May 15, 2008
"The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill today to make it easier for scholars, archivists, and others to use orphan works. These are books, films, and other creations whose owners cannot be identified. Those who redistribute the material risk incurring penalties for copyright infringement. The legislation, The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act, S.2913, would make it less costly for people to exploit orphan works.
A companion bill was approved by a panel of the U.S. House of Representatives last week."
Maybe now it is time for artists to ask why has the Graphic Artist's Guild told artists to not write letters?
This is very disappointing news for artists but hardly a surprise. Even though 60,000 letters were sent to Congress opposing the bill, it seems that many artists were told not to worry about this bill and remain neutral by one artist's group who was promising negotiations were going on. In fact the billed said through committee with no changes. I wonder if there will be any uproar or will all of this just go quietly unnoticed...