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pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 05:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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OK folks, most of you know one of my regular soapboxes has the words "Copyright Registration" on it. Well, it seems someone in the copyright office has a bug up their butt to make photographer's lives more miserable than they already are, in the form of pending legislation that would make it virtually impossible for photographers to prevent legal theft of their images. For more about it, and what you can do to help, click this link and please consider contacting your representatives as well as the listed members of Congress and the Senate who are on the relevant committees.

http://www.asmp.org/news/spec2006/orphan_faxcall.php

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 09:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Im sending faxes "personalized" and made unique to both the Senate Judiciary and my local Senators.

Thanks for bring this up Andy. Its important for us all.

We have all seen blatant misuse of some GG members images, if allowed I can see how we really will get abused with passage of this legislation.

"good faith, reasonably diligent search" for the owner of copyright LOL like who will do that?

Stu
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Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
Old 03-04-2006, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I spent my morning coffee drinking time to contact my Senators and Representitive in the State of Illinois. Since I am limited to contacting representatives in my district, I plan on turning a fax on overdrive come Monday morning.

J T
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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 09:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've got my fax going as I write this. PPA is also fighting this with vigor.
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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 09:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads up on this, Andy. I notice that the NPPA (National Press Photographers' Association) is also battling this. While that's well and good that these organizations are at the forefront of the fight, I agree that we -- as individuals -- need to be sure our voice is heard on this, too. At the end of the day we are the ones who will bear the weight of this destructive legislation if it passes into law unchallenged.

Rewriting the draft letter and faxing it now!

Thanks again,
Dave

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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 10:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This one is serious folks. The proposed legislation redefines what constitutes an "Orphan Work". An orphan work is a copyrighted work whose legal owner cannot be found. The legislation basically changes the amount of effort someone must put into locating the legal owner. If this legislation passes then people will have to make only the feeblest of attempts before using your work anyway.

One big part of the problem is that, excepting most editorial photography, the bulk of published imagery doesn't credit the copyright owner, i.e. the photographer that created the image. Without a credit it is extremely hard to discover who the author is. This is especially a problem with online publications. Every time you let someone publish your work without giving you credit, you're perpetuating the problem.

The proposed legislation also limits what remedy the owner of the work may seek in the event that his or her image was used without permission. If it passes, the owner can only go after the infringer for a "reasonable" license fee. The owner cannot sue for punitive damages nor seek to recover legal fees. In essence, you will have to hire a lawyer to go after the people that ripped you off and you'll only be able to receive a normal license fee, which in most circumstances won't cover the cost of hiring the lawyer in the first place.

If you've ever been published, hope one day to be published, or just want to control where your work is seen and how it is used, then it really IS worth your time to follow Andy's link and send letters to the House and Senate members who sit on the respective committees.

-Chip
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Good idea, bad execution... your tax dollars at work.
Old 03-04-2006, 01:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree, this is serious and needs to be dealt with. The goal of the legislation, as I understand it, is to prevent the common loss of creative works when the owner is unidentifiable or cannot be located following a "reasonably diligent search". It would be no big deal except that it appears the USCO seems willing to exempt an exhaustive search of copyright records from the "reasonably diligent search' definition. Apparently, it's just tooooooo much trouble!

Lets face it, if your work's not registered, people can steal it willy-nilly and there's little you can do but tell them to stop. If it's registered, you can MAKE them stop, get paid for lost revenue and all costs associated with the infringement action. If they pass this law and an exhaustive search of USCO registered works is required in the diligent search definition... nothing really changes. If some pinhead uses a registered work as orphaned, the owner can still sue their ass. If they exempt the USCO search, then every image on the planet becomes fair game to anyone dishonest enough to strip all identifying information from an image and show that they sort looked around for the owner. It would make registration almost pointless for photography.

Write some letters guys... even if you don't shoot for a living, consider your estate and your loved ones. They deserve to hold your copyrights and benefit from them if they choose.

Chip
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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This pending legislation makes a good argument for the use of that *almost* invisible banner across an image, and really makes a great case for not posting large images in publicly accessible locations (like GG).

Size your images down, and put a watermark on 'em. So "no" to image theft!
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Re: pending Copyright legislation that could hurt YOU
Old 03-04-2006, 05:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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or just put your copyright info in photoshop and use "save as" jpeg instead of "save for web".... the **** data will then contain you copyright info.

Glenn
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not worried about those...
Old 03-04-2006, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Its not the small JPGs being stolen I'm so worried about. How about when I have images in a full size printed calendar? Those are really easy to copy and re-use. I know because I keep shutting down ebay auctions with 8x10s of Cindy Margolis that were obtained in exactly that way.

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Andy Pearlman
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