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Copyright Protection on the Web & Orphans Work Legislation

Can you believe it’s almost June? May has been cool and rainy in my area, but it has resulted in beautiful, showy peonies in my yard.

I got back last week from Quilt Market in Portland. I love seeing what’s new, catching up with old friends and making new ones. The color trend I saw was orange, whether that was orange as in the fruit or a softer shade, more like orange sherbet. Of course, orange is one of my favorite colors, so maybe I was more attuned to it. I liked the larger prints in clear colors, and most fabric companies were showing black and white lines. I saw creative packaging ideas and lots of “jelly rolls.”

I’ve included some important information on pending legislation that will affect quilters. Please take time to research the Orphan Works issue and make your opinion known.

I am a big fan of personal and professional development. Next weekend my husband and I are going to an event that promises to be great on both fronts. David Neagle, known as the Million Dollar Acceleration Coach, is stopping in Baltimore as part of his “X-Country Tour.” David talks about shifting your mindset to create the life you love, effortlessly and easily. The event requires a $99 deposit, but when you register in person at the event, you get $99 back (yes, real money back). If any of you go, please look for me. You can reserve your seat here. Like David says, Success does NOT have to be hard!

Protect Your Images on the Web

In the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter, Gloria Hansen shared her experience when she discovered that some of the images from her Web site had been taken without her permission and were being offered for sale on customized merchandise. This was an obvious infringement of her copyright. After she contacted both sites involved, the items/images were removed. But she, like the rest of us, still has to be diligent, as we are all susceptible to our copyright being violated. In addition to formally registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright office, Gloria also suggests applying a watermark to your images.

To read more of Gloria’s experience and learn about options for embedding watermarks into your Web images, you can purchase Issue 103 or can start a subscription here.

Orphan Works Legislation

Last month, bills were introduced in the U.S. House (HR 5889) and U.S. Senate (S 2913) that seek to change the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act. The intent is to provide a limitation on judicial remedies in copyright infringement cases involving orphan works. Orphan works refer to copyrighted works whose owners cannot be found after a “diligent” effort. Among other things, the bill requires artists to register every work in a private certified database, a database that currently does not exist, which presumably would be used for the “diligent” search. The current legislation, which went into effect in 1978, provides copyright protection to all work, with or without registration. This will have a significant impact on visual artists.
The full Senate and full House Judiciary Committee are expected to vote on their versions of the legislation in June. So, act now to get your opinion known to your members of Congress. I personally have written to my Congressional representatives expressing my opposition to both bills.

To learn more, here are some links:
Text of HR 5889:
Text of S 2913: – contains testimony on both sides of the issue before Congress. Particularly interesting is that from the National Textile Association.
Orphan Works Opposition Headquarters:
Illustrators’ Partnership –
Here’s a link for you to make your opinion known to your Congressional representatives –
Remember you need to act promptly, and encourage fellow quilt artists to take a stand.

Upcoming Show Entry Deadlines

Here are some opportunities with entry deadlines within the next 45 days:

Quilts Inc. seeks entries for its annual Quilts: A World of Beauty juried and judged competition. $101,250 in prize money will be awarded. Deadline: June 12. Details: Quilts Inc., 7660 Woodway, Ste. 550, Houston, TX 77063;

American Quilt Study Group invites submissions of 4,500 to 9,000 word papers representing original, unpublished research pertaining to the history of quilts, quiltmaking, quiltmakers, associated textiles and related topics for presentation at its 29th seminar to be held in 2009 in San Jose, Calif., and for publication in Uncoverings 2009. Deadline: July 1. Details: AQSG, PO Box 4737, Lincoln, NE 68504; 402-472-5361;

More than $10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Exposition to be held September 4-7 in Harrisburg, Pa. Deadline: July 1. Details: Mancuso Show Management, PO Box 667, New Hope, PA 18939;

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