Funk & Weber Designs

Orphan Day

Where did today go? Can I get it back?

I spent many hours today discussing Orphan Works legislation. Chances are good it’s going to come up in this special lame-duck session of Congress. I have a choice to make. SCBWI and TNNA have both officially opposed the legislation. I pay dues to these organizations and am happy to do it. CHA, on the other hand, has in the past supported the House bill, but is currently attempting to take a neutral position, not opposing and not supporting. Is this an organization I want to give my money to?

I value my relationships with the other Designer members. I’ve learned heaps from them. I also value the connections I can make with manufacturers and editors.

The CHA president was out of the office today but took time to call me twice between meetings. I appreciated having his ear. My impression is that we’re not that far apart on our views, just on the best way to act on them.

And now I have a difficult decision to make. I’m giving myself a few days to think about it.

Of this much, I feel certain: current Orphan Works legislation is BAD.

A blog reader e-mailed and asked who it was that was pushing for this legislation. The answer: people who stand to benefit, primarily those who want to own the private databases, such as Google and Microsoft. There are others, too. One I’m scared to name because law suits have already been filed.

Someone did a search for owners of Orphan Works URLs. More than a few potential database URLs have been purchased. Opportunists are poised to pounce if the opportunity to cash in arises. Just how many databases will artists have to register each and every piece of art with? How many databases will art users have to search to fulfill the requirements for making a reasonable effort to locate the owner of a piece of art? Who really believes this is just about making very old art available to museums and libraries?

I could go on and on and on, but I already have today, and I’m tired. Plus, is this not the worst blog post ever?

I’d rather brainstorm fictional YA book titles.

Categories: Funk & Weber Designs

2 replies »

  1. No, its not the worst. This is an important issue and you are right to be involved.
    My Congressman who responded when I wrote, has been elected Senator (YES), but is still in the House right now. New Mexico is full of artists who make their living from jewelry, drawing, painting, who can not possibly register every item. I think he has an understanding of the problem and is supportive. I’ve got his email, I think I’ll write again.