Friday, June 6, 2008

Orphan Works and Washington DC

Greetings All!

For two days I had the chance to truly be part of the political process, hitting the "Hill" to advocate against the Orphan Works Act. It was an amazing adventure and it brought home two things:

1) YOU MUST not only write but call your Congressperson and Senator. Many Senators and Congresspersons state that more than once these past weeks that our letters have been the "winner" when it comes to the most regarding an issue. This correspondence made it easier for us to get appointments and have people take note. Many on the Hill believe that this is not a controversial issue and that it will not harm anyone - your correspondence makes a difference!

2) Tell everyone you know to write and call. The other suggestion is to also go to your Senator and Congressperson's website and email comments directly off the form they provide. They do get those MUCH quicker. REMEMBER...the key is to WRITE and CALL!

Here is the example I sent and I used the "Small Business" Category. Please use your own words. The key is the legitimate numbers of contacts! The Senate has fast tracked this Bill and we must make our voice heard NOW! :

Please vote no on the Copyright Reform/Orphan Works Act. It would devastate small business for many artisans of all type in Ohio. There are ways in expanding Fair Use or creating stronger definitions in the Bill that the true orphans can be used. This bill with its provisions for searches, notices, and the like make it very difficult for a small non profit, individual and the like to use an Orphan and isn't that who this bill is supposed to help?!
Thank you for your time on this important subject!

I met some outstanding businesspersons and artists these past two days. I will continue to share their stories as it is their livelihood that will be devastated. These bills are truly Copyright Reform and do not address Orphan Works in any way. I can only hope that the creative communities and non profits can come together to work on a solution that will help create a Bill that addresses concerns and that does not include Registries that would give billions to private, special interests.

Keep on fighting the good fight. There are several thousand hits a day to this website, if you all acted...we could stop this. The key is to act in simple ways to make a huge impact!

We Shall Overcome!
Tammy L. Browning-Smith
(One Very Tired Attorney Who Met with 14 Offices in 1 1/2 days!)

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This blog is for educational and information purposes only. It does not constitute the practice of law. The attorney who writes this blog is only licensed in the State of Ohio and Michigan. There is NO attorney-client relationship of any type. You must sign appropriate documenation and have appropriate new client counseling to be a client of Browning-Smith, P.C. Each and every situation is different and all readers must seek his or her own legal counsel. The information on this blog is not guaranteed for any purposes nor is it to be relied on.