Wednesday, October 1, 2008

URGENT: Contact your Representative to oppose S. 2913

Take Action! S. 2913 passed Senate Friday- tell the House to vote NO!

The Senate passed S. 2913 –The Shawn Bentley (Yes, Shawn Bentley the lobbyist) Orphan Works Act of 2008- by “hotline” on Friday, September 26, 2008.

(Hotlining is how most bills now become law. They are not voted on but set into a process of automatically becoming a law unless a Congressperson dissents and says, Hey, we would like to discuss this bill first. Which is rare. And do you think Congress was focusing their attention on something else last Friday? Schoolhouse Rock was wrong! -- Ted)

Representative Berman still intends to release the mark-up of his bill, HR 5889. Either the House version of Orphan Works legislation, H.R. 5889, or the Senate version will become law. There are no other possible outcomes. The Guild continues to support Rep. Berman’s House bill. The Graphic Artists Guild is urging all members and other artists to support H.R. 5889, because the bill includes a Notice of Use provision that includes a procedural “speed bump” for potential infringers. The Guild and other visual creators' organizations have fought for inclusion of the Notice of Use and other clauses in Orphan Works legislation. The Notice of Use stipulation requires users to file their intent of using a suspected orphan work prior to use in an archive maintained by the US Copyright Office or other sanctioned entity.
The Notice of Use clause is a non-negotiable and vital provision to provide artists some protection in the future. The Graphic Artist Guild will not support any legislation that does not have this key protection. The Guild urgently encourages artists to join us in our effort to ensure House lawmakers pass H.R. 5889 as it's currently drafted with the Notice of Use provision.

Members of the American Library Association are urging the House to adopt the Senate bill. We must counter their messages! We have provided a letter for you to your Representative in the House through our Capwiz portal. Please act now!

To use this letter-writing portal, enter your zip code and click on "GO" for a sample letter to use. You may also personalize your own letter. The letter will automatically be emailed to the US Senate. We recommend you also print out the letter and mail it.

Thank you for taking action!

Graphic Artists Guild

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