Dear Mr. Foster:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S. 2913). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.
As you know, S. 2913 was introduced in the Senate on April 24, 2008. This legislation provides a limitation on judicial remedies in copyright infringement cases involving “orphan works”—copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify and locate. I strongly believe that we must protect the intellectual property rights of the authors, journalists, and artists who, through their creative pursuits, benefit all Americans. I also understand that the issue of “orphan works” presents a real problem to both content creators and to content users. Potential users of “orphan works”—such as the libraries and museums who work to preserve historical journals, records, and films—shy away from materials for fear of being sued should an owner emerge.
While potential users suffer as “orphan works” fade into disuse, the creators also lose. Not only do creators receive no monetary compensation for “orphan works” that are never used, but they also lose the benefit of having their work viewed and appreciated. For example, a vast treasure trove of documentary and artistic films from the early days of cinema are now disintegrating in their boxes because the film preservationists and historians who would restore them are afraid of copyright liability.
On May 15, 2008, an amended version of S. 2913 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaits further consideration by the full Senate. This legislation is intended to help fix the “orphan works” problem while taking into account concerns expressed by content creators. You may be interested to learn that S. 2913 has been endorsed by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as independent librarians, historians, and preservationists.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain I will keep your thoughts in mind as S. 2913 and other relevant legislation is considered. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
Another load of Goverment crap. If people have Original works they know if the owner is still alive or not and most likely who the owner is. This bill is to steal works off the internet not to protect libearys or museums. I guess the bulk stock people support his re-election fund