Monday, May 12, 2008

Do you post your family pictures online? Read this.

I forgot to credit this post to Claudine Hellmuth. It only took seconds to get the letters to the senators because they have prewritten letters. All I had to do was type in my personal info and they plugged and chugged. So please take a second to check it out for yourself. I know that there are still plenty of people out there who could get the pics and use them illegally, but it's nice to know that there would be legislation against it.

Friday, May 09, 2008
do you post your family photos online? read this!
There are two bills that are coming up in the House and Senate that will change copyright as we know it.They were shot down once before because of action against it --- but now they are back as bill numbers H.R. 5889 The Orphan Works Act of 2008 and S 2913 The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008If you post your family photos on Flickr, anywhere on the internet or on your blog read on!Could you imagine if someone used your child's photo in an unsavory advertisement and you had no say and no rights to make them stop using it! This could easily happen if these bills are passed. There has already been an instance of Virgin Mobile using unauthorized Flickr photos of children in advertisements & billboards and that is before this law was proposed. We do not need to make it easier for them to steal your family photos!If you are posting your photos online, you should read below and then send a letter (there is an EASY fill out form on the Illustrator Partnership web site all you do is enter your info and press send!)Takes 1 minute!!!This is NOT a hoax. This is FOR REAL. And it is scary. Some people say us illustrators and designers are being alarmist, but I would rather err on the side of caution, defeat this bill and keep my copyrights as they are now. These bills were shot down once because of strong resistance from Illustrators, designers and photographers we can defeat these bills again!This is text from the Illustrator Partnership web site:
Due to the lack of publicity about this bill, the most innocent victims of this plunder – those who put images online - are still completely unaware of it. Who am I talking about? Average American families who have enjoyed the internet as a way to share the happiest, and even saddest, moments of their lives with their friends and family across the country, and even around the world, through the wonders of technology. Google has already said they plan to use these orphan works in the millions. Why should companies like this be allowed to to harvest our property from private web pages, blog sites, share sites and the like?On all my illustration and licensing boards we have been talking about it for weeks but now the day of reckoning is almost here and not enough people know about it to help us strike it down in the Senate. We need to make our feelings heard.If you want to protect your rights go here and send a letter. It only takes 1 minute. Here is the link. Then tell all your friends!Thanks to everyone posting on their blogs and message boards about this important issue! Super thanks to my friend Tim Holtz for also posting and linking here. Getting the word out and getting people to send in letters is so important right now. it really only takes a minute via this widget! Time is of the essence!thank you!!!EDITED: Saturday at 12:50Because this is such an involved and confusing topic, I am directing you to Tammy Browning Smith. She is a lawyer for the licensing and craft industry and she has posted to her Arts and Crafts Law Blog where you can get really informed answers from her, here's the link:

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