Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Orphan Works Go Ballistic

Smith introduces The Copyright Modernization Act of 2006

In our Senate testimony on Orphan Works, we warned that “the Orphan Works Act is not an Orphan Works Act at all, but a radically new copyright law.” Today comes the confirmation.

We’ve just been informed that Congress has drafted a new bill, tentatively called “The Copyright Modernization Act of 2006.” It’s scheduled for mark-up, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

At more than 100 pages, we haven’t had time to completely review it, but it appears to embody all the bad provisions of the Orphan Works Act into a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. Copyright Law.

Judging by its length, it’s not likely that congressmen whipped this up as an afterthought during their August recess. Yet, if it’s been in the works, why the surprise? And why the stealth?

The speed and secrecy with which certain interests want copyright law rewritten raise questions. We’ll try to learn more about this and report what we learn.

— Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner
for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership

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