Orphan Works Update from Brad and Cynthia
Our friends in the music business have alerted us to a new orphan works bill just introduced on behalf of Google’s MIC Coalition. It was “introduced in the dead of night under the misleading title Transparency in Music Licensing Ownership Act”.
While this particular bill is meant to benefit mainly businesses such as restaurants and other establishments that license music (the Congressman sponsoring the bill owns a restaurant!), the staff of the Judiciary committee say this is just the precursor to “a database bill” that is currently being written and will apply to “all copyright categories.” They say the interests driving this action are “absolutely obsessed with passing the database registration requirement.”
We hope they’re wrong, but if not, it will be 2008 again, because if passed, failure to register everything you’ve ever done would expose it to legal infringements.
The text of the current bill is attached. Scan page 2, starting at line 13 and you’ll see that the amount of information required to register every single musical work is mind-boggling.
Just Imagine having to fill out a form with “metadata” like this for each of thousands of your pictures – and then keep them all updated!
First, most artists would never be able to comply and would therefore lose their rights.But even if you did comply, the system is designed to allow infringers to challenge every copyright based on whether you did the paperwork properly.
You can read more about the current bill at Artists Rights Watch: https://
artistrightswatch.com/2017/07/ 21/the-shiv-act-googles-mic- coalition-attacks-songwriters- with-new-back-door-version-of- orphan-works-legislation-safe- harbor/
For the moment, there’s nothing we can see to do, but we’ll follow developments and keep you posted.
Best regards to all,
Brad and Cynthia