This is From Charlie Clingman:
Hello friends and family:
This is an important issue to me and anyone else who makes their livelihood from art and creativity. Please contact government officials and oppose the “Orphan Works” act.
A Summary of Orphan Works Legislation:
Currently, you don’t have to register your artwork to own the copyright. You own a copyright as soon as you create something. International law also supports this. Right now, registration allows you to sue for damages, in addition to fair value. However this may change if Orphaned Artist legislation is not challenged. An Orphaned Work is any creative work of art where the artist or copyright owner has released their copyright, whether on purpose, by passage of time, or by lack of proper registration. In the same way that an orphaned child loses the protection of his or her parents, your creative work can become an orphan for others to use without your permission. If the Orphan Works legislation passes, all artist will lose virtually all the rights to not only future work but to everything that has been created over the past 34 years, unless we register each created image. It would actually be possible for someone to walk in to a gallery, photograph your work and use that image to register the original piece as their own.
If you want to do something about it,
please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org