Wednesday, April 16, 2008



This is a warning to all visual artists. A Bill is currently being written that could change your art career for the worst. It's called the Orphan Works. It would make it very easy for anyone to take photographs or works of art from artists and use it for monetary gain, and take away the rights or ability for the artists to do anything about it. So why would any advertiser, publisher, or licensing company ever buy art directly from an illustrator, photographer, or fine artist when they could just browse the web and take any image they came across. This Bill reads as if someone was specifically making a plan to bypass paying artists for any work they use, and make it nearly impossible for the artist to take legal action. Please listen to this podcast by Illustrator Brad Holland who is part of the Illustrators Partnership. It will explain this issue in better detail than I am.

Since the Universal Copyright Convention and the Berne Convention Implementation Act in 1988, intellectual property has been protected by the government. Artists, along with authors, musicians, or anyone who created a work, were protected. Nobody could use your work without your permission, and if you registered the work with the Copyright Department, you could get monetary damages for the violation. You simply showed them that you possessed this work.

If this Orphan Works Bill passes, artists, only visual artists and photographers, are NO LONGER PROTECTED, can NO LONGER GET THEIR WORK COPYRIGHTED, and have to prove HOW and WHEN someone stole their work, using their own lawyers. It would make artists and photographers the only artists who can't. Artists can register their works for a fee with private commercial agencies(which don't exist yet), but this gives no protection either. A company will just have to look at one or two of these agencies, and if they don't see the work, can legally use it, paying a whatever fee they choose. The artists has no say. The company can always say,"Oh, I just came across this image." And legally they are protected. Artists will have to register their images with every single company if they want full protection, and still get close to nothing if an image is used. A lot of time and money for nothing. My paintings and drawings will no longer belong to me.

The Bill is being written as THIS blog is being written and is scheduled to be put into motion THIS SUMMER! The podcast and website will let you know the steps you can take to help stop this.

If you care about your artwork and your rights as an artist GET OFF YOU ASS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!


Joseph Lee said...

Pretty frightening stuff man! Joe Vaux brought it up a few days ago. Crazy!

bog_art said...

This is going to kill the artist's rights!!.. it is not possible!!.. the copyright is a world concept and nobody can touch it.. what they want to do is a law that permits to get money with our work.. unthinkable!!..

Ivan Aguirre said...

Crazy!, Cool Blog, cool stuff on your portfolio website.

XKONE said...

Nice job on the Bill summary...informed, intelligent and intense, like the Mark I always knew...yes, it's a blast from the past!

Congrats to you and your wife, I hadn't heard...

It'd be great to hear from you...

Your old guitarist