There's a bunch of FUD going around the internets today about orphaned works, thanks to this article by Mark Simon of Animation World Network. He's urging artists to write their Congresscritters about eeeeevil orphaned works legislation and screaming about how it will effectively invalidate copyright for everyone except big evil registrars.
The problem? There is no such legislation before Congress (there was a bill in 2006, but it was never voted on; Marybeth Peters of the Copyright Office recently spoke before a subcommittee, but that's not a bill), and Simon is flat-out wrong about every concern he raises.
I've distilled his article down to six key misconceptions, and explained why each is wrong.
This is a really well-written piece. I've gotten a ton of email about Simon's bizarre rant, and it's nice to have a single, central place to point people to.
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
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