Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Copyright Reform Update

In this You Tube Clip, you'll hear Congressmen talk about progress towards copyright reform. Yes, the process is SLOW.. because the Copyright Office is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. But this clip confirms that..
1) the Government is listening to the concerns of artists and others impacted by copyright infringement in the digital age
2) Input from individuals continues to be a vital part of the process of improving copyright protections and enforcement.

Highlights from the clip include the portion at 1:37, concerning .. "requiring the Copyright Office to maintain an up-to-date, digital, searchable database of all copyrighted materials, AND associated copyright ownership information."
Also at 2:10.. stressing the importance of input from all interested parties to turn these policy proposals into legislation ...
For artists.. this means continuing to document and report cases of art theft.
For fans... this means alerting artists to unauthorized use of artist-owned images
For artists and fans.. it means being ready to send letters documenting the impact of art theft and copyright infringement on artist rights.
Letters from individuals have tremendous impact in the process of reviewing proposed reforms to copyright law.
You can learn more about how to get involved with copyright legislation reform, by following (or joining) professional associations such as the Graphic Artists Guild
or the Professional Photographers Association

Artists -- did you know you can register your copyrights for images as files of compilations of images and not just do registrations of each individual images. This provision in the copyright law was made possible by photography organizations. These professional groups lobbied and established the need for this sort of practical consideration for artists (such as photographers) whose production of a large number of images is part of their professional life (and having to pay a registration fee for each individual image would be prohibitive). Many artists register their copyrights quarterly. The IMPORTANT point is to register your copyrights PRIOR to publication. From You Tube

Registering prior to publication provides for greater enforcement protections. "...Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation:".from "Copyright in General" webpage:

From You Tube --
Published on Dec 8, 2016
The 20th Century statutory framework for the U.S. Copyright Office is not sufficient to meet the needs of a modern 21st Century copyright system. Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers explain what the House Judiciary Committee is doing to update the Office for the future.

For more info on Copyright ... and how to Combat Art Theft... see these frequently updated previous posts on the blog:

Combat Art Theft

Copyright Info for Artists

Free Infographics (from artist Lili Chin) on Copyright Basics

More resources....

Interview on Fanbase Press

"Intro to Copyright" from Tools and Resource page of Graphic Artists Guild website.

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