BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
 

Orphan Works would cost you $


The Orphan Works legislation pending in the House and Senate goes light years beyond merely addressing the problems of museums and libraries, and has the potential to cost photographers a bundle. Either bill would reduce market value and facilitate outright theft of photographs and art, by encouraging unscrupulous persons to lift images for free, knowing that if caught they will be required to pay only a nominal amount -- IF the photographer has the money, time, and energy to pursue them in the legal system. And that is a big IF for many small businesses who can't afford it.

Further, proposed legislation would force photographers who want copyright protection to pay a fee to one or more private corporations to archive their work. For some, that would mean thousands of images and a huge expenditure of time and money. The US Copyright Office doesn't want to maintain this database, so we would have to entrust our images to corporations with a profit motive.

The net effect will be that many marketable images posted online (past, present, and future) will be snapped up and used for advertising without payment. This has already happened to many of us under current law, but the bill would encourage an explosion of such thefts. This overly broad legislation isn't necessary to give relief to museums and libraries, so why is it even being considered? At least in part because too few photographers and other creative types are even aware of this threat, and because we're not a unified group with money and political clout. According to illustratorspartnership.org, more than 60 organizations, including some that are international, oppose these bills in their current form. "Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses."
http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00273

We need many more people actively opposing this threat to our private property. Congress should hold hearings on the harm the bill will do to small businesses and individual photographers and other creative people. It should be carefully redrafted to benefit ONLY museums and libraries, and strictly prohibit private corporations and individuals from hiding behind the orphan works label while helping themselves to our private property.

Also, it would help a lot if some of the big organizations that we photographers flock to, including betterphoto.com and the major photo magazines, would actively educate their members and readers about this threat. Rangefinder Magazine addressed this issue but so far, to my knowledge, Shutterbug and Outdoor Photographer have not. Have I missed something? Do any of you know of other magazines addressing orphan works? Or do you have theories as to why they have not done so?

Please let your congressional representatives know where you stand ASAP, and ask everyone you know to do likewise. The bill has been hotlined in the Senate twice recently, so it could pass there with very little warning. Sorry for the long post. It's a complex issue.


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7/31/2008 8:06:18 PM

 
Sarah G   There has been some discussion here. There is a thread started (6/21/08) by Mark Feldstein here

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32507

You'll get more info there about it too. It includes the number of the bill which you should use if you choose to contact your reps.


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7/31/2008 10:04:16 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Janis,

As Sarah points out, Mark started a thread on this. The problem is most people on BP are more concerned with EFPs, the contest, etc. and either don't care or don't have a clue what these bills could do. In Mark's thread I posted a link to an online petition you can sign and it is advisable to contact you senators and representatives immediately.


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8/1/2008 5:52:36 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Oops, sorry about that! Didn't mean to be rude to Mark. I don't usually post anything at all but I consider this urgent and posted it everywhere I could think of yesterday. I've already written my representatives and signed the petition. I will put the rest of my comment's on Mark's thread.


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8/1/2008 7:08:38 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Janis,

It's not being rude at all. Maybe people will eventually get the message if more people come forward and post concerning the issue.


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8/1/2008 7:13:13 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Thanks, Todd. In that case I will just keep posting here. I want to keep hammering on this point:
I think the reason most people at BP -- and everywhere, really -- don't seem concerned is that they are simply unaware. It's amazing how long it's taken for people who would be victims of this law to get wind of it. That is why I would like to see BP and other forums, as well as the photo magazines take a public stand on this. We need education and leadership from somewhere, and fast! I understand that they have to be careful with their advertisers, and want to avoid political discussions in general, but this could affect the whole online photography scene. If millions of photographers suddenly feel more vulnerable to theft, there will be fewer images posted, smaller images posted, and more images marred by huge watermarks. That's not good for anyone.


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8/1/2008 7:16:48 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  They've truly opened up a big can of worms. The good thing is, until the language in each house's verions match, it can't go to W. for his signature.

There is word out that they are trying to fast track this thing through now. The scary part, to me, is the lack of concern from members here. Whether they believe it or not, this has the potential to affect everybody on this site and yet there are only a few that have commented on the thread I started, Mark's thread, and we'll see how many on your's.


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8/1/2008 7:52:26 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi guys !! Thanks for the credit but I don't think it matters who started this or when as long as we're having an open, even robust, discussion on the issues presented by this proposed legislation. It effects everyone at BP, of course, not just pros, not just non-pros.

Janis, thanks very much for your support and taking the time to post your thoughts here. I think everyone would welcome your valuable comments posted anywhere, here or even elsewhere. ;>) Keep spreadin'n the word.

Hey Todd ! Thanks for posting the petition link. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say thanks yesterday. ;>)
Thanks again everyone !
Mark


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8/1/2008 8:59:54 AM

 
Sarah G   Hey, I think it's fine to have more than one post on this. I just wanted others to know where else they could get info.

If BP can have more than one post on the "all so important" EFPs, then something this important deserves more coverage/threads.

This is an issue that truly should have this site "chatting."



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8/1/2008 9:04:23 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  I agree with all of your responses above, and I'm glad a few of us are interested! About fast-tracking this bill, the Senate has a practice called hotlining which is basically a trick to ramrod bills through rapidly, with little warning, without a roll-call vote, and in some cases with no public debate. This is one of the ways our esteemed legislators end up appearing to agree with bills they have never read.
Here is how it works:
The Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader agree to hotline a bill, then inform the other senators using special hotlines installed in each office. They give members a specified amount of time to object -- in some cases as little as 15 minutes. If no objection is registered, the "vote" is considered unanimous and the bill is passed. See 'Hotlined' Bills Spark Concern by John Stanton, Roll Call Staff, September 17, 2007, full article here: http://tinyurl.com/3p8x2u
I got this and a lot of other useful info from illustratorspartnership.org. I get email alerts from them -- for instance, I got one several days ago about the bill being hotlined again that day. I highly recommend checking them out.

I find it interesting that artists seem to be better organized as a group than photographers. Am I wrong about that? The first I heard about orphan works was from an artist friend.


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8/1/2008 9:59:25 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Probably true. It's easier to throw a stone and hit somebody who owns a camera than who owns a paint brush or chisel. There's a generality to it that may make it that way.
Plus some other things. But you can't expect to big of a response in a place like this. You'd have to depend on several small responses in several forums.


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8/1/2008 11:34:10 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Are artists /illustrators better organized than photographers? Wait a minute !!! Photographers ARE artists, (aren't we? LOL !!!).

IMHO though Janis, I think the answer to your question is yes mainly for two reasons. First, professional artists/illustrators tend to be a more closely knit group with stronger professional ties than photographers. In that sense, I don;t think it's lack of photographic groups to belong to, it's a matter of photographers (full-time OR part-timeers making ANY money at this) joining professional groups that make their collective voices known.

Second, and I see this as a real problem and as it's been said many times here and elsewhere, many many people with point and shoot digital hooha cameras and a copy of photo shop deem themselves professional or want to be professionals. It's not enough for many to simply enjoy photography as a hobby, but they want to get published or sell their work. That's ok but more often than not, they don't want to learn the rules and techniques that apply to this field as a business. THAT's a real problem. One that I think strongly diminishes the collective voice of those of us who DO this for a living and lobby against legislation like this, along with furthering copyright laws to protect our work rather than allow those laws to be diluted for the benefit of corporations and individuals who don't care about the rights we've otherwise pushed/fought for over the years.

I also think Greg is right in that there aren't enough people here at BP that really care, particularly Jim Miotke, Kerry and others who run this thing even though they earn their livelihood from this profession. This is NOT the time to be neutral on such a significant issue. This really is an issue that adversely impacts all of us.

OK, I'm relinquishing my soapbox (temporarily).
Mark


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8/1/2008 11:56:13 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Hmmm. Is it possible BP would like to be one of the database companies where we will need to register images if the law passes? If it comes to that, and I hope it doesn't, I would trust BP more than most. But I don't see why an educational site like BP would not work to inform their subscribers and students on a critical copyright issue, even if they are simultaneously hoping to get into the database business if we are forced into that. I would think flickr, smugmug, etc. also are looking into it, because they already have millions of images in their databases.

I had not really thought about how the P&S crowd might dilute the voice of professionals. But as for the newbies here, I'm not surprised given that so many people come here as beginners who want to learn. I was one of them four years ago, and I've come a long way by taking BP courses. I'm not a pro but I'm deadly serious about photography in a way that I might not be if I were still trying to figure out my camera. Also, I had an image swiped for commercial purposes early on and I've never forgotten that. Whether you market your work or not, it's galling for someone to steal something you've put a lot of work into, and that's why I think all photographers should be concerned. OK, I will shut up.


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8/1/2008 12:34:00 PM

 
Susan M. Carter   The Illustrators Partnership has set up a website where you can easily make your views known and be sure artists' voices are heard and interests respected. It's easy to do and only takes a few seconds.

http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/

Sadly I filled this out in early May and received a reply from my U.S Representative thanking me for my support of the Orphan Works Act. :-(


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8/1/2008 3:40:22 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Susan,

I'd be on the Reps website filling out an email correcting that problem so fast it would make his head swim. My senators thanked me for commenting and stated they would keep what I said in mind if it came before them for a vote. Probably a form letter; but, none the less they both responded by email and one even sent a backup letter. Go gettem'!


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8/1/2008 3:44:45 PM

 
Susan M. Carter   You are right, Todd. I am not normally so passive. I just sent an e-mail pointing out that since his staff evidently never read the first I felt compelled to send another.


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8/1/2008 4:14:41 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Thank you Susan. This is an important bill that needs correcting!


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8/1/2008 5:55:55 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Don't stop Janis, please don't stop !!!
What you say makes great sense and it's quite informative. IMO, this bill is being railroaded by publishers for obvious reasons. It gets them off the hook for willful infringement in most instances and requires a minimum amount of searching for the rightful holder of the copyright protected material(s). In other words, the provisions of the Orphans act significantly dilutes the protections afforded legitimate copyright holders. I think when you distill the proposed legislation down to those fundamental elements, that's what's left.

Another organization fighting against this is SPAR.org (Society of Photographers and Artists Representatives. I can't believe an illustrators association would have made a huge error like that.

Also, insofar as newbies are concerned (or less experienced photographers), there are some of them, who, actually produce some nice work with the more modern tools available to them like digital gear and photoshop. I don't want to infringe on the ability to do that kind of work or even market it. Nevertheless, aside from images, they need to see AND understand exactly what they give away when they enter or submit the fruits of their hobbies to places that can freely transfer ownership of those works to the extent that ownership and usage just fade away. Can it happen here at BP? If you win a prize here or elsewhere, perhaps so. Read the contest entry forms. It happened at AOL and I believe at other sites.

Be aware. Be very very aware. ;>)
Mark


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8/1/2008 6:21:54 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  That's pretty scary because I just submitted five contest entries lately at BP, for the first time in a long time. But probably I'm not in any real danger of winning anything! I have noticed, and have emailed BP about this in the past, that the PODs are super easy to grab, without the customary pop-up saying it's copyrighted, contact the photographer, that appears in other places. You just Save As and you have a copy. I don't know how many people realize that.

I read somewhere today, and I will try to backtrack and find it, that flickr strips out IPTC data on all but the original size photo, while leaving EXIF data. I would like to see such behavior explicitly criminalized -- if anyone removes someone else's ID info from an image on purpose, it is a crime with stiff penalties. However, there would be huge proof problems given current technology because it can happen inadvertently, too. If someone could figure out a way to make IPTC data permanent they would become very rich and we would all be better off.


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8/1/2008 6:51:26 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Susan, I sent Lamar Smith an online form letter from Illustrators Partnership -- IPA is a great resource -- and he sent me back a form letter. I sent another, personal letter, and got another form letter. But I assume his staff has now put two checks by my name instead of one. I keep trying so I can feel I did what I could. I've wondered if faxes would be more effective.


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8/1/2008 6:56:15 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Janis: You might try picking up the phone and calling the guy. I've found when you come at CEO's or organization presidents, etc., from an acute angle and catch their firewall people off guard, you get through much easier. E-mail they ignore all the time. Phone calls are a lot tougher to side step even if they only get to their first-assistant. :>)
M.


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8/2/2008 8:54:46 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Good advice in general to use the phone but I have adult-onset severe hearing loss and avoid the phone like the plague. The silver lining is that the hearing loss seemed to improve my photographic eye!


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8/2/2008 10:36:00 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I've signed the petition that was on Mark's earlier post, do you think I should still email the congresspeople? I want to do everything possible to help out, but since I'm not a pro, I don't belong to any of those organizations you guys are members of.


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8/2/2008 11:21:20 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Carolyn, absolutely, personal contact with your representatives is probably more important than any petition, anyway.


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8/2/2008 11:24:52 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  Ok, I'm on it!


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8/2/2008 11:32:35 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Carolyn,

Absolutely and thanks. I'm not a pro either..........yet; but, I sent emails to my senators and received emails and letters back from both.


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8/2/2008 12:01:56 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  WHOA, GUYS! The plot thickens. It appears that BP is stripping out copyright info from metadata when you upload, at least on my images. I heard about this from a friend. I tested it by copying several images from my BP gallery onto my desktop and the copyright info was gone from the metatdata.

I read that flickr does this but have no way to test that because I don't have images there. Maybe this is a widespread practice in the industry and has some fairly innocent technical explanation, but I will not knowingly store my images anyplace that strips out copyright info, which could render images unidentified "orphans" under the pending legislation. I know that thieves can easily strip out metadata, but companies we PAY to archive our images should not do it, esp. without giving clear notice. To me, being able to add a watermark at BP doesn't make up for this. Setting aside the issue of thieves, removing the metadata could keep someone down the road who wants to buy your image from finding you. I think we should ask our congressional reps to make the deliberate removal of copyright info against the law.


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8/2/2008 2:15:16 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I usually put my name on my uploads someplace and I just checked a few and the names are still there on both my gallery and my website.


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8/2/2008 2:48:48 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Carolyn, I put my name in text on my images, too. But that can be easily cropped out or cloned out in Photoshop. The whole point of embedding your copyright info in the metadata (where info such as date of image, type of camera, etc. is also stored) is to try keep your identity associated with the image as it gets passed along. Software such as PS, Lightroom, Aperture, and others allow you to add this info. My point is that photographers go to some trouble to put their copyright info into the metadata. We know that it can be stripped out by thieves and by some types of uploading, but it is always a loss to the photographer and it should be avoided at all costs. I just checked and there are some other sites that preserve this info when you upload. They may be a minority, but they do exist. I'm sure BP can preserve copyright info, too, and they probably will in the future if enough members ask them to. But right now, at least on my images, they don't.


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8/2/2008 3:04:42 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery
  Janis, how do you check the images on BP to determine if the metadata is there? Assume you have to change your config to allow the right mouse click "save as" feature to work (cause right now I can't do that to my BP images), then call it back up in Photoshop? I guess I could try it...


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8/2/2008 3:51:13 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Ken, here's how I did it. I opened a photo to full size on my BP gallery, one where I knew I had added copyright metadata. I clicked the two little boxes in the top right corner of the browser window to make the window small enough that I could also see my desktop. Then I just clicked on the image on the gallery and dragged it over onto my desktop. It had a new name -- a bunch of numbers -- and it had no copyright info in the metadata.


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8/2/2008 3:58:03 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Doesn't resaving loose all info from a file anyway?


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8/2/2008 4:16:55 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  lose


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8/2/2008 4:24:39 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery
  Thanks, Janis...I'm not an expert on how on-line services do it...are you actually pulling over the file, or just a screen capture of the file?


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8/2/2008 4:28:56 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Gregory, no, in my experience resaving doesn't remove metadata, at least if you resave something in PS CS3. If it did, there would be no point in adding this data at all. I just tested this by renaming a file several times and in different formats, TIFF, PSD, and jpg. The metadata stayed the same.


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8/2/2008 4:30:18 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Ken -- I'm not sure about the terminology, but I clicked on the full-size image in the gallery, then dragged with the mouse. It stayed on the gallery, but a copy went over to the desktop.

By the way, here is a link that indicates that flickr also strips out the copyright info.
http://duncandavidson.com/2008/04/flickr-strips-copyright-metada.html


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8/2/2008 4:36:22 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Here's a link to what Derek Dafoe recently posted here on a similar issue with right clicking and copying images here. http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32810

Haven't heard from Jim Miotke on the other thread. Time to bump it up again I guess.
M.


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8/3/2008 10:11:11 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Mark, I checked out the Derek Dafoe link you posted, thanks. He mentions Mozilla. That's the browser I use also, and that may be why it's so easy to just drag an image from anywhere online onto the desktop. And millions of people use Mozilla. It's beyond BP's control to prevent the copying, I feel sure, but it's all the more reason our copyright info should be left intact.

I emailed BP about my metadata concerns but haven't heard back. Maybe they're busy getting ready for the summit. They're usually responsive.


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8/3/2008 10:21:57 AM

 
Derek D. Dafoe
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/13/2005
  Great thread Janis!! Copyrights are important and internet thefts of images are huge!! BP needs to fix this Monzilla thing quickly!! I realize there are more ways than just right clicking to steal images, but on my pro site, right click is disable with Monzilla?? Why has the same thing not been put into these new basic galleries?? It does help to curb these copyright infringements to some extent!!


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8/3/2008 11:51:03 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Hi, Derek! There are at least two services that say they can track everywhere your images pop up across the web, digimarc and attributor.com. Does anyone have any experience with these?


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8/3/2008 11:58:53 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  I guess it's about time I chime in. LOL

I also signed the petition for reconsideration of (S. 2913) and (H.R. 5889)

I received a letter response from the Senator of my state.

Here it is
QUOTE
___________________________________

" Thank you for sharing with me your concerns about legislative proposals that would change the way "Orphan Works" are handled under the copyright act. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.

Versions of the Orphan Works act of 2008, S. 2913 and H.R. 5889, in the senate and house respectively, have been introduced and referred to each chamber's Judiciary Committee for review. On May 15, 2008, the senate judiciary committee approved S. 2913 for consideration by the full senate. I agree we must thoughtfully protect the important rights of both copyright owners and users, including in instances when the owner of the coptright work cannot be found. I will closely follow consideration of these bills with your concerns in mind."

end quote
_______________________________________

This response I received from my state senator did NOT make me happy. There was no commitment I could detect either way in his letter. He seemed to leave the issue wide open. He took no stance that I can see in his letter.
NOT a good sign.

I do NOT wish to turn this forum into political commentary, but I will say my piece.

If we as citizens in the U.S (as I am one) seek FAIRNESS from our representitives, then we delude ourselves.

Unless the photographic community (pros and amateurs) can muster funds equal to or greater than corporate america, we WILL lose this one sooner or later! My opinion only.

The RIGHT of representation and REPRESENTATION of the will of "The People" are not the same thing!

Big money wins out..always has..always will.

Yes; I indicated my displeasure too as many have, but I fear it was an excercise in futility.


Pete


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8/3/2008 9:05:51 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Pete, that is almost identical to a form letter I got back. I fear you are right about the money. It doesn't feel like a representative govt. to me, but I still need to feel like I've tried. Good for you for trying, too!


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8/3/2008 9:50:26 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Thanks for your input Pete.

For those of you that are interested, this site http://ipaorphanworks..com/2008/08/80808-sba-hearing-on-orphan-works.html has scheduled a round table discussion on the effects of these bills on August 8th from 10 AM to noon. They are also doing a webcast of the meeting which you have to RSVP to get a spot.


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8/4/2008 5:43:10 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  I wonder if I made a mistake by putting this thread here in the "pro" section of the Q&A instead of in the more general All About Photography section. Maybe that would make it more noticeable. Does anyone feel like starting a thread there? You could then link to the threads started by Mark and Derek as well as this one. I have houseguests coming and am about to be out of commission for a couple of days.


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8/4/2008 9:13:05 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Janis,

I think it's fine where it is. I have a feeling most people come into the "Newest Questions" section any way. So if we can keep it toward the top of the list, more people will see it.


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8/4/2008 10:56:30 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Bump!


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8/5/2008 12:16:49 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  thanks, Todd!


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8/5/2008 4:51:39 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  I just received an email that Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) put a hold on the hotlining of the senate version of this bill. You can go to this link http://tinyurl.com/69hklt and then click on "Contact Me" at the bottom of the page to thank her if you want. Also there is an archive of the lecture/round table discussion that happened Friday here: http://videos.cmitnyc.com/asip.html. It appears that the SBA is supportin the photogs and artists in this matter. I think we've had some impact on it; but, the fight isn't over yet.


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8/12/2008 5:52:51 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Thank you, Todd. I just thanked Senator Snowe.


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8/12/2008 8:00:30 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Would senator Snowe be capable of giving us a "Snowe" job? Bet she's never heard that one before, eh?
Bump.
M.


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8/13/2008 7:04:53 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I forgot: Is it true that with 50 replies to a post, BP gives you an Olympic Special, a free order of egg rolls at a Chinese restaurant of your choice, anywhere in Bejing?

M.


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8/14/2008 8:58:00 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  If so, I hope a plane ticket to China also is supplied!
By the way, I got a reply from Jay Wadley (but no one higher up) on the issue of not preserving copyright data upon upload to the site. I got no reply at all to my second email on this subject, so it appears this is considered a technical issue and not important. Jay's advice is to watermark the images, which is good in a way but ignores the problem that a watermark big enough to be effective pretty much ruins the image visually. The tiny little watermarks people use here in the bottom corner of the image can be cloned or cropped out in three minutes. He didn't address my point that if a site can choose to preserve metadata such as camera settings, it can also choose to preserve copyright info, and at least one competing site already does that. He said that metadata is highly unreliable for copyright protection, but didn't reply to my point that one of the main reasons it's highly unreliable is that giant sites like BP and flickr fail to preserve it on millions of photos uploaded every week, and most of their users aren't aware of that. BP could do something positive, esp. in light of Orphan Works, and start preserving this info and use that added security as a marketing tool. Since zenfolio does it I hope it will become a trend. But until a lot more people are of aware of what's happening, both here and at flickr, they won't demand any changes.


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8/14/2008 9:48:19 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Here's another thought on the copyright metadata issue -- since most sites do try to preserve keywords, let's start putting our copyright info into the keyword section.


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8/14/2008 11:20:14 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Janis,

Send me an email at tbenn54@gmail.com and I'll tell you a little story of something that happened right here on this sight and how the management handled it.

Todd


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8/14/2008 11:37:43 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
 


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8/14/2008 12:49:57 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Greg, you are bang on today. Nothing gets past you does it?


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8/14/2008 1:05:57 PM

 
Susan M. Carter   I just got a personal e-mail from my representative's office apologizing for sending me the wrong form response letter. Evidently they have one response for those who support Orphan Works and another for those who don't. Nothing like a politician sitting on the fence! But at least I know for sure that someone read my second e-mail and registered my opposition.


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8/21/2008 5:14:51 PM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson has sent me the same form letter, which does not even admit the Orphan Works bill exists, four times. I'm sure if I wrote them 100 times I would get the same response 100 times. I truly believe I am corresponding with a computer.


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8/21/2008 5:20:28 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  wow,
been an ostrich for a while,guess I need to get my head out of the sand.
surge protectors are nice but don't always save computers from lightning,i know i"ve been missed?
best of luck to us all,sam
still trying to sort out my email problems soooooo.


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8/22/2008 2:55:09 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Here is an update on the OW bill. The writer has been involved with opposers and has actually visited Washington to lobby. I had to post it in 2 parts.

Hi.

I want to review the situation and strategy since the Senate passed
their Orphan Works bill on Friday. I'll keep you updated as soon as I
know anything.

After a two hour conference call with the Illustrators Partnership,
the Artists Foundation, PI, the medical illustrators, the cartoonists,
and several influential arts and crafts people who are part of the
opposition team, we agreed the situation looks like this:

Passage of the Senate bill with a 'hotline' is very, very bad. The
House now has to do something, maybe. The House bill sits in the
Judiciary Committee. If nothing is done with it in this legislative
session, unusually extended due to the bailout crisis, Orphan Works
will be dead for now. However, the House is operating under suspended
rules - anything can happen. Chairman Conyers of the House Judiciary
Committee could decide, on his own, to abandon the House bill and
accept the Senate version as law. No one can stop him if he chooses to
do this. The ordinary procedural rules are suspended. In this
scenario, and it is the likely favorite, Orphan Works will become law
without a single legislator debating it or voting on it.

That means that Orphan Works will become law either on on Jan 1, 2009,
or when the Copyright Office certifies that an image database exists.
Notice they only have to certify that a database exists - they don't
have to say it is viable, or worth anything - just that it exists. And
there is no limit to the number of databases than can be certified, or
any restriction on fees. And a "diligent search" for authorship in the
databases is not defined, except that only one database need be
searched. If there are several, you better be in all of them. Don't
you think Google has a database all ready to go?

The news today that the bailout package was rejected is either good or
bad news for us. It means the House will stay in session until
something passes. It also means the rules remain suspended, and
Chairman Conyers has more time to do what he pleases.

The kernel of the strategy right now, today and in the next few days, is to:

!. Raise as much hell as possible on forums and blogs to try to be heard.
2.Try to reach members of the House Judiciary Committee to get them to
persuade Conyers to do nothing, and to do nothing about their own
House bill.
3. Keep sending faxes and emails to your Representatives, especially
if your Rep is on the JC. For people outside the US, fax and email the
Copyright office and John Conyers and Lamar Smith NOT to adopt the
Senate version, and to take no action on the House bill.
4. Contact heads of organizations, of any size and location, and not
necessarily artists (this bill affects everyone), and ask them write
letters of protest and concern to the Copyright Office, and more
importantly, to the members of the Judiciary Committee, particularly
the ranking members, John Conyer and Lamar Smith.


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9/30/2008 6:44:07 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Part 2:

Each of you can do any of the above.

Points to raise hell about:
1. Clear violation of Article IX of the Berne Convention.
2. Loss of private property rights to citizens.
3. Abandonment of the exclusive right of a copyright holder to control
how that right is used.
4. Not a single vote was taken to pass this legislation.
5. There was scant public review, and no serious attention paid to the result.
6. There was no debate.

In summary, in the next few days (we may not even have that much time)
raise as much storm on the internet as possible. Go to the
Illustrator's Partnership capwiz site and email your protest to the
House. Fax and email letters to key members of the Judiciary
Committee.

I know those don't sound like attractive options, but that is the spot
we're in. This situation is very fluid and can change quickly, but
this is what must be done NOW!

Feel free to forward this to everyone you know.

Important links:

PI's story about the latest action:

Illustrators' Partnership capwiz site:

Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works blog:

House Judiciary Committee contact link:

Noted legal scholar Jane Ginzberg's writing on the probably illegality
of the Senate Orphan Works bill:

The Small Business Administration's Roundtable on Orphan Works:

Remember, over 70 organizations representing over 500,000 content
creators have formally expressed their opposition to the Orphan Works
bills. You'll be in very good company as you take action towards a
more secure future.

don
--
don schaefer
PI Admin team


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9/30/2008 6:45:12 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  For some reason the links didn't post. I'll try them again:

PI's story about the latest action:
http://www.pro-imaging.org/content/view/464/206/

Illustrators' Partnership capwiz site:
http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=11980321

Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works blog:
http://ipaorphanworks..com/

House Judiciary Committee contact link:
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/committees.tt?commid=hjudi

Noted legal scholar Jane Ginzberg's writing on the probably illegality
of the Senate Orphan Works bill:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1263361

The Small Business Administration's Roundtable on Orphan Works:
http://www.scribd.com/share/upload/3571303/svf2tijl1ait126wp5p


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9/30/2008 6:50:15 AM

 
Kimi A. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/8/2007
  I just wanted to thank you guys/gals for all of this information. I don't know many photog's but I do know quite a few artists of other medium in the Austin, TX area and have forwarded all of these links and info on to them. Thanks again!


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9/30/2008 8:41:57 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Thanks Todd !!! You're the best !!!
Hey, are you coming to the "summit" here?
M.


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10/1/2008 9:45:25 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Hey Mark,

Wish I could! There is a little thing called money. Not sure what it is though. I think I saw it once about 20 years ago; but, now it seems to avoid me. Somebody told me about a money tree once; but, I'll be damned if I can find it either.


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10/1/2008 9:58:39 AM

 
Janis Herd
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2004
  Todd, thanks for the links!


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10/1/2008 10:09:11 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  No problem Janis. I feel as stongly about this as you do. I'm sure my buddy Mark does too. We'll see what happens.


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10/1/2008 6:24:12 PM

 
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