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Orphan Works Bill

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#1 Guest_artfulpics_*

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:54 PM

Have you guys heard about the Orphan Works bill being considered in Congress? It's quite alarming for any of us who may want to make a living with photography.

Before I start quoting and linking, I'd like to know if there's a general understanding of the matter. It doesn't get a lot of press because the media is slinking low and concentrating on the Hilary/Obama contest.


#2 Tim Martin

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 11:26 PM


The Orphan Law is really frightening, but not hard to protect against. If you use Bridge or Lightroom to import photos from your camera you can attach metadata in a batch process. If you include your name, the copywrite symbol (not all rights reserved), the year and an email address that you may be reached at then your photos are considered protected by law.


#3 Guest_artfulpics_*

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 04:33 AM

They wouldn't be protected under the new law unless they were registered with private companies that somebody would be required to check for ownership before using an image. There would be a cost associated with registering each image with each company. There is no limit to the number of companies that will be set up, and however many searches the infringer does before using your image hasn't been strictly determined.

If it only cost a dollar to register each picture, I would have to pay several thousand dollars for registry to just one of these companies, and to be sure you were covered, you'd have to register at all of them.

The Orphan Works bill will give evil people the ability to steal your work whether or not you have metadata.

And if a photographer is infringed against, he or she would have to pay all costs of hunting down the facts and bringing the infringer to court. If successful, there would be limits put on the money awarded the wronged photographer. However, the infringer can then counter-sue, and if successful, there is no limit to the amount the photographer can lose.

The protections you speak of are what we have now. Orphan works will make them all go away.


#4 Guest_artfulpics_*

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 06:05 AM

Other people have already explained all about it far better than I could. Here is an excellent link:



#5 markgoldstein


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Posted 15 May 2008 - 12:53 PM

There's some more info here:
Mark Goldstein
Editor, PhotographyBLOG

#6 Guest_artfulpics_*

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:01 PM

Mark, thanks for helping show this issue isn't just one nut's opinion, and that it doesn't just affect the States.


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