The Future of Artist's Copyright Is Not At Risk!Updated Foreword: There was some confusion as to the authenticity of this legislation, but Brollonks brought it to my attention that this is indeed real, and provided links to the official government website that back this up. It is not a hoax. However, misunderstandings of the severity and implications of the report have occurred, which we can now clear up for you: No, there is no bill. But, yes there is just a notice of inquiry at the moment.
It will likely not affect us. However it is important to keep an eye on these things.
Again (to reinforce this point) we do not need to be afraid! As Homophones brought to my attention, the "legislation" is actually just a "note of inquiry". That means that it is a hearing where comments and opinions are invited, but no rules have as yet been proposed. There is no bill yet... t
and I hope to answer some of the more common questions here.
Is this a hoax?
No. There were concerns with the authenticity of the new 'copyright bill' at first, but now after much digging and research, due to the combined effort of fellow deviants, this has been cleared up.
Brollonks brought it to my attention that this is indeed real.
Homophones proved that the "legislation" is actually just a "notice of inquiry". That means that it is a hearing where comments and opinions are invited, but no rules have as yet been proposed. There is no bill yet... this is only one of multiple preliminary moves required by law before a bill can start to go through Congress.
This is not a bill yet, but it is a very real matter that needs to be kept an eye on.
But what about this: graphicpolicy.com/2015/07/20/d…
Or what about this: www.change.org/p/act-do-not-le…
Are you sure it isn't a hoax?
I read those articles and they actually back up what we've discovered and what is said in the main journal. To quote This article:
"There is a “notice of inquiry” where the Copyright Office wants to hear from you about their report and suggestions, not some legislation that does not exist, and especially not about a misunderstanding of what those suggestions are."
While it's not a hoax, there has been much misunderstanding of the severity and implications of the report. What we initially believed to be a huge threat to artists is not as big a threat as we first thought.
No, there is no bill. And yes, there is a notice of inquiry, but it will likely not affect us. Everything we have been able to find and tried to verify has now officially been confirmed by the news! This is great and means we don't have to worry about this 'legislation' after all! However it is important to keep an eye on these things just in case the suggestions in that note of inquiry are turned against us.
Where can I find the official documents/paperwork?
On the US Copyright Office's homepage, underneath the "Recent Reports and Studies" section.
Here is a link to the site: U.S. Copyright Office and here are the direct links to the PDFs.
What does this all mean? Could you summarise this?
Basically, at the moment, when you make a work of art/music/writing/etc, it is protected by copyright since the time you made it and you have the ownership rights to what you make.
If the suggestions of this 'notice of inquiry' became a bill and is allowed to pass, (chances of which are very slim now) you would have to register any works you want to protect including but not limited to photos, sketches, and paintings. This may cost money in registration fees as well, which most artists have a really tough time making and wouldn't be able to afford.
It is important to note that this is currently just what some of the suggestions in the 'note of inquiry' imply, and not an official bill.
Should I be worried/scared/hide my deviations/leave Deviantart?
While this is quite a big concern, it is very unlikely that it will be passed or ever become law, with the amount of opposition to the last one in 2008.
However, since it is only a 'notice of inquiry' at the moment, and due to this and a lack of media coverage, not many people are aware that this is going on.
But just to clarify, we are OKAY for now!!!
We are OKAY! There is nothing to fear!
Nothing will change yet, but it is still important to be vigilant and aware of such matters, as they could've easily progressed and became worse if we ignored these issues and did nothing to stop them.
What can I do to help out?
You can GET INVOLVED, by going to the description of this video, where there are numerous links that enable you to help out.
This site also provides similar links and instructions on how to write a letter to the Copyright Office if you don't know how. ipaorphanworks.blogspot.ie/
However, since it is only a 'notice of inquiry' at the moment, and due to this and a lack of media coverage, not many people are aware that this is going on. You can also help out by spreading this: The Future of Every Artist's Copyright Could Be At Risk! and by doing so you will help raise awareness of the issue.
I don't live in the U.S. How does this affect me?
Artists everywhere could be affected if it did eventually become law.
If this did become law in America, it is very likely that other countries would follow suit to 'update' their laws in keeping with the US.
Even if they didn't and it was just America that had the law, since the internet is worldwide, Americans could easily take things they find online without caring about what country it comes from since it would be perfectly legal to do so in their own country and it would be difficult to prosecute them or sue for copyright infringement if that were the case.
Remember though that, this is currently just a 'note of inquiry' at the moment, and not an official bill yet, so it can be stopped before such proposed legislation does any real damage to artists.
If you still have related questions or concerns, feel free to comment and I shall try to answer everyone as quickly as I can.