Copyright Changes? See What People Are Saying

In early August, we urged you to write the Copyright office to let them know how copyright affects you and your business. The office is proposing changes to the Copyright Law that would impair your ability to conduct a viable art business. We hope you responded. Now the copyright office has posted the letters submitted (as a very large PDF).  They also extended the comment period to October 1st, so you can comment on the letters submitted or add a comment if you missed the initial opportunity.

Below is a report on how to access the comments or add a new one, from the Illustrators Partnership. The issue is not settled, and your attention is still needed.

From the Illustrators Partnership Copyright Office Letters Posted August 21, 2015 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Copyright Office has posted the responses to its Visual Arts Notice of Inquiry: http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/comments/

They say they "received a large volume of initial comments," and unlike previous letters, which they always posted individually, these have been posted in Adobe PDF Portfolio view.

The Copyright Office recommends you download the files rather than viewing in a browser.

Go to the link above and you'll see 7 PDFs. The first, captioned "Direct Initial Comments" contains 358 letters that the Copyright Office regards as directly responsive to the 5 questions they posed about current copyright law. The other letters are available in one of the 6 PDFs titled "General Initial Comments," and contain 2,244 letters.

Download the PDFs and open them. Be patient: this could take several minutes. An error message may pop up: ignore it and proceed.

When the file opens, it may appear to contain only one letter. Go to the menu at the upper left of the pdf portfolio file and click on "Files." This will open a column with hundreds of names along the left-hand side of the window.

The letters are listed alphabetically by the author's first name or organization name. If the letter you're looking for is not in the "Direct" comments pdf, look for it alphabetically in one of the remaining 6. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reply Comments are due October 1, 2015

American and foreign artists can both submit their letters online here: http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/comment-form/

Please be advised: "The Office intends to post the written comments and documentary evidence on its website in the form in which they are received. Parties should keep in mind that any private, confidential, or personally identifiable information appearing in their comment will be accessible to the public."

Special note to foreign artists: If you are submitting from outside the US, under "State," please scroll down to the bottom and select "Non-U.S.A. Location."

Read the Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry http://copyright.gov/fedreg/2015/80fr23054.pdf and Extension of Comment Period http://copyright.gov/fedreg/2015/80fr44156.pdf

Read the 2015 Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Report.
http://copyright.gov/orphan/reports/orphan-works2015.pdf

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This will be an opportunity for you to either endorse those comments you agree with or object to those you don't. Or if you missed the first deadline, this will be a second chance to weigh in. We hope everyone will review as many of these letters as possible and consider responding.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

Please post or forward this artist alert to any interested party.

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