Yesterday the Senate passed the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act. In a time when our nation is in financial crisis, this bill is a threat to small business owners (photographers and artists). A similar bill was pending in the House of Representatives that had more protections for creators, but the Senate has forwarded their version to the House.
Now we have to target the House of Representatives. We don’t want the House to adopt the Senate version, and we don’t want the House to pass a version that doesn’t have better protections for photographers.
A REALLY easy way to help let your representative know how you feel about this bill is to use this automatic letter generator.
It is really urgent for photographers to do this if we want to have an effect. A strong pro-orphan works lobby is hard at work sending faxes, phone calls and emails to their representatives. We must do the same.
Finally, keep an eye on what the House is considering by following the Daily Leader (its a long list, but you can search “orphan” within the page). If you see an orphan works bill on the calendar, call everyone you know.
I wrote an extensive article explaining Orphan Works for the August News Photographer magazine. A pdf of the article is in the previous post.