Copyright laws may change – NOW is the time to be heard.  Take a minute, read this post and send an email.

Below is a notice from the Copyright Alliance – please read it and send emails by March 24th – this is IMPORTANT and can directly affect each of us personally if changes are made.  Since they offer a “forward to a friend” link, I decided I’d forward to all my blog friends in one fell swoop!  To see the original letter, go here: http://budurl.com/ynah


The Obama Administration is asking to hear from YOU, the creative backbone of our country, about how intellectual property infringement affects YOUR livelihood. The Administration is also seeking advice on what the government could be doing to better protect the rights of artists and creators in our country. HERE’S A CHANCE FOR YOU TO BE HEARD!

BACKGROUND:
Last year President Obama appointed and the U.S. Senate confirmed Victoria Espinel to be the first U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. Her job is “to help protect the creativity of the American public” by coordinating with all the federal agencies that fight the infringement of intellectual property, which includes creating and selling counterfeit goods; pirating video games, music, and books; and infringing upon the many other creative works that are produced by artists in this country.
As you know, the unauthorized copying, sale, and distribution of artists’ intellectual property directly impact the ability of artists and creators to control the use of their own creativity, not to mention their ability to receive income they have earned from their labor. This impacts U.S. employment and the economy, and our ability to globally compete.
As required by an Act of Congress (The PRO-IP Act of 2008), Ms. Espinel and her White House team are preparing a Joint Strategic Plan that will include YOUR FEEDBACK on the costs and risks that intellectual property infringement has on the American public.
Here’s how to make yourself heard!

1.  Send an email to Ms. Espinel and the Obama Administration: intellectualproperty@omb.eop.gov and copy the Copyright Alliance on your email: info@copyrightalliance.org

2.  Begin your letter with “The Copyright Alliance has informed me of this welcome invitation from the Obama Administration to share my thoughts on my rights as a creator.”

3.  Include in your email: your story, why intellectual property rights are important to you, how piracy and infringement affect you, and what the U.S. government can do to better protect the rights of creative Americans.

4.  Also include in your email: your name, city, state, and what type of artist you are.

5.  DO NOT include any personal or private information as all comments will be posted publically on the White House website.

All comments must be submitted by Wednesday, March 24 by 5:00 p.m. EST. To read the entire call for comments, click here.
Don’t be shy! Take two minutes today to make your voice heard, and don’t forget to spread the word to everyone you know. Forward this notice using this short URL – http://bit.ly/cjDZJt – by email, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and more!
Best,
Lucinda Dugger

P.S. If you received this email from a friend, and you are interested in receiving more information about how you can speak up for your rights, sign up for our network of Copyright Advocates.

PLEASE take action… TODAY!

I just did…  – Tara Reed

P.S.  Here is what I wrote, feel free to use this as a guide for your email if you’d like.

Dear Ms. Espinel –

The Copyright Alliance has informed me of this welcome invitation from the Obama Administration to share my thoughts on my rights as a creator.

My name is Tara Reed and I am a self-employed artist who makes a living licensing my art to manufacturers for use on products.  Without the current or even more stringent copyright laws and penalties for piracy, my livelihood will be impacted.  I rely on companies respecting my copyrights and paying me for use – without that, I would be another unemployment statistic.

With the internet and digital nature of business today, it is easier than ever for less-than-reputable companies to steal art and design, sometimes selling it as their stock art to reputable companies.  I see it at every trade show I attend – art by myself or my colleagues being used without permission.  It is disheartening and expensive to combat.  Any changes in the law will make the problem that much more dire.

I urge you to take the creative business owners, who pay taxes and fight to make a living, into account when considering any change to the copyright laws and especially the designation of “Orphaned Works”.  Tougher penalties and regulations should be put in place if any changes are being made.  While it would be great to believe that people work from a place of honesty and integrity, it is unfortunately not always the case.  Let’s not encourage people to cut corners who will do so without any threat of legal or financial ramifications.

Sincerely,

Tara Reed
Portland, Oregon
Licensed Artist