social good is worth the risk.

Please read the above account and especially the filmmakers testimony before calling your senators and representative.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Somehow methinks it's not a crusade when protecting your own interests from outright THEFT?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
If we as producers of "intellectual property" do not stand up for ourselves who will?
Indeed -- all I'm saying is that as a rule, we generally don't do politics on DV Info Net.

Obviously there are notable exceptions and this definitely is one of them.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayne Weyker View Post
As more and more people are able to afford getting into video for a variety of purposes, the number of people who might want to make documentary-like works grows...Please read the above account and especially the filmmakers testimony before calling your senators and representative.
As a person who makes a living as documentary filmmaker it is already extremely difficult to find copyright infringement, prosecute and recover damages for that infringement. As a documentary filmmaker I'd like to see tougher rules not weaker ones. With the advent of broadband internet anything I create can be put up on the web by a third party, reused by a third party and I will never know about it. I personally have had cases where my video was misused or stills stolen and was able to do nothing about it under the current rules. Spend 2 minutes on YouTube and you can find 100 examples of people illegally uploading the work of others.

As a documentary filmmaker I am very careful about what I put on the web because I KNOW it will be stolen or misused by others. Why? Because it's happened.

Just because more people have access to make documentaries or videos doesn't mean that we throw the rules out. At some point these same people would be quite angered if their work was misapropriated wouldn't they?

If I showed up at your place of business and took your paycheck you would be pissed. Without serious copyright rules that's exactly what happens to me. Someone steals my paycheck.

Here's the link; http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=s110-2913 If it bothers you do something. If not - don't.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #14
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Case in point; go to the next thread - Using movie clips in a video presentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Meyerson View Post
I have a potential client who does seminars for schools and educators. He wants me to edit together a video using movie clips for him to use as part of his seminar. The video would just be for his use...not sold or anything like that. But he is being paid for giving the seminar.

He asked me about the legality of using movie clips in such a manner. I told him theoretically, it is illegal...just not sure "how illegal" because they are being used for educational purposes.
Mike's client wants him to steal the work of others to pad his own pockets. 'Nuff said.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #15
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Using small portions of copyrighted material for nonprofit educational purposes is covered under the Fair Use guidelines of the Copyright law. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Of course under "Fair Use" only portions of the copyrighted material can be used, how much is a "portion" is what is debatable. I've heard it being anywhere from 3 musical notes of a song to 1/10th of a motion picture.
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