Saturday, January 14, 2017

Library of Congress Survey on Register of Copyrights (ended Jan 31st) -- UPDATED

UPDATE 2.18.17

Link to New Yorker article "Sarah Larson -- the Librarian of Congress"


Have you filled out your input for this important survey yet???

Well I have.. and you should too!
If you're an artist.. it's your chance for direct contact with the Federal Government Office that oversees vital laws and protections.
If you're a fan.. it's your chance to champion the rights of indie artists to have their work respected and protected.

The Graphic Artist Guild website has this handy page.. with all the questions on the survey.. and some sample answers to consider.

Model responses for Library of Congress Survey on Register of Copyrights 

1. What are the knowledge, skills, and abilities you believe are the most important for the Register of Copyrights? 
The next Register of Copyrights must: • be dedicated to both a robust copyright system and Copyright Office; • recognize the important role that creators of copyrighted works play in promoting our nation’s financial well-being; • have significant experience in, and a strong commitment to, the copyright law •  have a substantial background in representing the interests of creators of copyright works; •  possess a deep appreciation for the special challenges facing individual creators and small businesses in protecting their creative works.; •  a keen understanding of, and a strong commitment to, preserving the longstanding and statutorily-based functions of the Copyright Office, especially its advising the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on domestic and international copyright issues; and •  have the solid support of the copyright community. 

2. What should be the top three priorities for the Register of Copyrights?
Priority #1: Continue the traditional and critical role of the Register as a forceful advocate for both a vibrant copyright system and a strong Copyright Office that works closely with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in promoting a strong and effective copyright law. 
Priority #2:   A commitment to moving quickly to modernize the Copyright Office with a special focus on updating and making more affordable and simpler the registration and recordation processes. 
Priority #3:  Working with Congress to achieve enactment of legislation creating a small claims process that finally provides individual creators with a viable means of protecting their creative efforts. 

3. Are there other factors that should be considered? As a creative, I believe, to the extent possible, that the views of those whose works are protected by copyright law should be given greater weight in this survey than those who are not. It is also crucial that the views of the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, be given great deference in the selection of the next Register. 

For another example... here are the responses I sent...

1) Knowledge, skills and abilities...

The next Register of Copyrights must have awareness of copyright enforcement in protecting independent (indie) artist rights, and the impact of challenges to those protections in the internet age. The Register must recognize the vital relationship between the lack of enforcement of copyright protections and the financial losses indie artists face when copyrights are infringed on. The Register must have knowledge, skills and ability that include: Experience with copyright law. Devotion to protecting the creators of copyrighted works, whose livelihood and careers are threatened by the unauthorized commercial use by others of their creator-owned images. Courage to preserve the long-standing role of the Copyright Office in defining, enforcing, and protecting intellectual property.

2... The 3 Priorities

#1 working with House and Senate Judiciary Committees to modernize copyright laws and protections -- reflecting the expanding role of artist-owned images in the success of commercial and social media advances via the internet. Too many commercial and social media entities thrive thanks to online images posted by artists, who aren’t even given attribution, must less compensation, for this work. There needs to be a way for images that appear online to be sourced back to artists. Copyright notices placed by artists on their online images must be respected and not removed.

#2  requiring the Copyright Office to maintain an up-to-date, digital, searchable database of all copyrighted materials, AND associated copyright ownership information

#3 Finding a viable means for indie artists and small businesses to receive enforcement for their copyright protections that are currently blatantly infringed upon by retail corporations and online merchants. Many indie artists depend on their own internet storefront (via their website or an online store like Etsy or Society 6). Indie artists rely on online sources like DeviantArt and Facebook to post art images and connect with fans and peers. Having their work counterfeited by others isn’t just unfair – it’s exactly the kind of egregious IP theft that we depend on our strong, powerful Copyright laws to prohibit and punish.

3 .... other Factors to Consider..

An online search of “Art Theft DeviantArt” will reveal scores of horror stories of the personal impact of online art theft. The Copyright Office must find a way to make protecting the Intellectual Property (IP) of indie artists a priority.  The Register of Copyrights MUST be a champion for the indie artist. Enforcing copyright protections for indie artists sets the tone for respecting these rights for all creators. Imagination is a hallmark of American creativity and productivity. Intellectual Property is an expression of the imagination that propels our American Dream. We must protect this… especially for the most vulnerable among us.. the indie artists who define the independent, self-sufficient pioneer spirit we embrace.


Now it's YOUR turn. Start the New Year out right. Take action. Fight Art Theft.

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