Sunday, April 13, 2008

Been Caught Stealin

There is a bill currently before Congress, which would allow other people to take the copyright of your creative labors and use it for their own profit.

Yes, I tell you the truth, just as simply as that. They will take your art and give you nothing in return- no credit, no money, nothing.

Does that make you angry? I bet it does!

As if there wasn't enough exploitation of artists rampant already, they've decided to make it legal. Just like the infamous Patriot Act, of course they chose to name the bill something misleading: The Orphaned Artwork Bill. Doesn't it conjure up images of little doe eyed paintings lost and alone on the internet with no home? Well, isn't it so kind of the big corporate fat cats to put her to work doing something productive - lining his pockets for free. In fact, this is nothing short of art slavery! I do indeed think of my works as my children, and I'll be damned if I let someone send them to forced labor.

As of now, your copyright is legally protected internationally, automatically. You do not have to register. Here are the basic facts if this bill is passed. Everything produced within the last 35 years will be open game unless the artist pays a fee to "register" each and every piece produced, individually.

In time honored fashion, they're thinking only of the short term profits and not the long term effects of this legislation. The proposers of this bill don't seem to realize that if you force struggling artists to pay fee after fee to "register" their work, people will stop sharing their work and most will stop producing it. The artistic culture of this nation will shrivel up and whither like a rose in December. Not only will millions of artists loose their rights and ability to feed and clothe themselves worldwide, but every sector of the society will be effected. We depend upon the innovation and invention of creatives to fuel our economy.

Do you remember the writer's strike not too long ago? Do you remember how all of your favorite shows were gone? Do you remember how bad the movies were? Visualize this: 200 tv channels, all with only REALITY TV, badly done billboards, music like Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys will rule every radio station, our new buildings will be simply boxes, our cars will all look like the Hummer, our businesses will stagnate, our inventors will be stifled, our chefs will suffer and all our restaurants will serve Big Mac's and diet Coke. Art is communication, and communication is the foundation of civilization.

Ok, maybe I'm being a bit apocalyptic here, but the last thing we can do right now is ignore this.

We need to shake our friends out of APATHY and TAKE ACTION!

Here are some resources that you need:

Please read this article from Animation World Magazine for the
complete picture of the critical situation we are in! Go to "Mind
Your Business" link. >>>
Animation World Magazine: Mind your Business: You will Loose All the Rights to Your Own Art

SIGN the Petition >>>


Listen to the audio interview on this bill >>>

Contact Elected Officials >>>

Another artist's "In the know" journal >>>


New York City said...

So, as I reacted immediately, I must admit that I did not thoroughly peruse all of the information on this bill.

However, I think it's very important to be aware of. I would be happy to hear from anyone with more information, or even someone arguing the necessity for this bill. I may not change my mind, but I will certainly consider the argument.

. said...

The constitution states, clearly, in these exact words:

“Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...”

So... What does this mean in relation to this new orphan works proposal? The orphan works proposal basically is a denial of our personal rights as individuals in this country. Period. It is against everything this country was founded for, and stands for. The implications of this proposal are enormous. It would mean that anything anyone created/invented would be eventually available for anyone to use for any purpose. I wonder how the drug companies would feel about this? Or the multitude of other companies and inventors who create proprietary products, services, etc.. And ask the Law to protect them?

There has always been a certain, and firm, emphasis on the individual in this country, and the rights of the individual. And now there is a proposal which will deny that right. This is NOT what the original founding fathers had in mind. I believe they would turn over in their grave to hear this proposal being passed.

Perhaps it might be valuable to ask how Thomas Jeffferson or Geo Washington (and other signers of the Constitution) would respond to this ‘basic denial of individual rights”.

In addition the US Constitution also says

Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.
No person shall.... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This makes it very clear. Art and any artworks produced by an individual are the private property of that individual. Period. There are lawyers and law makers and lobbyists who can and will argue around in circles and try to change the meaning of these words above. However, one CANNOT change the meaning of the US Constitution and its unequivocal protection of individual rights and property.

Jack D

New York City said...


Thanks for the information. We greatly appreciate your input.

This seems to clarify the situation. What's the chance that this bill could actually be passed?