Thursday, March 31, 2005
Adopt the orphans!
If there were not such facinating things on the internet, then maybe I could get some work done today. But on Lawrence Lessig's blog, he mentions that the comments to the Copyright Office about orphaned works have been posted. I didnt really know that orphaned works had a name. Those are the works that you want to be legal and cite or pay for but you are not able to find the copyright holders. Apparently this is a big problem.
So I read Lessig and Creative Common's comments. Whoa! over 100 pages long. Then started opening some of the other 710 comments. May were from Average Joes who simply said that the orphaned works should go into the public domain. One said it should be like some sort of thing they have set up in Canada. And then there was the author who I think got things a little mixed up. Her comment gave me the impression that she was thinking that anything not cited correctly would be seen as orphaned. So this woman was for the copyright office retaining copyright for everything. But like I said, I think she is mixed up. (One comment that many many people sent in says, "It is not valid to infer that a protected work of art has been abandoned simply because a potential use has difficulty identifying or locating an artist." Very true. Obviously true. Some people are lazy. So I would think that this is not about one person having difficulty, but about many people have extreme difficulty. After all, the original request for comments "on issues raised by "orphan works," i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate". These are orphaned works. Orphaned, meaning the creator and the work are not able to be put together. This is not like a mother and son getting separated while at the grocery store. This is like the kid (work) was left on the steps of a church in 2002 and now years later someone wants to adopt him and all efforts to find the mother (creator) are unsuccessful. Please let someone adopt him! Ok. Analogy over.)
So I kept reading and the bigwigs chimed in. Google. MIT Libraries. Standford Libraries. American Film Heritage Association. Writer's Guild of America.
Wow. How democratic. There is a problem. The people are asked to comment on possible solutions for the problem. There are comments from big guys and small guys. Individuals and corporations. I love it.
Lessig mentions at the end of his post that maybe a wiki should be set up to discuss the comments. Ummm yeah. Because all the people on his site can talk about is the drawbacks to having the comments in PDF form.