Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Senate Passes Orphan Works Copyright Act

Supported by libraries, challenged by artists, the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 is a copyright amendment designed to free up creative works for which no owner can be identified. Many library professionals advocate for the act as it will allow them to provide reprographic services without fear of liability. Additionally, the act limits infringement penalties if an accused infringer can prove that he/she made a diligent effort to contact the copyright holder. The Senate bill supports the development of online registries of copyrighted works, such as the University of Reading/Harry Ransom Center's WATCHfile.

The Senate passed the act with last-minute revisions on Friday, September 26th. Professional photographers' organizations; such as the National Press Photographers Association, the Advertising Photographers of America and the American Society of Media Photographers; have voiced significant concerns about the act, and encouraged their members to contact their representatives as the Senate's version of the bill moves to the House. To read more, click here and here. To read the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) take on the legislation, click here.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains the following guides relevant to copyright associated with architectural records:

Lowell, Waverly and Tawny Ryan Nelb. Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records (2006).

Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn and Diane Vogt O'Connor. Photographs: Archival Care and Management (2006).

Sabo, Werner. Legal Guide to AIA Documents, Fourth edition and cumulative supplement (2007).

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