May 14, 2013

Representative Judy Chu
Representative Howard Coble
Co-Chairs, Congressional Creative Rights Caucus
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcomittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet 
Dear Representatives Chu and Coble,
Thank you for your leadership in founding the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus earlier this year.  We applaud your insights into the need for such an important group of Members during this critical time for America’s creative community.
We understand that this week Chairman Goodlatte has scheduled a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet entitled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.”
Although we are not aware of any visual artists being included in the “Copyright Principles Project,” we applaud the Committee’s inquiry into – and the Creative Caucus’s interest in – the effects of the Internet on copyright; and we would like to take this occasion to introduce you to our organization and to state our interest in this issue.
The American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP) is a grassroots coalition of twelve visual artists organizations, founded and funded entirely by working artists. ASIP was founded in 2007, as an initiative of the Illustrators’ Partnership of America (IPA), although many of our member organizations have distinguished histories dating back more than 50 years.
Together we make up a broad spectrum of creative artists, ranging from the nation’s editorial cartoonists to medical illustrators, architectural and science illustrators, aviation artists, magazine, book and advertising illustrators. Combined, we create much of the visual material in American contemporary culture.
Our 14-person board includes a Pulitzer Prize winner, a muralist for the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and two members of the Illustrators Hall of Fame; as well as artists who have received the top awards for achievement in their respective fields. We are fortunate to count the Honorable Bruce A. Lehman, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office among our closest advisors.
We, and most of the thousands of artists we represent, are freelance creators or small business owners and all of us make our livings licensing the copyrighted work we create.
We therefore have a compelling interest in the continued effectiveness of copyright law in the field of visual art. We believe we have unique insights and unparalleled experience in how art is created, licensed and managed by the people who actually create it, as well as what it is like to live and work under the U.S. Copyright Act and related international treaties.
Support from the U.S. Small Business Administration
In 2006 and 2008 our twelve organizations formed the nucleus of an even broader informal coalition of 84 organizations, representing artists, photographers, writers, songwriters, independent music labels and other small business owners in the multibillion-dollar craft, greeting card and licensing industries.
At the invitation of the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, we came together on August 8, 2008 for a copyright roundtable hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA roundtable addressed the issue of “orphan works.”  The lively session was videotaped and is available online at http://vimeo.com/channels/artistsrights
ASIP’s Copyright Office Filings
In addition, the panelists who attended the Small Business Administration roundtable – and scores of those and who could not attend – submitted papers to the SBA addressing the subject.  We have collected and organized those papers.  On February 3, 2013, the Illustrators’ Partnership submitted them to the Copyright Office as an appendix to our submission to its Notice of Inquiry regarding potential orphan works legislation (Notice of Inquiry, Copyright Office, Library of Congress Orphan Works and Mass Digitization (77 FR 64555)). IPA’s comments were endorsed in a separate paper by the full ASIP board: http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/comments/noi_10222012/American-Society-Illustrators-Partnership-ASIP.pdf
The appendix of SBA roundtable material is now online at the Copyright Office website, and we welcome this opportunity to call your attention to it. To the best of our knowledge, it remains the only effort so far by any agency of the U.S. government to ascertain how creators as small business owners are already adapting to the changes in the new digital environment.
Although our February 14, 2013 initial comments, as well as our March 6, 2013 Reply Comments, both address the specific subject of “orphan works,” we chose to place those comments in the larger context of copyright “reform.” As such, we think these comments are a useful contribution to this important debate for Members of the Creative Rights Caucus to consider and discuss in the coming months.  
Endorsement of the Illustrators’ Partnership by the National Writers Union
In addition to the endorsement of the member organizations of ASIP, we are fortunate to have the support of a wide variety of other creators.  For example, our Copyright Office filings were endorsed and commended to the attention of Congress by the National Writers Union, which stated in the NWU’s own comments to the Copyright Office:
“In particular, the NWU endorses and commends to the attention of the Copyright Office and Congress the objections to “orphan works” legislation raised by Mr. Bruce A. Lehman; [and] the extensive submissions of the Illustrators Partnership of America.”
We respectfully submit that the Creative Rights Caucus may wish to review our Copyright Office filings and the Small Business Administration roundtable materials in order to get a richer view of the thoughts of independent visual artists/small business owners regarding copyright reform in general and orphan works issues in particular.  
We invite the Caucus to call upon us if we can expand on our comments or be of any assistance as this critical process moves forward.
Respectfully,

Brad Holland
Co-chair of the American Society of Illustrators Partnership
Representative of the Illustrators’ Partnership of America

Cynthia Turner
Co-chair of the American Society of Illustrators Partnership
Representative of the Illustrators’ Partnership of America

And on behalf of the Board of Directors, American Society of Illustrators Partnership
Frank Costantino, ASAI, FSAI, JARA                          
1st Vice-President                       
Representative for American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI)     
Michel Bohbot
Treasurer
Representative for San Francisco Society of Illustrators (SFSI)
Dolores R. Santoliquido
Secretary
Representative for Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI)
Joe Azar, Esq.
Director
Representative for Illustrators Club of Washington DC, MD, VA (IC)
Dena Matthews
Director
Representative for Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI)
Ilene Winn-Lederer
Director
Representative for Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators (PSI)
Ken Joudrey
Director
Representative for Society of Illustrators San Diego (SISD)
C.F. Payne
Director
Representative for the National Cartoonists Society (NCS)
Nick Anderson
Director
Representative for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC)
Keith Ferris
Director
Representative for the American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA)
Joe Cepeda
Director
Society of Illlustrators Los Angles (SILA)
Don Kilpatrick
Director
Unaffiliated Illustrators at Large

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