Via Kizer & Bender's blog, Retail Adventures in the REAL World, a reminder that the trade organization Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) urges the creative industry "to write to their senators, asking them to halt all progress on the [Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act] until it is amended to protect visual artists and to include, at a minimum, a publicly accessible 'notice of use' filing."
Urge the Senate 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 immediately! 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 "hotlining" 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.
The Graphic Artists' Guild has created a letter-writing portal that automatically generates a sample letter that can be automatically be emailed to your US Senators, based on your zip code.
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 the GAG orphan works blog at www.orphanworksnews.com for talking points. Urge your Senators to amend S. 2913 to include at a minimum, a publicly accessible "Notice Of Use" filing.