Write to your US Senators about the Orphan Works Act now! Urge your Senators to protect creators' rights on S. 2913
"The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008" S. 2913 is currently awaiting a vote by the full Senate. Senate Majority and Minority leaders are trying to "hotline" the bill, but individual senators have put a "hold" on the bill. We urgently need you to contact your senators to stop this bill.
Write to your Senators Today!
Use the template information provided below to create and submit a letter to your senators. Congress will recess on August 2nd for summer break. The bill may still be amended if the bill is scheduled for a debate by the full Senate.
Write to your Senators and urge them to amend the bill, and ask them to vote against the bill if it is NOT amended. The Graphic Artists Guild opposes the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008, S. 2913 unless it can be amended to protect visual creators and to include, at a minimum, a publicly accessible "Notice Of Use" filing. A public Notice Of Use doesn't eliminate fraudulent claims, but it will reduce the likelihood of users making fraudulent claims of an orphaned work.
"The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008" has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is our last chance to stop the "hot lining" of the bill before it passes the Senate. We were unable to achieve all of the significant changes to the bill we wanted to better protect the rights of visual creators and rights holders. We were able to get one significant change; the prohibition of usage of an orphan work on "useful articles" (as described in existing Copyright Law), although we were not able to get a total exclusion for all commercial usage.
You also have an opportunity to take action in person! Visit your Senators in person in their office in your home state between August 4th and September 5th during the Congressional recess, or call your Senators and speak to them directly. Go to our orphan works blog at http://www.orphanworksnews.com/ for talking points. Urge your Senator to amend S. 2913 to include at a minimum, a publicly accessible "notice of use" filing.
Thank you for taking action!
To locate your local state senator's email address use the link below: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
You can then fill in and use this template and add any additional comments in your email to your Senators:
My name is (First and Last Name). I am a (put in discipline - illustrator, textile designer, craft, etc.) working in (City, State). I am opposed to the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008, S. 2913 unless it can be amended to protect visual creators and to include, at a minimum, a publicly accessible "notice of use" filing.
This is an inexpensive and effective way to allow creators to identify themselves as copyright owners so that creators may preserve their legal ownership rights. A public Notice Of Use doesn't eliminate fraudulent claims, but it will reduce the likelihood of fraudulent claims of an orphaned work.
I urge you to stop S. 2913 from "hotline" passage! If the bill cannot be amended then I urge you to vote NO.