In a nutshell, the “Orphan Works” bill is supposed to make it possible for people to use art, images, etc. that have no owner. An extensive search is supposed to be made.
In reality, it looks like a way to make it easy to legally use the art, pictures and images of others, claim you had no idea it belonged to someone else, and go on your merry way.
It could create more complicated and expensive copyright registration processes and policing. It could mean a major change in the art licensing industry if this goes through.
I am a far cry from an expert on this legislation. I do send emails and letters when told, when-where-why-how to support this bill NOT PASSING. I also like to help spread the word through this blog and social media so artists (and anyone who has ever put a photo on Facebook) are aware of what is happening and what it could mean if it passes.
Here is a link to the latest information from the Copyright office: http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/comments/noi_10222012/Illustrators-Partnership-America.pdf
Please… be aware of things you see regarding Orphan Works legislation. If you come across petitions, etc. let me know so I can help spread the word. This isn’t good – well, it’s good for Google and some other large companies who want to be able to use whatever they want but not for those of us who make a living with our art.
Here’s to your creative success – and the failure of Orphan Works –