Stop Anti-Free Speech, Anti-Artist, Anti-Journalist Legislation in Congress

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Dear Member of Congress,

We have signed this petition to express our grave misgivings concerning Senate Bill 2913 and House of Representatives Bill 5889 (The Orphan Works Act of 2008) before Congress. We strongly oppose this legislation and urge you to vote against it. We believe these bills infringe upon the rights of artists, journalists, American citizens, and people of the world. For a further understanding of our views please read the attached statement from the grassroots group, A Million People Against the Orphan Works Bill.

The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 (S.2913) and (H.R.5889) is a very complicated piece of legislation that has enormous implications for all Americans and all people. It is our belief this bill is an insidious attempt to undermine existing United States and International copyright laws that protect photojournalists, multimedia journalists, writers, artists, cartoonists, illustrators, videographers, musicians, American citizens, and all people who take pictures, make videos, or create art. Upon serious examination of this bill and the groups lobbying for its passage, we have concluded that it is a threat to the intellectual property rights, privacy, and free speech of all Americans and all people.

We believe it is the unalienable right of the individual artist or person to decide how their photographs, illustrations, videos, music or paintings are used for eternity. We feel the strong protection of this right helps prevent any one person, company, institution or government from gaining control over the worlds art and images. We are against any law that directly or indirectly serves to undermine this unalienable right.

We are against the United States Government, indirectly or directly, forcing artists and journalists to register their art and photographs in a giant database mandated by this legislation. We believe this is a threat to free speech and privacy. Such a database would allow any government, corporation, or individual to track the movements of journalists who take pictures and monitor the work of artists.