23 May 2008

Potential BAD Changes to Copyright Law with Orphan Works Amendments

There is currently a bill going through both the House and Senate that will change copyright law as we know it. This proposed change is titled the Orphan Works amendment. Currently when we draw an idea it is ours and it is copyrighted the minute we complete it. We own that copyright and it is ours. Under the new change that is proposed, copyright infringers would be excused from significant damages if they can prove they made a "diligent effort" to locate the copyright owner before they used our work. What a "diligent effort" is has not been explained in the law and will force the setting up of a database of some sort by the government. I believe we all know how well this will work. I urge everyone to read more about this at a NY Times op-ed here and read about the law directly here for the Senate bill and here for the House bill. On both of these prior sites you can contact your Senators and House Reps to let them know how you fell about this potential change to current copyright law. We as designers and artist need to take a stand and protect our vocations.

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