So, we have the bi-cameral process to thank for the duplication that occurs when the House and Senate seperately consider a bill. We have circumstances like the American Libraries Association supporting the Senate version, the ASMP and PPA supporting the House version, and all sorts of other constituents taking up various other positions for or against.
Yesterday, the Senate took up about a dozen bills during their markup (aka business meeting). At around 10:15 or so, an informal request was made of Sen. Leahy, the bills' sponsor, to "hold over" the bill until next Thursday. Why is it important that it was informal, and why was it important that Sen. Leahy noted this?
When a bill is introduced to the committee after being referred from the Senate, where it got it's number, any member of the committee may request that the bill get put off to the next meeting. Generally, this allows the members more time to review and consider the bill, and to hear from constituents and other interested parties (i.e. the ALA, ASMP, PPA, and so on). Next Thursday, the only real way the bill can be held-over again is if the bills' sponsor - in this case, Sen. Leahy - makes that request. The idea is that you don't want any member trying to continue to put off a bill that should be reviewed.
What does this mean to you? Well, if you're so inclined, you have another week to reach out to committee members and make your voices heard. ASMP urges you not to do that, in part, in their recent message - "Stay cool on Orphan Works":
Please do not buy into the hysteria that you are hearing...I assure you that we are working at the table to make these versions of this bill as good as we can. We are working to influence changes that can greatly effect the final versions...There may be a time when we do want you to contact them with a specific message, but now is not the time."APA writes that
"...APA is asking its members and all concerned individuals to take action by writing your members of Congress to voice your concerns.".NPPA, in their piece "NPPA Cannot Support Orphan Works Legislation", wrote:
"'We cannot in good conscience support this bill,' NPPA president Tony Overman wrote...Overman urges photojournalists who oppose the bill to immediately write to their representatives.",And PPA has finally made a statement on the subject -
"Expecting a worse fate if we wait until 2009, and recognizing that it is possible to gain some small improvements yet, PPA is generally pleased with the proposed bills’ direction. We are grateful for significant improvements made on behalf of photographers and artists. We stand ready to support what we hope will be the very best legislation possible—allowing us to prepare for the future copyright fights that are sure to come. "
|ASMP's Orphan Works page||APA's Orphan Works page||NPPA's Orphan Works page||PPA's Orphan Works page|
In addition, the SAA (Stock Artists Alliance) makes concrete recommendations that would make OW legislation more paletteable here.
Meanwhile, on the non-photographer's side of the table,
The American Library Association is urging it's members (here):
"We need you to ask members of the House and Senate to support copyright Orphan Works legislation (H.R. 5889, S. 2913) that does not include a “dark archive” provision. While we strongly support legislation resolving the orphan works problem, we recommend the Senate version of the bill over the House version. As time is running out, we ask that you contact your Senators and Representatives (with priority given to members of the Senate), to communicate the library community’s enthusiastic support for orphan works legislation that does not include a “dark archives” provision."
Public Knowledge writes here:
"Two orphan works bills were introduced to begin to bring balance back to copyright law...Having a bill out there with specific language helps a lot. Some of the visual artists are...already lining up to take their pot-shots at the bill. They’ll try to add more exceptions and carve-outs as poison pills so users will have no use for the legislation. We hope that doesn’t happen and will work hard with our film maker, library, museum, public television, and archive allies to make sure it doesn’t. We’re going to need your help, too, so sign-up on our site, join the FaceBook Rescue Orphan Works Cause, and stay tuned for an Action Alert to write your Member of Congress."
The Association of Research Libraries wrote:
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of five major library associations: the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association. These five associations collectively represent over 139,000 libraries in the United States employing 350,000 librarians and other personnel. The associations participate in the LCA to address copyright issues that have a significant effect on the information services libraries provide to their users....We write to express our appreciation for your introduction of H.R. 5889, ...However, we wish to state in unequivocal terms our strong opposition to the notice of use filing (the so-called “dark archive”), ...As we discuss below in greater detail, the requirement of such a filing will dramatically limit the utility of the legislation for libraries and other important stakeholders.It seems that there's going to be a great deal of writing to Senators, and Representatives on this subject. For the Senators on the Judiciary Committee, you have at-least another week to write. Then your correspondence would be best sent to those officials (House and Senate) who represent you, unless the bills go back to markup again. NPPA's piece concludes in noting, about the 2006 House version - "In 2006 that year's orphan works bill died in committee when its sponsor, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, withdrew the bill from consideration at the committee’s final mark-up session for the term. Smith told the committee that he didn't see any reasonable chance that the the Copyright Modernization Act of 2006 (HR 6052) would be signed into law during that year's session." There's not too many in-session days left in this term, so this could well be the final disposition of the 2008 bills.
If so, there's always next year, and they say - "the third times' the charm." Who'll get the brass ring next time?
- Orphan Works - A Unique Set of "Myths" and "Facts", (6/2/08)
- Orphan Works and Licensing Exclusivity, (5/23/08)
- What Are the Odds? The Orphan Works Likelihood of Passage, (5/16/08)
- Apathy Gets You NoWhere, (5/15/08)
- Orphan Works - Senate Markup (5/9/08)
- Orphan Works - HIstory in the Making, (5/7/08)
- Speedlinks - Orphan Works Edition, (5/6/08)
- Orphan Works 2008 - A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, (5/1/08)
- Orphan Works Act = Thieves Charter? (4/29/08)
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