On August 8, 2008 the Office of Advocacy of the US Small Business Administration conducted an Orphan Works Roundtable in New York City. This was the first effort to assess the economic impact of the Orphan Works Acts H.R. 5889 and S. 2913 on creators and small businesses.
Seventeen distinguished panelists spoke, all freelance working artists and stakeholders who will be directly impacted by this proposed legislation. Speaker bios: http://tinyurl.com/5sprs9
Some of the key points to emerge from the discussion:
•The high cost of digitizing and registering work with commercial databases will make compliance impossible for most artists.
• This will cause billions of unregistered works to fall into the public domain.
• To make money, commercial databases will have to promote and facilitate infringement.
• Infringer-friendly databases will compete with artists for clients.
• This bill would radically change copyright law.
• The change would create an entirely new business model for the licensing of copyrighted work.
• That business model would favor large corporate image banks at the expense of individual creators.
• This would harm artists, photographers, songwriters, musicians, writers.
• It would harm the small businesses that serve and are dependent on the creative community.
As attorney Bruce Lehman, former Commissioner of the US Patent Office, writes in “Orphan Works Legislation – a Bad Deal for Artists,” these bills “reverse a 30 year history of taking bureaucracy out of the copyright system and impose new burdens and expenses on those least able to comply."
More excerpts from written statements submitted to the SBA: http://tinyurl.com/aaye3s5