After I had taken the time to read (most of) the Notice of Inquiry and
Report by the Copyright Office, I too felt that the original e-mail was
hyperbolic. Nonetheless, I still felt compelled to write a letter to the
Copyright Office with my input. I think there is an element of truth to
some of the claims in the hyperbolic e-mail, but the
article you just sent us a link to seems a more accurate interpretation.

My take is that the Report recommends that the risk to people using
orphaned works is removed as long as those people did a diligent search for
the copyright holder. I don't recall that had anything to do with being a
part of a Collective Management Organization (CMO) or not. (Although if it
did I think membership in a CMO should be opt-in, not opt-out). I object to
their recommendation.

Here are a couple excerpts from my letter to the Copyright Office:

"[Y]our report gives me the impression that copyright law should exist
primarily to facilitate people’s ability to legally make use of existing
intellectual properties. In my view, that is a fundamental shift in purpose
with potentially terrible consequences. I believe the primary purpose of
copyright law is and should be to protect the rights of creators of
intellectual property, thereby enabling creators to make a living and
create more works."

"I believe your proposed changes to the Copyright Act are trying to solve a
problem that is not large or insidious. Indeed, in your own document (pp.
48-49) you state: “*We believe, however, that as search capabilities grow
and more artists make themselves known via searchable image registries like
PLUS (Picture Licensing Universal System), there will be a smaller and
smaller likelihood that owners of orphan works will not be able to be
connected with those who want to use their works.*” I agree with the
sentiment that it’s becoming easier to discover the creators of images,
although I’m doubtful it’ll be through registries like PLUS.... Since it
seems probable that fewer and fewer works will become orphans, why must we
drastically change the existing Copyright Act in order to solve a problem
that will lessen over time anyway? It seems to me that your proposed
“solution” of removing the risks for users of orphan works may cause a much
bigger problem than it hopes to solve."

*Emily S. Damstra*
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
*[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>*
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 9:51 AM, Catherine Wilson <[log in to unmask]>

> Much like posting an urban legend and getting a link to I
> received this recently.
> I'm bit embarrassed after getting so worked up. I would dearly love the
> opinions of GNIS members on this.
> --
> Cat Wilson
> Design . Illustration . Art
> Astoria, NY
>  ________________________________________________
> Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the
> instructions at

Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at