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Orphan Works


That darned Congress! Have you heard? It’s incredible? They passed that Orphan Works bill. Colleen Doran explains::

Worst case scenario: the Senate has passed the Orphan Works Bill and the wording of the Senate bill is even more hideous than that of the House bill. The bill is not law, but may become law if we all do not act now.

That this bill was hotlined without open debate during a financial crises speaks volumes about the nature of this bill, and of those who support it.

Here is a direct link for writing your Senators and Congressman.

Concerned persons outside the US should also be sure to sign the petition and contact US legislators as the nature of the bill will also effect your copyrights.

You will no longer have the same copyright protections when you create your works. Without being listed in a database for which you will probably have to pay, your work may be considered “orphaned”, and the copyright infringer will be in the position of deciding the “fair rate” to pay you for use, assuming you ever find out your work was stolen. Oh, excuse me, “used”.

We’d hardly call ourselves experts in this area, but the bill as it stands does sound a little baby and bathwaterish. Read Colleen’s post for a more informed opinion.


  1. I’ve always been in favor of an orphaned works bill. But I’d like to go a lot farther and limit copyright protection on non-orphaned works too. The world is changing and I anticipate a day when copyright is a thing of the past.

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