NPPA Joins Orphan-Works Opposition

Posted on 5/9/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The National Press Photographers Association has joined a growing group that oppose the proposed orphan-works bill. In a statement to its membership, NPPA said: "We believe a carefully and narrowly tailored expansion of the fair-use exception to the copyright act would [better] address the legitimate concerns of librarians, historians and educators."

Chief among NPPA's objections is that it sees no reason to allow commercial users to benefit from the proposed orphan-works exemption to copyright law. "If the sharing of historical works is the true goal of orphan-works legislation, there is certainly no reason at all to extend infringement exemptions to newly created works... [or] to authorize infringements for commercial use," according to NPPA president Tony Overman's letter to Rep. Howard Berman, chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

NPPA objections mirror those raised by others. Though NPPA recognizes that the current orphan-works legislation is an improvement over its predecessor, the organization still sees "far too much opportunity for overreaching and abuse for commercial gain," said its legal counsel Mickey Osterreicher.

Photojournalists, whose work is often illegally copied and reposted online without attribution, may be at a higher risk than other members of the photographic community. Over 10,000 NPPA members are encouraged to take part in a growing grassroots effort to defeat the proposal.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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