Sunday, September 28, 2008

Orphan Works Bill Legalizes Theft of Artistic Works

I have held my tongue long enough. I have tried to keep my blog free of politics, but I cannot remain silent any longer. The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act was passed through senate in a sneaky maneuver of "hotlining" the bill through at the end of session last Friday (09/26/08), amidst the panic of the US banking system collapse.

This bill compromises every artists' works and right to self-copyright, and practically invites opportunistic thieves to steal it. If an artist was to catch a hypothetical thief who stole creative works, wording in the bill states that if the artist sues the thief, that the thief and artist would have to come to a "mutual agreement" about the value of the stolen creative work. Preposterous.

Rather than try to summarize many other problems with this bill, and try to say what others can express so well, please just read Ted Rall's recent article on the topic. Ted Rall is president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

This bill's next stop is in the House Judiciary Committee, and there is still time to stop this bill from going into law. If you are an artist working in any medium, please educate yourself on this issue. It effects all of us in some pretty frightening ways.

Tell the House Judiciary Committee not to adopt the Senate version.

The Illustrator's Partnership of America has supplied a special letter for this purpose:

You can learn more at the Orphan Works blog here:

1 comment:

sky said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh knew it, just couldnt let that one go eh Scott ;0) couldnt sit on your hands and just feel (peace about it) he he Im bugging you