A lobby against the Orphan works legislation has began today and a website dedicated to supporting photographers rights is urging you to join the fight.
Pro-Imaging, the Artists Foundation, Volunteer Lawyers of America, PPA and many other organisations want the House process to slow down so that important amendments can be considered. They are also urging photographers to send faxes to the Washington offices, even if you are not from the US.
"The Orphans work legislation represents a huge threat to the viability of photographers businesses everywhere, not just in the U.S and when it comes to image rights frontiers are irrelevant
," said Gordon Harrison on behalf of Pro-Imaging.
The campaigns section of the Pro-Imaging site states: "Both proposed bills lack important safeguards for the legitimate protection of copyright to artists in all disciplines, as well as for those works whose creators are yet unidentified, such as Native American art, a whole variety of local folklore, and many other artifacts of our heritage. The current language would open these works up for sale unless their creators submitted to a detailed registration and documentation process, the cost to be borne by the artists. Even then, tracking infringements, or searching for notice of a commercial intent-to-use, would be the artists' burden
A member of the Pro-imaging team is in the USA and is playing a leading role in the last minute discussions to stop the progress of this bill, which could come up for a vote in as little as one week.
Tens of thousands of emails and faxes have already been sent but Pro-Imaging are asking for even more support.
Pro-Imaging and the other organisations believe that: "A significant segment of those artists who are entitled to the full privileges of copyright protection were not consulted for this bill, therefore, we are asking to be heard
ePHOTOzine have previously produced a news story about the legislation and you can read it here
You can find more information about the campaign on the Pro-Imaging website