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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Possible solutions to the Copyright Orphan Works question

   
Author Topic: Possible solutions to the Copyright Orphan Works question
Charles
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This topic is directly tied into the topic:

http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=013012;p=2#000053

A continuation of the US Copyright Office Orphan Works Proposal discussion, only this thread is dedicated to exploring solutions that would satisfy the very real concerns of artists and creative content producers. Read through the thread at the link above to catch up if you're not familiar with the topic. If you've got an idea or suggestion as to how to solve the problem, feel free to contribute.

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Charles
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Something I think would work, introduce a new copyright symbol, so that when a property is registered, and the copyright owner can't be located in the future, the owner can leave a message signifying their consent to classify the work as Orphaned if they want.

Perhaps in addition to the circle with the "c" for copyright, maybe there could be an additional symbol. Let's say a square with a "c" inside, that would still be a statement of copyright ownership, but also authorize orhan work classification and usage of the material if the owner can't be located through the Copyright Office, disappears, dies, whatever, and wishes to share the work in that way.

Copyright registration forms could include a section asking the owner if they choose to give the work Orphan status in the event they can't be found. At least the Copyright Office will know ahead of time and maybe it will make it easier for them to organize works for future use.

If the standard traditional copyright emblem is used by the owner at the time of registration, or in a commonlaw copyright use, then others will know that the owner, wherever they may be, wishes to retain the ownership of copyright and exclusive use of the work until that time when the work becomes public domain.

It's a better solution than nothing at all. What do you folks think? Offer up your own suggestions. Maybe they'll pick up on this and find a useful idea.

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SNAKEBITE
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I think thats a great one. the donor card of the copyright world. you can do it when getting your license to donate your vital organs if you die, why not with copyright?

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Animation Co-op
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There's an idea.

KG

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gergley
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Technically, even after the 1976 change in copyright law which says that a work doesn't need to be registered to be copyright protected, anyone has had the chance to Opt-Out of copyright. So, to me it doesn't seem needed to jump through some hoop to declare that something you've made isn't copyright protected.

Even if you want to give the rights away upon your passing, you can just put that in your will so that your heirs won't try to claim the copyrights as theirs. These things can be done now. An additional layer in the form of a registry isn't needed, in my opinion.

As for solutions...
There's http://creativecommons.org/
If anyone makes something they don't mind anyone else using then they can declare, publically, how it can be used.

One of the people related to organization/effort is Lawrence Lessig. He has an idea on how to deal with Orphan Works which can be read here:
http://lessig.org/blog/2007/02/copyright_policy_orphan_works.html

Lessig represented someone who was trying to overturn the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension, which became the DMCA.
To learn about that case, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court before the plaintiff lost:
http://eldred.cc/eldredvashcroft.html
Aroung the time of that case or after the case was lost, that is when I first began hearing about "Orphan Works." Before then it was just work which may or may not be copyright protected.

Personally, as much as I repsect Lessig, I think he's missing the mark with his solution. But, I don't have a lot of time to explain why. Suffice it to say, I don't like any of his solution. And, in general, I do respect the guy. I just don't dig the idea.

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gergley
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ack. please excuse the typos up there ^
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Charles
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Thanks for the links gergely. Good solution oriented sources.

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