Senate Passes Orphan Works Act

- - copyright

Next stop is the house. Email or call your representative and let them know how you feel about it (here).

There Are 17 Comments On This Article.

  1. @ thomas : yes, sometimes that happens, that’s why we have to be active participants/spectators in our government.

    I’ve already emailed about it from here in phoenix, az. hope everyone does the same from their respective states.

    Rocksteady,
    Danno~

  2. Thank you for the message. I have both sent an email to my representative, as well as forwarded this to many friends who are photographers and filmmakers. What’s up with the socialization of our proud country lately? These lazy socialists need to get out of bed, flush their xanax, and get to work instead of trying to find a way to steal ours “rightfully”.

  3. Anyone know how the current presidential candidates have voted on this issue? I’m having doubts about how I voted in the primary and may switch sides depending on this issue…

  4. It seems it was unanimous and there is no record of how individuals voted. The bill might have been piggybacked on to another bill.

  5. At least for those photographers who are not US citizens, we can still fall under Berne Convention. The funny thing is that the US signed and agreed to the Berne Convention, yet this current bill goes against that . . . seems unconstitutional. Perhaps there is a legal challenge, though I imagine the US legal system being so slow that much damage can be done by this.

    Always ask who benefits, and you find reasons for these things. The dearth of free or low cost content is too much of a draw for some corporations. Instead of low cost stock images, or hiring a photographer, they will find content, simply use it, and need not worry about the consequences.

    Oh, part of this bill paves the way for a registration company to handle copyrights. So what this does is create a new revenue stream for a company that is set-up to handle registration of copyrightable materials. Now I wonder who that might be . . . . . . . .

  6. I should have added, the arguments for this originally were to protect certain institutions from legal challenges under copyright. Rather than pass this bill, if the Legislative branch of the US government simply more clearly defined Fair Use, then they would not need this bill. However, clearly defining Fair Use does not allow the creation of new revenue streams.

  7. ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) has been working with congress to create a fairer version of the bill (Version HR 5889), but the current draft in the House today (S.2913), WILL NOT PROTECT CREATORS RIGHTS fairly. Members of APA, ASMP, Editorial Photographers, and Illustrators Partnership of America, among others, are all against version S.2913

    To learn more:

    ASMP’s position:
    http://www.asmp.org/news/spec2008/orphan_update.php

    APA’s position:
    http://www.apanational.com/i4a/pages/Index.cfm?pageID=3864

  8. Kristina,

    Can you explain why ASMP was originally for the bill and urged its membership to back it with correspondence to Congress – than a week later – changed their position?

    I’d like to know why they changed their arguments for and then against the bills but to also understand what ASMP is really backing.

    Not writing this to upset anyone, just want to know.

    I don’t understand how APA and all the other trade groups were against it from the onset and ASMP was for it. Then shifted course.

    Thank if you know.

  9. I’m a member, and get emails from both ASMP and APA.

    I can only glean from all of this and opinions expressed by speakers at the ASMP SB2 workshop this spring, that they felt the legislation’s passing was inevitable and wanted to get involved in drafting the best possible legislation (as with UPDIG and PLUS).

    Obviously, with the version that passed in the Senate, this has not happened. Best to read both positions carefully. And be heard.

  10. @10 – “I don’t understand how APA and all the other trade groups were against it from the onset and ASMP was for it. Then shifted course.”

    ASMP has not shifted their course. In exchange for some meaningless concessions, ASMP and PPA agreed to publicly endorse the House Bill. They still do. They have never supported the Senate version and are asking their members to write their representatives and oppose adoption of the Senate version language for the House bill. This does not mean they are no longer supporting the House bill.

    The reason for APA and others opposition to both bills is because both are equally terrible. ASMP’s justification for supporting the House bill is because they were told (by certain members of Congress and their staffs) that if this had to come around again, it would be much worse the next time.

    • Debra

      That is called “spin.”

      “ASMP has not shifted their course. In exchange for some meaningless concessions, ASMP and PPA agreed to publicly endorse the House Bill. They still do.”

  11. @ 12-Actually, the Senate version is worse than the House version and the House version is terrible.

  12. @6 – Gordon wrote:

    “Instead of low cost stock images, or hiring a photographer, they will find content, simply use it, and need not worry about the consequences.”

    This is absolutely correct. These are both (House and Senate) badly crafted bills that are decidedly one sided and that side is not yours. Many photographers and other visual artists will be eaten up alive as a result of these bills. As it stands now supposedly only approximately 5% of the photographer population register their works with the copyright office. With OW, they will also be required to register their images not only with the Copyright office, but also with the private databases that will be established. I don’t see this happening with most photographers. Unfortunately, what I do see is one massive Google image database.

    “yet this current bill goes against that . . . seems unconstitutional.”

    There most likely are grounds to find these bill unconstitutional, however, that legal challenge will be extremely costly and, as you mention in your post, can take a very long time. The House bill undoubtedly will pass too and moving forward the important thing will be to come up with effective methods that will guarantee that image owners will be found.

    I too thought they should have looked into broadening Fair Use. I believe there was a study group that was doing just that, but when I brought it up in my meeting with Howard Berman’s Chief Counsel, she said no one else had mentioned this.

  13. It appears that the House will not be voting on OW this session. After reading a post about this on APAnet, I called my contact at Henry Waxman’s office in DC. As they were supposed to adjourn last week, they are directing all their attention to the financial crisis and only that at this time. However, this does not mean anyone can drop the ball. They re-convene in January.