Make the difference logo for copyright reformIf you or someone you know are a working artist, make money from your art on the side or are a hobbyist artist this is of great concern for artists and our families. It involves our livelihood in the form of being able to make money from our art now and in the future. It involves art that has already been made in the past. This new US Copyright Act wants to basically allow anyone to steal from the artist legally. Even if you are not an artist, maybe you have a son, daughter, sister, brother, parent, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend, whatever(!) who is.

Why society or big companies (more likely) don’t want to pay artists for their services is shameful. You pay the dentist when they clean your teeth, the doctor when they give you a physical, etc. etc. Artists deserve to be paid for the work. Think about all the beauty, hope, thought provoking, ideas, cultural diversity, meaning, inspiration… all the things artists bring to your life. What would our life be like without art. When artists are not paid, they must make a living some way else and that might not allow them time to create all this that we have come to know and expect.

There is a major copyright reform act about to be voted on in the upcoming legislation. We have a deadline of July 23, 2015 to be heard from in the form of letters sent to the Copyright Office. You can submit a letter electronically! (send it here in this form)

from The Board of Illustrators Partnership:

Here are the Basic Facts:

“The Next Great Copyright Act” would replace all existing copyright law.

It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.

It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.

It would “pressure” you to register your work with commercial registries.

It would “orphan” unregistered work.

It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers.

It would allow others to alter your work and copyright these “derivative works” in their own names.

It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.
Here is what you can do: Write a Letter!
In your letter to the Copyright Office: (also from The Board of Illustrators Partnership site)It’s important that lawmakers be told that our copyrights are our source of income because lobbyists and corporation lawyers have “testified” that once our work has been published it has virtually no further commercial value and should therefore be available for use by the public.So when writing, please remember:
* It’s important that you make your letter personal and truthful.
* Keep it professional and respectful.
* Explain that you’re an artist and have been one for x number of years.
* Briefly list your educational background, publications, awards, etc.
* Indicate the field(s) you work in.
* Explain clearly and forcefully that for you, copyright law is not an abstract legal issue, but the basis on which your business rests.
* Our copyrights are the products we license.
* This means that infringing our work is like stealing our money.
* It’s important to our businesses that we remain able to determine voluntarily how and by whom our work is used.
* Stress that your work does NOT lose its value upon publication.
* Instead everything you create becomes part of your business inventory.
* In the digital era, inventory is more valuable to artists than ever before.
If you are NOT a professional artist:* Define your specific interest in copyright, and give a few relevant details.

* You might want to stress that it’s important to you that you determine how and by whom your work is used.
* You might wish to state that even if you’re a hobbyist, you would not welcome someone else monetizing your work for their own profit
without your knowledge or consent.

For more information see this link. & This link which includes a video by illustrator Will Terry and many more important links and comments.

Please share, re-blog and spread the word and quickly! But most importantly write a letter to the Copyright Office.

Feel free to use this logo I made that says “You Can Make The Difference!” Just right click (control click on Mac) and save image as…

This is so important for artist’s as well as people who just gain enjoyment from the work of artists. Please, let your voice be heard by sending a letter against the Copyright Reform!

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