What the hell is this Orphan Works Bill actually about?
I've read loads of stuff over the last couple of months and I just don't understand...
Is this a devious plot (albeit in America - for now) to make artists pay for the rights to their own works?
Or, is it an innocent attempt to unlock access to works where the original creator simply cannot be found?
This is a piece of proposed legislation that is before the house of congress in the US - RIGHT NOW! There are varying opinions throughout the internet about what it actually means... Rather than muddy the water any further, if you are an artist, writer, photographer, musician or any other individual who relies on copyright, you need to be aware that this thing is out there.
Simply search orphan/orphaned works act/bill via google and you'll get loads of hits... make sure you're looking for the 2008 version of this bill though!
The full orphan works bill is available to read on the library of congress website, it's written in hexadecimal law-speak and I don't have the foggiest what it really means...
Various visual arts 'bodies' are upset about this. The Illustrators' Partnership of America seems to be the most official site... but on the web, how official is official? This is an interesting video on youtube... but how reliable is it?
I'm not sure if this is something to get all worked up about but it does worry me. If you really know what's going on or understand this american legal stuff, please, enlighten me.