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Artists' Copyrights in Jeopardy

Do you care about your rights as an artist?

posted July 15, 2015

I make sure that all my work, and that of my students, is watermarked and copyrighted. Students do not record our video conferences or take screen shots without permission, to protect the rights of their classmates. I record classes and make them available for students only, with password protection and inability to download and share. (They may watch the classes as often as they want on Vimeo. Vimeo respects artists' rights.)

This may all change, as current copyright laws are being challenged.

Artists Alert: From the Illustrators Partnership The Return of Orphan Works: "The Next Great Copyright Act" Please cut and paste this address:

This page has direct links for information and submission of letters. For more than a year Congress has been holding hearings for the drafting of a brand new US Copyright Act. At its heart is the return of Orphan Works. Twice, Orphan Works Acts have failed to pass Congress because of strong opposition from visual artists, spearheaded by the Illustrators Partnership. Because of this, the Copyright Office has now issued a special call for letters regarding the role of visual art in the coming legislation. Therefore we're asking all artists concerned with retaining the rights to their work to join us in writing. DEADLINE: July 23, 2015 Note: The deadline for receiving letters has been extended to October. Submit letters online to the Copyright Office. Here are the Basic Facts "The Next Great Copyright Act" would replace all existing copyright law. It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work. It would "privilege" the public's right to use our work. It would "pressure" you to register your work with commercial registries. It would "orphan" unregistered work. It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by "good faith" infringers. It would allow others to alter your work and copyright these "derivative works" in their own names. It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign. The "Next Great Copyright Act" would go further than previous Orphan Works Acts. The proposals under consideration include: The Mass Digitization of our intellectual property by corporate interests. Extended Collective Licensing, a form of socialized licensing that would replace voluntary business agreements between artists and their clients. A Copyright Small Claims Court to handle the flood of lawsuits expected to result from orphan works infringements. Please read the information above and on the website indicated, and consider writing a letter to the Copyright Office BY THE JULY 23 DEADLINE!!

Thank you from all artists! By the way, the music industry is not included in these laws because they have lobbied successfully to not be included. Hopefully, we can do the same.

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