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IMMEDIATE ACTON NEEDED: Support S. 2913 Orphan Works Legislation!

This is a request for emails and faxes today (Friday, Sept. 26th) and tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 27th) to your Representative asking them to vote for S. 2913 as passed by the Senate and considered by the House of Representatives.

Background and Talking Points:

The House and Senate have been considering orphan works legislation that is intended to enable the use of copyrighted works when the copyright owner cannot be found. Over the last week, there have been many focused discussions concerning how to resolve the key remaining issues in the Senate orphan works legislation, S. 2913, the “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.” These issues around “best practices” or standards for a qualifying search for the absent copyright owner — have been resolved. The Senate will consider S. 2913 this afternoon. The House will then hopefully act on S. 2913 if it is approved by the Senate.

Please support S. 2913, the “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008,” as approved by the Senate.

– Resolving, or “freeing” orphaned works in our libraries and special collections helps make our historic and culturally significant works available to students, scholars, and the public.

– Currently, orphan works are not being made publicly available for fear of copyright owners coming forward and demanding unknown amounts of compensation. Despite extensive and costly searches to locate orphan work owners, without a legislative solution, the risk remains too high for our library to make these works publicly available.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.


  1. KJS KJS

    I work for a major artistic firm in LA, and I’ve seen, first hand, the explosion in the last two years of people with so much talent on the internet, it is truly humbling. I would say 5% at most, of these people are from America. The rest are kids living in their parents basements, with pennies to their name. China, Russia, Australia, yemen, slovakia, you name it. These people upload their digital paintings to forums to get feedback. If “someone” were to “do a good faith search” to find the author of the piece, they wouldn’t be able to find them in a million years, and the authors of this bill know this. They are doing nothing more than STEALING these people’s art. Why do corporations want this “work gathering dust in the attics of the internet”? They make it sound like they’re doing someone a favor! Because it’s excellent and they know it. This is just another example of big corporations exploiting and ripping off the small and the weak. Monetarily speaking that is. This is theft. If you support this bill you are on the payroll of google or getty images. You are a thief. Sleep well.

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