May 10, 2008

FYI- YOUR online photos are at risk!

I do not get into "uproars" much. I hate the drama. I hate the half-truths. But this is one piece of legislation that is real, and it has been attempted in the past and has been re-drafted and is making its appearance again. It is called the Orphan Works bill. And essentially anything you post online will be able to become "orphaned" and anyone can legally take it and use it as they wish. Imagine all of the photos we post for our friends and families. Porn sites could abuse them. Advertisers could steal them. You may be getting the idea.

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!

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?

Please take a minute to go to this link, you can fill out a simple form (the letter is pre-filled out so you may want to personalize it), takes less than 2 minutes, and your local congressmen and senators will be sent your letter to ban this bill.

Thank you!

1 comment:

amymatthews said...

Oh my gosh this is awful. Thanks for the warning April, I am going to the site now!