Publishers anticipate OW provision as further justification for all rights contracts

If artists and photographers are freaking out over Orphan Works legislation, publishers aren’t:

“Allan R. Adler, a lawyer and lobbyist for the Association of American Publishers, said the copyright office’s recommendation regarding compensation to copyright owners is precisely what his group wanted.” -Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2, 2006 http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/02/2006020201t.htm

And at the Orphan Works roundtables last summer, a publisher’s spokesman used the potential of OW legislation to justify the all-rights contracts publishers are making you sign as a condition of accepting an assignment.

“I think whatever else the harm that may come to artists from inequitable bargaining power with large publishers, if the artist has signed the rights away to a Conde Nast or a Time-Warner… it is much, much less likely to be an orphaned work… because everyone knows where to find Conde Nast and Time.” – Paul Sleven, Holtzbrinck Publishers, Orphan Works Transcript July 27, p. 88 (emphasis added)

The use of an Orphan Works amendment to justify all-rights contracts is a good enough reason —all by itself —to oppose the legislation Congress will start considering this week.

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