Friday, April 4, 2014

House Judiciary Committee - Orphan Works and the PLUS Solution

On April 2, 2014 - Congress' House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing titled Preservation and reuse of Copyrighted Works about orphan works, and asked for insights into matters regarding the need to preserve copyrighted works.

Testimony was heard from the Library of Congress, Gregory Lukow, Chief, Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, The Library of Congress (testimony PDF); Mr. Richard Rudick, Co-Chair, Section 108 Study Group (testimony .doc file); Mr. James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University (testimony PDF); Ms. Jan Constantine, General Counsel, The Authors Guild (testimony .doc file); Mr. Michael C. Donaldson, Partner, Donaldson + Callif, LLP (testimony PDF); and Mr. Jeffrey Sedlik, President and Chief Executive Officer, PLUS Coalition (testimony PDF). Much of the testimony was about preservation, and the questioning of the need for new laws related to orphan works was discussed at length over the course of two hours.

Jeff Sedlik's PLUS Coalition testimony proved to be most relevant to visual artists, given the presentation of PLUS as a solution to the problem of orphan works. Prior to the hearing, Sedlik spoke with the committee chairman, Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) (as seen below).

Below is a video that combines Sedlik's testimony from the hearing - it's well worth watching to better understand how orphan works will return to the fore, and what is being done to solve the problem.

(Continued after the Jump)

Disclaimer: I sit on the boards of the American Society of Media Photographers and the National Press Photographers Association, both of whom have provided substantial funds to support the development of PLUS. Each organizations' initial funding of PLUS pre-dates my role on the boards.

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