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Author Topic: 2008 Orphan Works Bill Introduced  (Read 22000 times)

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« on: April 28, 2008, 06:41 »
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The Orphan Works Act was introduced once again a few days ago.

Even though this is a U.S. bill, it will affect everyone in some way.

Under this bill, you won't automatically have a copyright on your images anymore.

And if your images are on the Internet, then they will become "orphaned" and available for anyone to use how they please.

This is especially a problem with the microstock industry, since we have no idea who is purchasing our images or where they are being used.  Every image that we sell on the microstocks will essentially become "orphaned" immediately upon purchase.

Every year this bill seems to get worse.

We need to stand together against this bill.

For more info on this bill:

http://copyrightaction.com/forum/orphan-works-bills-introduced-in-usa

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqBZd0cP5Yc&amp;eurl=http://copyrightaction.com/forum/orphan-works-bills-introduced-in-usa" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqBZd0cP5Yc&amp;eurl=http://copyrightaction.com/forum/orphan-works-bills-introduced-in-usa</a>


If you live in the U.S., you can contact your Senators and Representatives here:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 08:39 by GeoPappas »


« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 06:56 »
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Before we all get into a panic here, we need to understand what this bill is all about.  It's not about making every piece of work orphaned so anyone can use it.  This bill is designed to free the copyright to work who's owner can not be found.  And, before anyone can use that piece of work, they must document what steps they made to find the owner of that piece of work.  Obviously when we submit our photos to the stock agencies, we own the copyright on those photos and when someone purchases the rights to use that photo, it does not give them the copyright to it, it is still yours.  And of course, if they use it in a way that violates the contracts with the stock agency, legal action can still be taken as long as you can prove you own the copyright to that photo.

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 07:08 »
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that is correct

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 07:17 »
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If you use Photoshop; in the File Info under origin add your name to credit and under source add your website to each and every image. This will provide name and contact and it is defense against the Orphan Bill.

The Orphan Bill will benefit agencies when someone submits a few images and over time forgets about them and the agencies are unable to contact the submitter.

« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 07:41 »
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You are all thinking about this incorrectly.

First, if this bill takes affect, you will not own the copyright to ANY of your works UNLESS you register them.  And registering your works will cost money.  Under the current law, any created work automatically has a copyright.  Under this bill, that won't be the case anymore.

Second, when an image is purchased on one of the microstocks, it doesn't contain the IPTC info embedded within it.  This information is stripped out by the stock agencies.  (If you want to try this, go to StockXpert or 123RF and download one of your own images.)  But even if it were embedded, the purchaser could easily strip it out and place it on the Internet.  Once that happens it is now an orphan.

Third, as we are all aware, image theft already occurs.  The last few weeks has shown us that image theft is prevalent on the Internet.  And the stock agencies do very little about it.  This will just make the situation drastically worse.

I hope that you will all do your research and read the documents that are on the Internet about this very critical issue and that you will take action to prevent this from happening.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 07:44 by GeoPappas »

« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 07:47 »
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The legislation would enable users to exhibit orphan works if, after a thorough, documented search, the copyright owners are unable to be located.  The legislation outlines the criteria for such a search, and provides for court review to determine if a search has been adequate and done in good faith.  If the copyright owner later emerges, the user must pay reasonable compensation to the owner.   The bill also includes provisions to further protect owners of these orphaned copyrights, should any user exhibit bad faith.

...I'm not too woried as their is legal and financial recourse if you find it being used without permission.

« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 07:55 »
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If you use Photoshop; in the File Info under origin add your name to credit and under source add your website to each and every image. This will provide name and contact and it is defense against the Orphan Bill.

Because you can't just copy the image into a new document, or erase the info?  This is no protection at all.

« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 07:57 »
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GeoPappas, if you read the first link you provided, this is what it states:

There are thousands of artistic creations around the country that are effectively locked away and unavailable for the general public to enjoy because the owner of the work is unknown.  Identifying the owner of a copyrighted work is difficult in many cases and represents a huge liability to those who would bring the work into the public domain without permission, Hatch said. This bill represents a commitment from Congress to unlock orphan works so the general public may once again enjoy them.

Too many valuable works are unused because their creators are unknown, and potential users fear excessive liability, said Berman.  We must act to lower the legal barriers that keep these works from the public.

Millions of copyrighted works are effectively locked up and unable to be enjoyed by the public due to our current copyright system, said Smith.  As a result, investments in new works and expositions by libraries, museums and others are frequently not undertaken due to the possibility of lawsuits and large statutory damage awards.  By placing reasonable limitations on liability, while ensuring that owners receive compensation for the use of their works, the bills introduced today will help reduce uncertainty and encourage creativity.

I see no reason to get everyone all excited about this.  This is about works of art that the copyright owner can not be found or no one knows who owns the copyright.  

« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 08:11 »
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If I understand it correctly after listening to the podcast. You will not have a copyright to your images that you already have or going to create unless you are registering them. This is different to the rest of the world where you own the copyright in the moment you create something. You do not have to prove your copyright, the other party has to prove that you do not have it. After this bill you do not have anything unless you register the copyright for each item. In any case you have to prove that you own the copyright. If the other site shows that they search this and that registry and cannot find a copyright, then they are free to use it.

helix7

« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 08:47 »
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I don't see what the big deal is, at least in the context of microstock. Let's face it. In this business, there are just some instances of image theft that we can't do anything about, and shouldn't bother to get all worked up over. If the idea of someone using your image without paying for it bugs you, then microstock isn't the right business for you. The sheer volume of images distributed through microstock makes it impossible to pursue every instance of misuse.

What is this Orphan Works bill going to do that will really change anything for us? Will things really be any worse than they already are? And if so, is that too much more to handle than what we already deal with? So one or two more people will grab one of my images without paying, and use the Orphan Works bill as protection. Big deal. I'm not losing sleep over it. Most people will continue to pay for images and use them appropriately, and we all will continue to make money.

Besides, what can we really do about it? If this bill is going to pass, it will pass. Writing a few letters isn't going to change much.



bittersweet

« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 09:01 »
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Besides, what can we really do about it? If this bill is going to pass, it will pass. Writing a few letters isn't going to change much.

This kind of apathy is exactly why insane legislation is passed all the time.

« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 09:32 »
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First, if this bill takes affect, you will not own the copyright to ANY of your works UNLESS you register them. 
No previous version of the orphan works bill has contained such a provision, and my cursory review of this one doesn't show any difference. Where exactly in the bill does it say this, or is this fear mongering?

« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 10:24 »
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After reading through the material, I don't agree that we will no longer have automatic copyright ownership upon creation.  That said, this looks like a bad deal for us if the micro agencies do indeed strip the metadata upon download.  If this thing passes, we'll have to demand the agencies leave all copyright/contact/identification metadata intact. 

Don't be afraid of registering your images for copyright protection.  It's easy and it's not expensive at all.  You can do it online now (need to sign up as a beta tester) and it's easy.  The fee is $35 online or $45 by paper.  That fee covers as many images (thumbnail size) that you can fit on a CD (or DVD?) or zip into a rather larger file.  The last one I sent was around 10mb. I've done two so far with THOUSANDS of images each time.  So the cost is very nominal.  Even without this new legislation, you really have to register your images to be fully protected and to fight infringers in court.

lisafx

« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 10:28 »
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Besides, what can we really do about it? If this bill is going to pass, it will pass. Writing a few letters isn't going to change much.

This kind of apathy is exactly why insane legislation is passed all the time.

I agree completely.  It is one thing to try to protect yourself and be outvoted, but it is pretty disheartening to see people value their intellectual property so little they can't even be bothered writing a brief note or making a quick phone call to protect it. 

Isn't it a bit early to be throwing in the towel on this one???

« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 10:33 »
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From the current house bill ..
"Before using an orphan work, the infringer has to file a notice of use at the Copyright Office. The notice must include a description of the work, a summary of the search conducted, all identifying information found during the search, a certification that a good faith diligent search was made, the name of the user, and a description of the intended uses. Failure to file the notice means that the user cannot raise an orphan works defense if the copyright owner claims infringement. The Copyright Office must maintain an archive of notices of use."

 lifted by me from the April 24 ASMP update.
http://www.asmp.org/news/spec2008/orphan_update.php



John

helix7

« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2008, 12:05 »
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...It is one thing to try to protect yourself and be outvoted, but it is pretty disheartening to see people value their intellectual property so little they can't even be bothered writing a brief note or making a quick phone call to protect it. 

Isn't it a bit early to be throwing in the towel on this one???

This bill has come back around, what, three times now? It's not going away. I wouldn't call it apathy, just a realistic view of how little control we have over our government.

Some things just aren't worth getting all worked up over, especially when it becomes apparent that no amount of effort will change the situation. And even more so when it's over an issue that really won't affect us as significantly as the doom-and-gloom alarmists would have us believe. Like I said above, if this bill means that a couple of buyers misuse my images and defend their actions with this orphan works bill, that isn't really changing the already common misuse of images in microstock. We're not exactly in the upper echelons of the stock imagery world, and some misuse has to be expected, given the larger number of downloads. I just don't see how this bill will convert any significant number of microstock buyers from legitimate downloaders to rampant image thieves overnight. Most people will still pay for images, and most people will not want to risk any infringement lawsuits.

I have no problem with anyone speaking out against this, and I'll gladly take 10 minutes and do my part, and fire off a letter to my legislators. Given a choice, sure I'd rather see this bill go down in flames. Unfortunately it would likely just be a temporary relief, and the bill would come back up again in on the 2009 agenda.


helix7

« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2008, 12:09 »
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FYI, use of an image under a claim as an Orphan Works image is not as easily defended as saying that you just did a Google search for the copyright holder:

Quote
Before using an orphan work, the infringer has to file a notice of use at the Copyright Office. The notice must include a description of the work, a summary of the search conducted, all identifying information found during the search, a certification that a good faith diligent search was made, the name of the user, and a description of the intended uses. Failure to file the notice means that the user cannot raise an orphan works defense if the copyright owner claims infringement. The Copyright Office must maintain an archive of notices of use.


From: http://www.asmp.org/news/spec2008/orphan_update.php

Does anyone really think that someone will go through the trouble of filing paperwork with the Copyright Office, just to get around paying a few bucks for one of our images?


RT


« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2008, 12:15 »
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If you use Photoshop; in the File Info under origin add your name to credit and under source add your website to each and every image. This will provide name and contact and it is defense against the Orphan Bill.

Because you can't just copy the image into a new document, or erase the info?  This is no protection at all.

Add to this the fact that most agencies don't include any file info with the downloads anyway, for the very reason they don't want people adding their own websites and other information.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2008, 12:18 »
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Are there any sites that leave the IPTC info in tact for downloads?

« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2008, 12:50 »
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Another easy contact method is to call Congress, and ask to be connected to your Senator or Representatives office.

Number is 877-762-8762 (or 877-SOB-U-SOB to remember it easily - no joke).

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2008, 14:16 »
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This bill has come back around, what, three times now? It's not going away. I wouldn't call it apathy, just a realistic view of how little control we have over our government.

Some things just aren't worth getting all worked up over, especially when it becomes apparent that no amount of effort will change the situation. And even more so when it's over an issue that really won't affect us as significantly as the doom-and-gloom alarmists would have us believe. Like I said above, if this bill means that a couple of buyers misuse my images and defend their actions with this orphan works bill, that isn't really changing the already common misuse of images in microstock. We're not exactly in the upper echelons of the stock imagery world, and some misuse has to be expected, given the larger number of downloads. I just don't see how this bill will convert any significant number of microstock buyers from legitimate downloaders to rampant image thieves overnight. Most people will still pay for images, and most people will not want to risk any infringement lawsuits.

I have no problem with anyone speaking out against this, and I'll gladly take 10 minutes and do my part, and fire off a letter to my legislators. Given a choice, sure I'd rather see this bill go down in flames. Unfortunately it would likely just be a temporary relief, and the bill would come back up again in on the 2009 agenda.



Consider this - if it is up for consideration for a third time, then it was shelved or defeated the last couple of times, most likely because of public opposition.  No reason to assume that can't happen again. 

I agree it is best not to get worked up over things we can't control, and we can't control the outcome of this completely, but I do think it is worthwhile to take those 10 minutes and write your congressional representatives. 

I just did and will do so again  any time it comes back.  Takes a lot less time than uploading ;)

« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2008, 19:16 »
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here's a quote from sen leahy's site

Quote
What this bill does not do is create a license to infringe.  In any of the above instances, if the users do not conduct a good faith search for the copyright owner, those users are in the same boat they are in now when it comes to infringement.  This bill does not change the basic premise of copyright law:  If you use the copyrighted works of others, you must compensate them for it.  As an avid photographer, I understand what it means to devote oneself to creative expression, and I applaud anyone with the talent and commitment to make a living doing so.  Orphan works are too important to our families, our communities, and our culture to go left unseen and unused.


http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/042408e.html

i quickly read the executive summary of the 127 p copyright office doc  http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/orphan-report.pdf  and it seems in line w leahy's remarks

basically, this law HELPS copyright holders while making it easier for legitimate use of prphaned works -- there is NO mandatory registration req.  and i couldn't find anything to indicate we'd LOSE existing copyrights.

under the new law, a user MUST do  reasonable search -- if they use a work after that, and the actual copyright owner later appears, they are STILL subject to a fine.  what's changed is you can no longer sue for the hundreds of  thousands of dollars [but that was never available without registering in the first place].


the 1976 copyright law was passed in part to bring the US into compliance with the rest of the world under the Berne convention that grants copyright automatically on creation and prohibits mandatory registration.  even the current treaty-hating administration isnt proposing to reject the 1976 law.



Steve

« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2008, 19:19 »
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Being outside the USA, I wonder how this affects me (if it affects you guys in the USA, as it is not clear yet).  

I don't have to register my images in the USA to have rights over them, do I? I never had and I don't think I would now. It's not like a patent that I would register in any countries in which I want to guarantee my rights.

People who purchase images can not claim they don't know who has the rights.  Even if the file does not show the copyright info, the person knows this is not "orphan" work.  It's not just lying there unattended.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2008, 10:02 »
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lisafx

« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2008, 10:19 »
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I just heard back from both my senators.  Sen. Mel Martinez seemed to feel pretty strongly about intellectual property rights, and his note did not read like a form letter.  Bill Nelson's letter was more of a standard "thanks for writing, I will keep your concerns in mind if this toes to the full senate". 

I learned that the bill is currently in committee and is being sponsored by Sen Patrick Leahy of VT.  If anyone lives in VT now might be a good time to write Sen. Leahy and put some pressure on him. 

helix7

« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2008, 16:41 »
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...there is NO mandatory registration req.  and i couldn't find anything to indicate we'd LOSE existing copyrights.

under the new law, a user MUST do  reasonable search -- if they use a work after that, and the actual copyright owner later appears, they are STILL subject to a fine...

That's exactly what I've gotten from reading the bill. I found no language to suggest that any current copyright policies would be affected by a passage of the orphan works bill.

Critics of the bill have been suggesting that someone could just do a quick search and claim to have attempted to find a copyright holder, thereby getting away with infringement. That also is not true. The "diligent search" must be performed within approved Copyright Office databases, and paperwork must be filed confirming that such a search was performed. Users must also file with the Copyright Office to report their intention to use a work that is believed to be orphaned. It is not an easy process, and it is certainly not worth the time it takes, just to steal an image that could have been legally licensed for a few bucks.

Basically, the Orphan Works bill does not make it any easier for someone to get away with infringement. Copyright will be just as valid under this bill as it is today. It is not the "thieves charter" that some poorly informed bloggers are making it out to be.


« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2008, 17:46 »
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...there is NO mandatory registration req.  and i couldn't find anything to indicate we'd LOSE existing copyrights.

under the new law, a user MUST do  reasonable search -- if they use a work after that, and the actual copyright owner later appears, they are STILL subject to a fine...

That's exactly what I've gotten from reading the bill. I found no language to suggest that any current copyright policies would be affected by a passage of the orphan works bill.

Critics of the bill have been suggesting that someone could just do a quick search and claim to have attempted to find a copyright holder, thereby getting away with infringement. That also is not true. The "diligent search" must be performed within approved Copyright Office databases, and paperwork must be filed confirming that such a search was performed. Users must also file with the Copyright Office to report their intention to use a work that is believed to be orphaned. It is not an easy process, and it is certainly not worth the time it takes, just to steal an image that could have been legally licensed for a few bucks.

Basically, the Orphan Works bill does not make it any easier for someone to get away with infringement. Copyright will be just as valid under this bill as it is today. It is not the "thieves charter" that some poorly informed bloggers are making it out to be.


bingo

« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2008, 07:18 »
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Here is an article from the Rangefinder Magazine
http://www.rangefindermag.com/magazine/Jun08/114.pdf
 

« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2008, 11:16 »
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Update on USA Orphan Works Bill

(S2913) Senate Bill PASSED.

We need to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their own bill (HR5889) and moving to adopt the Senate version.
video about bill:
http://www.thephotographybiz.com/comment/orphan-works-legislation-explained/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18736567652
A MILLION PEOPLE AGAINST THE ORPHAN WORKS BILL!
CALL CONGRESS FOR FREE: 1- 800-828-0498.
STOP HOUSE Bill 5889!

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2008, 17:53 »
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The Orphan Works Act was introduced once again a few days ago.

Even though this is a U.S. bill, it will affect everyone in some way.

True

Under this bill, you won't automatically have a copyright on your images anymore.

False

And if your images are on the Internet, then they will become "orphaned" and available for anyone to use how they please.

False

This is especially a problem with the microstock industry, since we have no idea who is purchasing our images or where they are being used.  Every image that we sell on the microstocks will essentially become "orphaned" immediately upon purchase.

False

Every year this bill seems to get worse.

Opinion

We need to stand together against this bill.

Opinion


What the bill is about: Limitation on remedies in cases involving orphan works.

That's what it's called. It does not alter the BERNE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORKS

Article 7 - The term of protection granted by this Convention shall be the life of the author and fifty years after his death.

What the Bern Convention does:

Under the Convention, copyrights for creative works are automatically in force upon their creation without being asserted or declared. An author need not "register" or "apply for" a copyright in countries adhering to the Convention. As soon as a work is "fixed", that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work and to any derivative works, unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them or until the copyright expires.

If someone opposes the Orphan Works limitation on liability for some reason, the best way to approach others would be with the truth and facts, not by fabrication and fear.

Opinion  :D

As far as I can see from reading the house bill and the senate bill, this changes nothing as far as a photographers copyright protection or the Bern Convention international protection. If someone wants to point out the section of the actual bill that is offending, instead of reading things into it, that aren't there, then I'd be happy to consider changing my opinion.

Until then The Sky Isn't Falling! Please stop shouting that it is.




 

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