Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Here is the, probably form, letter I received from my rep. It looks just like the letter others got.

Dear Mr. Mitchell :

Thank you for informing me of your opposition to H.R. 5889, the Orphan Works Act of 2008. Your thoughts on this important matter are most welcome and appreciated.

As you know, "orphan works" are copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to identify and/or locate. Specifically, "orphan works" are inaccessible because of the risk of punishment as a result of possible copyright infringement, if a copyright owner is ever located. Therefore, many works which have no apparent copyright are withheld from public view and circulation to avoid copyright infringement.

To allow these works to be viewed by the public, on April 24, 2008 Representative Howard Berman (CA) introduced H.R. 5889, the Orphan Works Act of 2008. If enacted, this legislation would limit the remedies given in a civil action related to an orphaned work if the individual accused of infringement of copyright can verify a documented search for the copyright owner occurred. Additionally, proof of filing a Notice of Use with the Register of Copyrights must be produced and compensation must be provided if the author's identity becomes known. Finally, this legislation directs the Register of Copyrights to advocate for the establishment of a database which would assist in the identification of authors of "orphan works" through gathering pictures of various works in such a database. Presently, this legislation awaits action on the House Judiciary Committee.

In the meantime, rest assured, your thoughts on this matter will be remembered during the 110 th Congress. Again, thank you for contacting me; and for all you do for our community and our country. Should you have any further comments or questions on this or any other issue, please contact me at the Livonia or Milford district, or Washington , D.C. office.

I work for you.


Thaddeus G. McCotter
Member of Congress

Looks like not much support to me. This bill is just bad news!!!
Read more of what John Harrington has to say HERE. I don't always agree with John but he does his homework, knows his stff and is much better at writing and speaking then I will ever be.And I agree on this!


Blogger Sam said...

Have you read Dan Hellers take on the orphaned work bill?
You'll find it here:

11:48 AM  
Blogger Bryan Mitchell said...

Thanks for the link:
Dan Says this,
"Even honest publishers don't know whom to go to. So, could they also get away with using the photo for free? Perhaps, but they also have to assume risk: that someone would still come forward and file an infringement claim. Few want to take this risk."
I disagree and know this already happens. I have seen firsthand the attitude, 'hey we’ll just risk getting caught!'

Also, maybe Dan has the time (or money to hire someone) to register every single image he has ever shot, or published, or put on the web with the copyright office and the register company(s) that will pop up. I don’t. And what about each of these companies charging a fee to register each image. How much would that cost if it goes down that way. Who has time to do that when the way copyright is now work fine, for me anyway. I have had several issues with mis-use and won all of them, without going to court. So Dan says we'll have more protection, but in court. Big companies know small photographers like me can't afford to go to court in case we don't win. So they risk it.

Sorry, I still think its bad and must ask to those that support, what's in it for them? Must be something.

12:35 PM  

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