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Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 8:47 am

From: Colorado Alliance of Illustrators []
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 7:38 PM
To: cai_network
Subject: Call for Action to Prevent Orphan Works Amendment

Importance: High

This is an urgent issue that needs your attention if you have not already responded by contacting the committee that is currently deciding on the future of our copyright laws in America, your rights and future income as an artist!
-Colorado Alliance of Illustrators 


—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 2:44 PM
Subject: Hi
Hi Kiddos,

Hope you are all well in this world and making lots of wonderful art:)

I am writing you today about one of the most important issues of your whole
career! It’s a very long email, with excerpts from Brad Holland of the
Illustrators’ Partnership(IPA), and Lisa Shaftel of the Graphic Artist Guild Their posts and emails I’m forwarding explain the complexity of
this issue and help us understand how this soon to be voted on change to the
US Copyright law, the "Orphan Works amendment", will affect each and every
one of us!
In my workshops and classes over the years I have always told the story of
all the "Tribes" gathering on the Canyon rim to show all the Cowboy clients
that we are a force in numbers, standing for artists rights. I spoke of how
years ago I went to ICON 1, the first Illustrators Conference in Santa Fe,
because I knew the tribes were gathering there for change.

I was so inspired by the strong advocacy for our futures that I found there,
that I began my workshop series to help spread the word of artists rights
and fair treatment in art licensing contracts. We are all members of this
creative "Tribe" and right now I am asking each of you to step to that
canyon rim; to show that we can be vocal, as well as visual.

We can write letters and we can mail or fax them now to our lawmakers. At
the end of this email are addresses and #’s to do just that now, and I do
mean NOW! This change may become law because we are silent, thinking someone
else carries the banner today for us. Well YOU must carry the banner today,
because if this change to the US Copyright law passes, it carries a "Sunset
clause" that it cannot be reassessed for another 10 years!

The Judiciary committees are meeting on this matter next week, that’s why
you must take immediate action by letting as many lawmakers on the list know
of your protest to this change in the US Copyright Law now.

There is a sample letter in this email, but I encourage each of you to make
it your own, telling how this change will directly affect your career.

So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit down and read this long email
and join me at the Canyon rim of Vocal Visual Artists, my dears your voices
are needed NOW:) Thank You!

Best to you,

Cheryl Phelps


No Time to Go Wobbly
Some people think the Orphan Works amendment is a done deal and say the
government should set up small claims courts to litigate the infringement
cases that will follow.

 The Orphan Works Report itself justifies this concern. It states that a
³reasonable search² for a copyright holder will have to be ³a very general
standard² defined ³by users, copyright owners and ultimately the courts on a
case-by-case basis…²(p. 98, emphasis added) That means that if somebody
infringes your work and you can¹t ³negotiate² a ³reasonable fee² after the
fact, you¹ll have to sue them.
 But copyright law is a Federal law. There are only 11 Federal Districts in
the country with approximately 100 US District Courts. Would you have to
travel to one every time you need to file a suit? If so, you wouldn¹t be
able add travel and lodging expenses to your claim. Nor could you add court
costs or attorneys¹ fees, even if you¹ve registered the work. That wouldn¹t
be permitted by the ³limitation on remedies.² The Orphan Works amendment
virtually guarantees that the cost of suing an infringer who won’t pay will
be greater than whatever you could get back from a lawsuit (and of course,
you might not win).
 By ³limiting remedies,² the Orphan Works amendment would create a no-fault
license to infringe. We¹ve asked Copyright Office attorneys how artists
scattered across the country can be forced to go to Federal Courts to get
minimum payment for infringed work. Their answer was they weren¹t sure, but
are considering establishing a copyright small claims court. But we don¹t
see how that resolves the jurisdictional problem: Are we supposed to
believe the government¹s actually going to set up a federal small claims
court in every city and town in America just to hear copyright cases? No.
And what if you live in one city and the infringer somewhere else?
 Another problem with relying on small claims courts is that awards are
limited to $2,000. That would cap the ³reasonable fee² the court could allow
for any usage - regardless of the commercial value of the usage and the
number of works infringed. Small claims judgments can¹t be enforced. And
since an infringer would only have to say he couldn¹t read your signature on
a picture to claim you were ³hard to locate,² judges in a majority of cases
might have to find for the infringer.
 The whole idea of legalizing infringement and making artists go to court to
get paid is absurd. The Orphan Works Report is a Rube Goldberg plan,
designed by legal scholars and Free Culture advocates who want to make the
public a generous gift of other people¹s work - and supported by companies
like Google who want a vast inventory of royalty-free images to sell access
to. The hope that artists will lie down and take this ­ if we can just get a
small claims court for city or state judges to administer federal copyright
law - is a thin sugar coating on a poison pill. It certainly isn¹t practical
and may not be legal. Rather than rise to the bait, we think artists should
oppose the Orphan Works amendment outright. This is no time to go wobbly.

 -Brad Holland, for the Board of the Illustrators¹ Partnership

To write Congress:  Follow the instructions Cynthia Turner has outlined on
the IPA website:  See forum
entitled: Write Congress: Questions and Answers.
You may post responses or ask questions on these forums.  First-time users
will be asked to register.
You do not need to be an IPA member to use the IPA public Town Hall Forums.

From "What’s Up" post from Lisa Shaftel

The US Copyright Office released their report and recommendations of their
year-long study of the "orphan works" issue, and submitted the report and
recommended statutory amendment to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January
31, 2006.

This proposal is a disaster for visual creators. It is heavily slanted in
favor of users. If this statute is enacted as it is, it will ruin the
livelihoods of all visual creators who license usage and/or reproduction of
their works. The American Society of Media Photographers [ASMP], the IPA and
the Graphic Artists Guild are generating a grass-roots letter writing
campaign among other creators’ organizations to urge the Senate Judiciary
Committee to reconsider the Copyright Office’s recommendations. We need your

We believe Congress will push this legislation through fast- IN EARLY MARCH-

If you don’t have the time to write to them all, it’s most important to
write to the Chair, Senator Arlen Specter, Senators Hatch and Leahy because
they ordered the Copyright Office to conduct this study, and to the senators
from your home state- if one of them serves on this committee. That’s 4
letters minimum.

Senator Orrin Hatch
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

SAMPLE LETTER, Please add your own info and print on your letterhead:

Dear Senator (Name Your Senator),

I am writing to express great concern about the US
Copyright Office’s on Orphan Works and Recommended
Statutory Language.

As a professional (Illustrator, Musician, Designer], I
believe that this proposed amendment to US Copyright
Law will cause irreparable damage, creative and economic,
to the livelihood of Americans.

From the perspective of creators, the recommendations
and proposed statute are greatly weighted in favor of

Visual works- illustration, 2D and 3D fine art, and
photographs (prints and negatives)- are the least likely to
have the creator’s signatures on them.

It is entirely possible that a visual work created relatively
recently would be considered "orphaned" if there was no
creator’s name on it and a user has a difficult time
searching for the creator due to the obvious problems
with description as noted in the Copyright Office Report.

The proposed statute will create a vast amount of virtually
free visual works with no practical restitution available to
creators should they seek rightful financial compensation
from a user who refuses to pay.

The cost of actual damages in most instances will be far
less than the cost of pursuing a copyright infringement
lawsuit in court, and creators will give up and not be able
to retrieve even the fair-market licensing fees to which
said creators are entitled.

Visual creators are willing to accept the proposal’s terms
for non-profit users.

However, opening the door for unlimited for-profit or
commercial use without any oversight by the Copyright
Office is wholly unacceptable, in my humble opinion.

I support the proposed establishment of a "small claims"
court for creators to enable authors and creators to
economically retrieve licensing fees from users of their
orphan works should the user refuse to pay, as suggested
by the American Society of Media Photographers.

Finally, I believe that the 10-year "Sunset Clause" is too
long for reassessment of the economic impact of this

As an American citizen who makes their living providing
copyrightable product for the American marketplace I can
only think that in 10 years, if this Act becomes Law, there
will no longer be any visual creators in business: no one
will be willing to pay for our work.

Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.

(your signature)
(type your name)
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Members, February 2006

Senator Arlen Spector, Pennsylvania - Chairman
Washington DC Office
Senator Arlen Spector
711 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-4254

Orrin G. Hatch, Utah
Washington DC Office
Senator Orrin G. Hatch
104 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-5251
Fax: (202) 224-6331

Senator. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa
Washington DC Office
Sen. Chuck Grassley
135 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC

Senator Jon Kyl , Arizona
Washington DC Office
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl
730 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4521
Fax: (202) 224-
2200 East Camelback, Suite 120
Phoenix, Arizona 85016-3455

Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont-Ranking Democratic Member
Washington DC Office
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Bldg
(at Constitution and Delaware)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4242

Senator Mike DeWine, Ohio
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Mike DeWine
40 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2315
Fax: (202) 224-6519
TDD: (202) 224-9921

Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama
Washington, D.C.
Office of Senator Jeff Sessions
335 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0104
(202) 224-4124 - Phone
(202) 224-3149 ­ Fax

Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
Washington Office
Senator Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5972 phone

Senator John Cornyn, Texas
Washington DC Office
Senator John Cornyn
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-2934
Fax: 202-228-2856

Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas
Washington, D.C.
Senator Sam Brownback
303 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6521
Fax: (202) 228-1265

Senator Tom Coburn, Oklahoma
Washington DC Office
Senator Tom Coburn
172 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5754
Fax: 202-224-6008

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Edward M. Kennedy
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-5042
Fax: 202-224-0139
TDD: 202-224-5652

Senator Herb Kohl, Wisconsin
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Herb Kohl
(2nd and C St., NE)
330 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5653
Fax: (202) 224-9787

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501

Senator Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Russell D. Feingold
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4904
(202) 224-5323
TDD (202) 224-1280
Fax (202) 224-2725

Senator Charles E. Schumer, New York
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Charles E. Schumer
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027
TDD: 202-224-0420

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Illinois ­ Assistant Democratic Leader
Washington, D.C. Office
Senator Richard J. Durbin
332 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-2152
(202) 228-0400 - fax


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