It is very disturbing to read the below info – it certainly suggests that those who are pushing this bill clearly understand that according to international law (that the US has agreed to), that what they are doing is illegal and wrong. This shows more of a devious attitude than I has expected – I thought they went overboard without understanding what they were doing. Please read and act!!
In the Zone, Digital Â© Diane Clancy
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS’ PARTNERSHIP
Backers of the Orphan Works bill are circulating their TalkingÂ Points:
“Neither the House nor the Senate drafts of the bill contain theÂ word “registries,” [they write] but rather they require users toÂ search non-governmental databases of copyrighted works. The purposeÂ of any database is not meant to take the place of copyrightÂ registration, but to have a way to search for visual images. AnyÂ participation in such a database would be voluntary.”
But this doesn’t mean what it appears to say. Take it point by point:
Talking Point #1: “Neither the House nor the Senate drafts of theÂ bill contain the word `registries.’ “
Response: Correct. They contain the word “databases,” a synonym:
Registry: register: an official written record of names or events or
Database: A database is a structured collection of records or data
Q: Why a synonym?
A: Because international copyright law forbids member countries toÂ impose registries as a condition of protecting copyrights:Â Berne/Article 5(2) “The enjoyment and the exercise of these rightsÂ shall not be subject to any formality.”
In other words, if they used the word “registries” in the bills, itÂ would be a red flag to other countries that the US is flirting withÂ non-compliance with international treaties.
Talking Point #2: “…rather they [the bills] require users toÂ search non-governmental databases of copyrighted works.”
Response: Non-governmental databases” means databases maintained inÂ the private sector.
For users to find your work in these commercial databases, your workÂ would first have to be in the database.Â Work not in the database would be orphaned.
Talking Point #3: “Any participation in such a database would beÂ voluntary.”
Response: Congress cannot pass a bill making registration mandatoryÂ because that would violate Berne/Article 5(2).
And that would state explicitly to other countries that the US noÂ longer intends to honor its international agreements.
There are red flags all over these talking points.
Summing up: The Orphan Work bills would mandate the creation of
registries by commercial interests.Â You would not be legally forced to place your work with these for-profit registries.Â But failure to do so would orphan your work.
The deceptive talking points accompanying this bill are another redÂ flag.
Ëœ Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of theÂ Illustrators’ Partnership
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~ Diane Clancy