ASIP Public Comment: Mass Digitization Pilot Program
October 9, 2015, U.S. Copyright Office
We oppose the creation of an extended collective licensing program at this time because the current state of extended secondary rights licensing in the US raises too many unanswered questions about who is receiving artists’ royalties and what the money is being used for.
Our questions start with the publisher-centric Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), which over the years has made contradictory statements about its licensing of visual art, does not pay royalties to artists and otherwise refuses to discuss the matter; and with the Authors Coalition of America (ACA), which was founded 20 years ago, apparently with CCC’s blessing, but without any representation by artists. Since 2003, ACA has acted as an umbrella for various writers’ trade organizations and graphic arts groups that divide visual arts royalties from certain overseas countries among themselves.
Unless something is first done to correct this pre-emptory collection of the earned income of American graphic artists, we fear that the imposition of extended collective licensing will only serve to institutionalize and further a system that allows third parties to profit from the growing stream of income that artists are cut off from.
GAG Lawsuit Dismissed: Decision Vindicates Artists, Validates American Illustrators Collecting Society
April 18, 2011, New York Supreme Court
A judge dismissed all claims in a million-dollar defamation and tortious interference lawsuit brought by the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) against the Illustrators’ Partnership of America (IPA) and five named individuals. GAG alleged that IPA had interfered with a “business relationship” that enabled GAG to collect orphaned reprographic royalties derived from the licensing of illustrators’ work. GAG alleged that efforts by IPA to create a collecting society to return lost royalties to artists “interfered” with GAG’s “business” of appropriating these orphaned fees. The judge ruled that statements made by IPA were true; that true statements cannot be defamatory; that illustrators have a “common interest” in orphaned income; and that a “common-interest privilege” may arise from both a right and a duty to convey relevant information, however contentious, to others who share that interest or duty.
Journal of Biocommunication Special Issue: Artists’ Rights
Volume 36, Number 1, 2010
Artists’ Rights are Human Rights by Chris Castle (PDF)
Trojan Horse: Orphan Works and the War on Authors by Brad Holland (PDF)
Orphan Works Legislation—A Bad Deal for Artists by Bruce Lehman, Esq. (PDF)
Declaration of Unity
by 12 American Illustration Associations
Presented to the 2006 General Assembly of the International Federation of Reprographic Rights Organizations (IFRRO) in Auckland, New Zealand 2006.