Though one of the organizations that protested against the 2006 version of the orphan works bill, the American Society of Media Photographers, a prominent trade group for members of the photography industry, has thrown its support behind the current version, especially the version currently before the House.
According to the ASMP, the new bill offers much better protections for photographers than the 2006 version and that “the House bill is about as good as photographers are ever going to get.”
They go on to say that:
“If the bill is not passed this year, it will return in the next session of Congress, when at least one of the crucial subcommittees will be under different leadership. Based on the track records of the legislators who are in line for leadership, it is almost certain that they will write legislation that is far less friendly to copyright owners than the current leadership.”
At an ASMP event in April, Vic Perlman, the general council for the organization, gave a talk at one of their forums about the orphan works legislation and why the ASMP supports it. He also gave advice for artists, which closely mirrored my own.
The video is embedded below.
Obviously this kind of support behind the bill greatly increases the chances of passage. It was trade groups such as the ASMP that were largely responsible for the first bill’s death. However, other trade groups, including the Illustrators Partnership of America, Advertising Photographers of America and American Society of Illustrators Partnership, do not share the stance of the ASMP and continue to oppose the legislation strongly.
I will update everyone on the bill as it progresses. However, this will likely be the last item on orphan works for a while, at least until there is progress in the two bills.
Hat tip: Special thanks to Jim M. Goldstein for the heads up.