DRAFT LETTER  (Courtesy of Illustrators' Partnership of America)

*****


 Re: Orphan Works Copyright Legislation

 Dear (Senator or Representative) ____________________:

 (Identify yourself and include a one or two sentence description of
 your specialty and/or affiliations)
 ____________________________________________________.

 Iım writing to express my opposition to the conclusions expressed in
 the U.S. Copyright Office Orphan Works Report.
The 1976 Copyright Act
 guarantees me as an artist the exclusive right to authorize or withhold
 reproduction of my work and to create derivative works. It guarantees
 this from the moment I fix the work in a tangible form, and it
 guarantees this without imposing formalities such as a copyright mark
 or registration. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary
 and Artistic Works forbids such formalities as a condition on my
 enjoyment and exercise of copyright. This is particularly important for
 visual artists because many works appear without credit lines or
 identifying information. The explosion of unauthorized posting on the
internet has increased instances of unidentified work.

 The Orphan Works provision constitutes a loophole that will jeopardize
 the copyrights of thousands of freelance artists such as me, and do so
 retroactively. Although the Orphan Works report states that it does not
 re-impose formalities I fear that for all practical purposes the
 proposed amendment will have that effect.

 All work created by all artists throughout the world, regardless of
 age, whether published or not, whether of U.S. origin or abroad, will
 be subject to orphan works claims.

 The provision shifts the burden of diligence from the owner to the
 user. I see no practical way that I could monitor any potential
infringement of my work in any publication or database anywhere within the reach of the internet. My creative work is one of the most the most
 personal forms of private property that I have because it wouldnıt
 exist without the specific expression that is the result of my outlook
 and experience. Nothing in the Orphan Works Report justifies the
 exploitation of my private property by others.

 Iım also afraid the penalties provision is another glaring loophole
 for anyone who chooses to make payment for usage the option of last
 resort. Once a work has been published there is no certain way to
 establish a reasonable fee. Any user can offer any fee and unless Iım
 agreeable to the offer I have no option but to file a prohibitively
 expensive lawsuit that would cost more than I could recover. Iım
 therefore afraid that this part of the Orphan Works provision would
 constitute a no-fault license to infringe.


 Several times in the Orphan Works Report unvalidated assertions are
 made that orphan work has little or no commercial value. This is
 contrary to my entire professional experience. The work that I create
 constitutes a valuable inventory that I can license any time, now or in
 the future, as part of my day-to-day business. Nothing in the universal
 copyright conventions gives any user the right to devalue my inventory
 for their own gain.

 I believe that the answer to those instances of users who wish to use
 genuine visual art orphan works be confined to the specific instances
 that have been identified, such as family photo restoration, genealogy
 research and historical archiving, and be handled with specific limited
 exemptions to the Copyright law, just as many other countries have
 done.

 I ask you to reject any legislation that would further undermine
 copyright protection for artists.

 Respectfully yours,
 (your name)

 ***

 


> Q. Iım a Canadian citizen. Who should I fax my complaint to?
>
> A. Orphan Works legislation will undermine the copyright protection
> you receive through Canadian Copyright Law and the Berne Convention.
> Fax a letter to your appropriate representatives in Canada, and another
> letter addressed jointly to:
>
> € Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman
> Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property
> Fax (202) 224-6331
>
> € Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member
> Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property
> Fax (202) 224-3479
>
> € Congressman Lamar Smith, Chairman
> House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, The Internet and
> Intellectual Property
> Fax (202) 225-8628
>
> € Congressman Howard Berman, Ranking Member
> House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, The Internet and
> Intellectual Property
> Fax (202) 225-3196

                                                            

 

 

US Citizens: it is IMPERATIVE that you contact as many of these people as possible.

 

 

Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee

 

Arlen Specter, Chairman - Pennsylvania - Fax (202) 228-1229

 

Orrin G. Hatch - Utah - Fax (202) 224-6331

 

Patrick J. Leahy - Vermont - Fax (202) 224-3479

 

Charles E. Grassley - Iowa - Fax one of these district offices:
    Cedar Rapids: (319) 363-7179
    Council Bluffs: (712) 322-7196
    Davenport: (563) 322-8552
    Des Moines: (515) 288-5097
    Sioux City: (712) 233-1634
    Waterloo: (319) 232-9965

 

Edward M. Kennedy - Massachusetts - Fax (202) 224-2417

 

Jon Kyl - Arizon - Fax (202) 224-2207

 

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. - Delaware - Fax 202-224-0139

 

Mike DeWine - Ohio - Fax (202) 224-6519

 

Herbert Kohl - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-9787

 

Jeff Sessions - Alabama - Fax (202) 224-3149

 

Dianne Feinstein - California - Fax (202) 228-3954

 

Lindsey Graham - South Carolina - Fax (864) 250-4322

 

Russell D. Feingold - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-2725

 

John Cornyn - Texas - Fax (972) 239-2110

 

Charles E. Schumer - New York - Fax 202-228-3027

 

Sam Brownback - Kansas - Fax (202) 228-1265

 

Richard J. Durbin - Illinois - Fax (202) 228-0400

 

Tom Coburn - Oklahoma - Fax 202-224-6008


Contact the House Judiciary Committee

 

F. James Sensenbrenner, Chairman - Wisconsin - Fax (262) 784-9437

 

Henry J. Hyde - Illinois - Fax (202) 225-1166

 

Howard Coble - North Carolina - Fax (202) 225-8611

 

Lamar Smith - Texas - Fax 202-225-8628

 

Elton Gallegly - California - Fax (202) 225-1100

 

Bob Goodlatte - Virginia - Fax (202) 225-9681

 

Steve Chabot - Ohio - Fax (202) 225-3012

 

Dan Lungren - California - Fax (202) 226-1298

 

William Jenkins - Tennessee - Fax (202) 225-5714

 

Chris Cannon - Utah - Fax (202) 225-5629

 

Spencer Bachus - Alabama - Fax 202 225-2082

 

Bob Inglis - South Carolina - Fax (202) 226-1177

 

John N. Hostettler - Indiana - Fax (202) 225-3284

 

Mark Green - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 225-5729

 

Ric Keller - Florida - Fax (202) 225-0999

 

Darrell Issa - California - Fax (202) 225-3303

 

Jeff Flake - Arizona - Fax (202) 226-4386

 

Mike Pence - Indiana - Fax (202) 225-3382

 

J. Randy Forbes - Virginia - Fax (202) 226-1170

 

Steve King - Iowa - Fax (202) 225-3193

 

Tom Feeney - Florida - Fax (202) 226-6299

 

Trent Franks - Arizona - Fax (202) 225-6328

 

Louie Gohmert - Texas - Fax (202) 225-5866

 

John Conyers, Jr - Michigan - Fax (202) 225-0072

 

Howard L. Berman - California - Fax (202) 225-3196

 

Rick Boucher - Virginia - Fax (202) 225-0442

 

Jerrold Nadler - New York - Fax (202) 225-6923

 

Robert C. Scott - Virginia - Fax (202) 225-8354

 

Mel Watt - North Carolina - Fax (202) 225-1512

 

Zoe Lofgren - California - Fax (202) 225-3336

 

Sheila Jackson Lee - Texas - Fax (202) 225-3317

 

Maxine Waters - California - Fax 202-225-7854

 

Marty Meehan - Massachusetts - Fax (202) 226-0771

 

Bill Delahunt - Massachusetts - Fax (202) 225-5658

 

Robert Wexler - Florida - Fax (202) 225-5974

 

Anthony Weiner - New York - Fax (718) 520-9010

 

Adam Schiff - California - Fax (202) 225-5828

 

Linda Sánchez - California - Fax (202) 226-1012

 

Chris Van Hollen - Maryland - Fax (202) 225-0375

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz - Florida - Fax 202-226-2052