Monday, September 29, 2008

Plan B: Or, Like they actually listen to us

FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP

Orphan Works Opposition: Plan B

SEPT 27 Yesterday, in a cynical move, the sponsors of the Senate Orphan Works Act passed their controversial bill by a controversial practice known as hotlining. With lawmakers scrambling to raise 700 billion dollars to bail out businesses that are "too big to fail," the Senate passed a bill that would force small copyright holders to subsidize big internet interests such as Google, which has already said it plans to use millions of the images this bill will orphan.

With the meltdown on Wall Street, this is no time for Congress to concentrate our nation's copyright wealth in the hands of a few privately owned corporate databases. The contents of these databases would be more valuable than secure banking information. Yet this bill would compel creators to risk their own intellectual property to supply content to these corporate business models. That means it would be our assets at risk in the event of their failure or mismanagement.

As David Rhodes, President of the School of Visual Arts has said, the Orphan Works bill would socialize the expense of copyright protection while privatizing the profit of creative endeavors. Copyright owners neither want nor need this legislation. It will do great harm to small businesses. We already have a banking crisis. Congress should not lay the groundwork for a copyright crisis.

--Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Illustrators' Partnership

NOW FOR PLAN B

We MUST try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill (HR5889) and adopting the Senate version. PLEASE EMAIL CONGRESS TODAY. If you've done it before, do it again!It takes only a minute to use our new special letter. Click on the link below, enter your zip code, and take the next steps.

Thanks to all of you who heeded the call to action yesterday.

For ongoing developments, go to the Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works blog:

Over 70 organizations oppose this bill, representing over half a million creators. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.The Capwiz site is open to professional creators and any member of the image-making public. International artists will find a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write.

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