Orphan works Copyright Reform:Good for artists bad for…um Jerks?

So I was looking at the headlines that come up on my Google feed page and the “Photo
” keeps putting up anti “orphan works” propaganda.  I’m not sure why this is but I assume that a Lawyer who handles copyright cases would likely lose a bit of power.  The latest post simply states the GOOGLE and MICROSOFT are the ones behind the scenes supporting the bill. Well everyone knows Microsoft is evil and I certainly would define them as such but then Disney is evil too. I’ve always assumed that  anything that can be done to eliminate copyrights is a step in the right direction.  This is due to the fact that the value of a copyrighted Idea isn’t the idea itself per se it is the  legal systems ability to find and prosecute the infringers.   I find it strange that Lawrence Lessig author of free culture would be against the bill though I think he just doesn’t like it in its current form. Actually I haven’t really looked into the whole issue too deeply so I could be wrong but those inflammatory headlines from the Photo Attorney site just pissed me off. Especially the last one which had the headline

Who Is Behind the Curtain Supporting Orphan Works???

and on first click gave this  sentence “google and Microsoft” which linked to this article

1. Web firms quietly win copyright victory in Congress

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) Sept 29 — As the media turned its attention last weekend to battles on Capitol Hill over the fate of the proposed Wall Street bailout bill, Internet companies including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. quietly walked away with a legislative victory that could facilitate their use of copyrighted material.

The Senate on Friday passed the Orphan Works Act of 2008, legislation that weakens copyright protection for works whose owners cannot be located. The legislation has now been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation requires only that a company make a “reasonably diligent” search to locate a copyright owner before using their work in media including the Internet, and limits compensation required for the use of an infringed work.

-By John Letzing, MarketWatch Sept. 29, 2008

But it never really explains precisely why I should be against it. It only said to “connect the dots”

well i’m just to damn lazy to do it and so what if it is true that’s not a good argument. Is It? Oh I don’t know I guess since I don’t make any money on my photography or Art or this blog I’m incline to not care so much.  But I think if you look at something like the Gutenburg Library you will find alot of people who are against the ridiculous copyright extensions that have been granted so companies like disney can keep making money through the hard work of the copyright lawyers and the legal system in general.

Here’s a pro reform article

Here’s Lessig’s anti reform NY Times piece

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