Public Issues

Can Someone Steal Your Orphaned Artworks?

Artist Bepe Kafka was kind enough to send this our way:

The Orphan Works Act of 2008 is now being considered in the U.S. Congress. "Orphan Works" are   any copyrighted work whose author any infringer says he is unable to locate with what the infringer himself decides has been a "reasonably diligent search." In a radical departure from existing copyright law and business practice, the U.S. Copyright Office has proposed that Congress grant such infringers freedom to ignore the rights of the author and use the work for any purpose, including commercial usage. This act would limit the copyright owner’s ability to recover financial damages from the infringer.

To read more about this bill, go to:

We encourage you to contact your legislators regarding this law. You can find a sample letter at: Please be sure to alter at least a few words in your own letter or your letter may be filtered out by legislative assistants.

We encourage artists to maintain a website as a way to keep their artwork reasonably free from being orphaned.

Categories: Public Issues

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